When we last left the Syracuse cross-country team, they had just completed a successful 2014 season with a 5th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Based on the results, it looked like Syracuse would enter the 2015 season with 6 of the top 8 runners returning, but thanks to the LetsRun.com message board, we learned that All-American MJ Erb has transferred to Ole Miss for the Spring semester. Erb was the top finisher for SU at the NCAA meet placing 37th and he runs a group at Ole Miss where 5 runners this season have already run 4:05 or faster in the mile. Last Fall we talked a lot about the depth of the Orange x-c group, so Erb's departure will mean replacing another top runner next fall.
One of those runners who could easily make a big jump next year is Freshmen Justyn Knight. In December, Knight defended his Canadian National Junior XC Title. Knight's win qualifies him to run the IAAF World Jr. Championship, which will be held in March in China. Knight's continued development as a distance runner will be interesting to watch. Click over to this interview where he talks about the strides made in his first semester under Coach Fox and his plans for the rest of this year. Syracuse should be excited about his future because as Knight gets more accustomed to training at this level, he could help keep the Orange distance program competitive nationally.
Congratulations are also in order to three former SU Cross-Country runners who qualified for the US Olympic Marathon Trials at the Houston Half-Marathon. Sarah Pagano, Griff Graves and Robert Molke earned their entries into the 2016 race in Los Angeles. Here's a post-race interview with the Cuse trio from Flotrack