The Syracuse Orange sports season might be over for the summer but many alums (and some current athletes) are pushing towards earning a spot at the Tokyo Olympics. Triathlete Katie Zaferes, the 2019 ITU World Champion was selected to the US team this week and she will be looking to improve upon her 18th place finish from Rio. Katie’s father passed away this spring and she’s hoping to find strength from the support he gave her
“Now he’s with me in a different way and we’re going to be doing this together, as I ask for his guidance, strength and joy for the road ahead. Because as my dad reminded me before every race, all I needed to do was ‘Race hard, but most of all have fun.’ So that is what I’m going to do.”
The US Olympic track and field trials begin on Friday in Eugene, Oregon and five Syracuse alums are entered and competing. Martin Hehir starts things off in the Men’s 10000m on Friday night at 10:25pm. Hehir finished 7th in this event at the 2016 Trials but since then we’ve seen him finish 6th in the marathon trials and then win November’s Marathon Project race.
Next Friday afternoon the Men’s 110m hurdles competition begins with two Orange alums in the field. Freddie Crittenden III and Jarret Eaton will both be competing in the event and looking to secure a spot on the team. You can catch both Freddie and Jarret’s journeys from their YouTube channels where they share the realities faced by athletes chasing their Olympic dreams.
Later on Friday evening the Women’s 10000m will be on the Hayward Field track. Both Sarah Pagano and Paige Stoner will be vying for one the spots in the event. There is one other Syracuse adjacent competitor in the Women’s 800m as Sabrina Southerland (James’ sister) is one of the event favorites.
Last week we told you about Justyn Knight’s huge PR in the 5000m and he’s going to be in Tokyo in that event but we could also see him in the 1500m. Current Syracuse runner Kevin Robertson is entered in that same event in the Canadian Trials coming up in Montreal and current Orange sprinter Shaleah Colaire will be looking to make the team in the Women’s 100m hurdles.
I didn’t see an official Olympic roster named for USA Field Hockey but Syracuse alums Laura Hurff and Jess Jecko are part of the US National team and hope to see action in Tokyo. They could be seeing former teammate Zoe Wilson in Tokyo as she is vying for a spot on the Ireland squad.
Let us know in the comments which other Syracuse athletes are missing here. I’m sure there are some rowers out there and we’ll keep you updated as we move closer to the games.
Update: As I expected we will have some other Orange athletes to look for in Tokyo. Jenna Caira will be pitching for Canada’s softball team and Hattie Taylor will row for England. Thanks for the heads up John and commenter Szklany87