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Two Syracuse runners finished in first place Saturday in the team’s season-opening race, but the men and women split their meets against Army. The men defeated Army 15-50, while the women lost 33-26.
The Orange’s race in West Point, New York, was their first since the men competed in the NCAA Cross Country National Championships in November.
Syracuse upperclassmen controlled the dual meet. Senior Amanda Vestri finished first in the women’s three-mile race, and the top three runners for the men’s 7.5k race were upperclassmen. Redshirt senior JP Trojan also made his Syracuse debut, finishing first in the men’s race.
Trojan finished with a time of 22:46.6 minutes in the men’s 7.5k race. Redshirt junior Nathan Henderson followed .6 seconds behind to finish in 22:47.0 minutes. Redshirt senior Joe Dragon finished at third in 22:48.9 minutes, while junior Silas Derfel and redshirt freshmen Alex Comerford finished at 22:49.6 minutes and 22:55.7 minutes, respectively. The Orange had racers fill the top nine at the meet overall.
Despite Vestri finishing first with a time of 16:42.2 minutes in the women’s three-mile race, her teammates didn’t follow as closely. Two freshmen from West Point, Georgia Jones (17:24.2) and Helen Shearer (17:37.2), placed second and third, respectively. Syracuse freshman Sarah Connelly placed at fourth with 17:43.3 minutes while sophomore Justus Holden-Betts (17:47.7) finished at fifth, but the rest of the top 10 was filled with Black Knights’ runners.
Rachel Bonner, a 2019 All-Atlantic Coast Conference runner, did not participate in the race, which depleted the Orange’s depth and ultimately resulted in the women falling to West Point.
The Orange men’s squad hopes to continue their high placement in future races. But the Orange women’s team must improve in placing near the All-Region Vestri. The ACC championship is set for October 30.
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