The Syracuse Orange cross-country teams begin their season this weekend with an eye on returning to the NCAA Championships in Virginia in November.
Both the men and women are ranked in the pre-season poll and will be looking to earn enough points in the season to assure themselves of an at-large bid. Syracuse’s women will face a tougher regional qualifying with Providence, Columbia and Harvard all strong squads.
Leading the way will be Savannah Roark who was 23rd in last year’s NCAA Championship. Roark made a big breakthrough last season and looks ready to lead this team. Also returning from last season’s NCAA are Sophia Jones-Townsley and Oliva Joly
A couple of Rylie Lusk a transfer from Weber State is a former Big Sky champion in the 10k and freshman Barbora Svobodvá, who was 5th in the Czech U23 1500m this summe, are two newcomers to watch this season.
The Syracuse men are the top team in the Northeast Region and 4th among ACC teams in the National poll so the Orange will once again be challenged within the conference. Returning to lead the Orange are Nathan Lawler and Paul O’Donnell who were Syracuse’s top 2 finishers at the NCAA Championships.
They will be joined by Sam Lawler, Assaf Harari and Matt Scrape who were part of the 12th place NCAA squad. Syracuse is also bringing in Cornell graduate transfer Perry Mackinnon, an experienced runner who had a 28:33 10k on the track last spring.
While will likely see them redshirt, both incoming freshman Benne Anderson and Connor Ackley were top 15 runners in the nation last season and offer a lot of promise to the future of the Syracuse program.
We’ll keep you updated on these teams as after today’s pre-season meet, they have one week before the season officially begins at Penn State.