The last decade has shown a return to prominence for the Syracuse Orange track and field team’s hurdle group. Last night in Eugene at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships, Jaheem Hayles took a giant step towards putting his name among those previous All-Americans. Hayles won his heat in a new personal-best time of 13.44 and advances to Friday’s final.
We told you that Hayles was going to have to deliver to make it through and he did that and then some. Despite the announcers talking about Michigan’s Joshua Zeller before, during and after the heat, it was Hayles who leaned across the line first. It was the 3rd-fastest time of the semi-final round and now Hayles gets his chance at Syracuse’s 2nd outdoor National title on Friday evening. Florida State’s Trey Cunningham is the heavy favorite but we’ll see what Hayles can come up with to cap his outstanding season.
Not. Done. Yet.— Syracuse XC/Track (@CuseXCTF) June 9, 2022
NCAA final on deck pic.twitter.com/y9C97kb4FF
It was also a personal-best last night for Nathan Henderson in the 1500 semi-final. Henderson ran a smart race, keeping himself near heat winner Mario Garcia Romo from Ole Miss throughout. When the field started to drop the pace in the backstretch Henderson found himself in a good spot in lane two looking to crack the top five. Just as the field entered the final straight, Northern Arizona runner George Kusche moved out and slowed Henderson’s stride forcing him further out. Henderson was unable to muster the speed to move up and had to settle for missing the final by 1⁄2 second. He still turned in a personal-best of 3:40.06 to end his season.
Tonight is Annie Boos’ turn in the 3000m steeplechase and we’ll see if she can make it two Syracuse athletes with chances at national titles.