Four members of the Syracuse track team compete this week.
The Syracuse Orange athletic year will come to a close this week in Eugene, Oregon when four members of the Orange track team compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Orange sent twelve athletes to last week’s Eastern Regional and it’s a bit of a surprise that four athletes advanced to be among the final 24 competing in each event.
The men are in action tonight and two Syracuse athletes will take to the track. Aidan Tooker is up first in the 3000m steeplechase (8:30 eastern time). After battling injuries the last two years Tooker rallied to turn in a season-best time and make it out of regionals and back to Eugene for the third time in his career. Aidan was 4th in this event back in 2018 as he turned in two outstanding races. This season will be tougher as he has the slowest season-best time in the 1st heat and faces an uphill battle to make it to Friday’s final.
JP Trojan also found his stride at the right time as he out-performed his ranking to finish 10th in the men’s 10,000m final. He’ll be in tonight’s final in the event which begins at 10:38 pm and while their are only two runners with a slower seed time than Trojan these longer races at NCAA don’t always go according to plan. If JP stays within himself early on he could be in position to pick off fading runners in the later miles.
Two in the top-five means two more Orange are headed to Eugene!
Amanda Vestri (third) and Annie Heffernan (fifth) join JP Trojan from the men as qualifiers in the 10k. pic.twitter.com/ZinXIomcd6
— Syracuse XC/Track (@CuseXCTF) May 28, 2021
Syracuse’s best hopes for a top-10 finish this year will be on the track Thursday night at 9:08 pm eastern. Amanda Vestri and Annie Heffernan will be competing in the women’s 10,000m final. This is Heffernan’s first NCAA appearance while Vestri is back after finishing 14th in this event while running for the Iowa State Cyclones in 2019. Vestri has the nation’s 5th fastest time this season so we’ll see if she can finish her season on a high note with First Team All-American honors.
Best of luck to all four athletes competing. We’ll have follow-up coverage after the conclusion of the meet as we also look ahead to the alumni competing at the upcoming Olympic Trials.