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Previewing Syracuse track at the NCAA Outdoor Championships

Three athletes will compete for a national title

2021 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The final event of the Syracuse Orange 2021-22 athletic season begins today in Eugene, Oregon as three athletes will compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Up first on the track will be the men’s events....

Nathan Henderson might be the biggest longshot in the men’s 1500m race, which starts at 7:45 pm eastern time. Henderson enters with the 88th fastest time (3:41) in the NCAA this season but he ran well at Regionals and finds himself in the 2nd semi-final heat. With the top five from each heat and next two fastest times advancing to the final, Henderson is going to need to turn in his best race of the season. The collegiate leader Eliud Kipsang (3;33) is going to be lined up next to Henderson and that can be a good or bad thing.

If the Orange standout can avoid being drawn out too fast, he can establish position and be pulled along through the first 3 laps and give himself a shot at closing fast and advancing. Like the Regional, being in the 2nd heat allows Henderson the opportunity to know if he can qualify on time or needs a top-5 position.

At 8:32 pm, Jaheem Hayles will be in the 1st of 3 semi-final heats in the 110m hurdles. In this event, the top two in each heat and next three fastest times advance to Friday’s final. Hayles has had the best outdoor season of anyone on the Syracuse men’s team but he’ll need to find another level tonight. He’s got the 5th-fastest seed time in his heat (13.54) so making it through to the final would cap an outstanding year.

The women’s competition takes over on Thursday and Annie Boos will be on the track at 9:02 pm eastern time in the 1st heat of the 3000m steeplechase. With the top five from each heat and next two fastest times advancing to the final on Saturday, Boos could benefit from having the two-fastest NCAA runners this season (Courtney Wayment from BYU and Ceili McCabe from West Virginia) in her heat. Boos enters the meet with the 21st-fastest time and she’s likely to find herself in a battle over the final 2-3 laps to make it through to the next round.

With three athletes making their 1st NCAA Outdoor appearance, it would be successful if any of them advance to the Final and earn First-Team All-America honors. We’ll be back to update you on these races but you can follow live results here. Each event is streaming live on ESPN3 and television coverage will be on ESPNU (Wednesday and Thursday), ESPN2 (Friday) and ESPN (Saturday).