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Syracuse cross-country: ACC championships preview

Can the Orange men reclaim the top spot?

Cross Country: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first ACC Championship of the 23-24 athletic year will be decided on Friday and the Syracuse Orange have a strong chance of bringing home some hardware.

The 2023 ACC Cross-Country Championship will be held in Tallahassee on Friday morning and the 4th ranked Syracuse men will be one of the favorites. Syracuse will be looking for their 7th ACC title, and first since 2019, when they take to the 8k course to battle #11 North Carolina, #14 Notre Dame, #16 Virginia and defending champs #20 Wake Forest.

Leading the way for Syracuse are Perry Mackinnon and Paul O’Donnell who aren’t expected to battle for the individual title, but will look to keep the Orange’s top 5 in a tight pack, UNC’s Parker Wolfe and Alex Phillip, along with Wake’s Rocky Hansen are the favorites for the individual crown and if Syracuse can once again keep the pack together, they could reclaim the ACC title. The Orange had a strong 3rd place finish in Wisconsin even with Assaf Harari outside his usual spot on the team, if he’s back with the other Syracuse runners it will be a good sign.

The women’s race should be dominated by #2 NC State, who haven’t lost this meet since 2015. Katelyn Tuohy is once again the heavy favorite to take the individual crown and lead her Wolfpack to another big win. #28 Syracuse enters with a chance to secure more potential NCAA at-large points behind Savannah Roark, Rylie Lusk, Olivia Joly and Sophia Jacobs-Townsley. If the Orange can find their way into the top four it will boost their NCAA chances heading into Regionals. The Syracuse women need two strong meets to make a return trip to NCAA’s.

Coverage of the meet begins at 8:30 on the ACC Network. The men’s 8k will be first followed by the women’s 6k race.