Track & Field

5 Syracuse runners advance to NCAA championships, 3 set personal bests

Courtesy of SU Athletics

Tia Thevenin was the first to advance to Oregon, finishing 12th in the 100 meter hurdles to earn the Orange’s only qualifying spot in a sprinting event.

UPDATED: August 8, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

Five members of the Syracuse track and field team advanced to the NCAA championships this weekend during the NCAA East preliminary round. Three runners set personal bests in qualifying for the championships, set to begin June 6 in Eugene, Oregon.

Colin Bennie was the first to advance for Syracuse, doing so in the last event on Thursday, the men’s 10,000-meter run. The junior finished with a time of 30:05.04, securing the 12th and final qualifying spot. Bennie placed sixth in the same event at the ACC championships earlier this month.

Friday, a pair of SU runners earned spots in the championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Paige Stoner’s career-best run in the women’s race gave her the 11th-best qualifying time in the event. Her time of 10:06.26 broke her previous record by .72 seconds and was just barely fast enough to advance, as she finished only .54 seconds ahead of the 13th-place runner.

Aidan Tooker took to the track immediately after Stoner in the men’s iteration of the event, following her lead and qualifying for the championships. The true freshman also set a personal record, smashing his previous best run by almost 15 seconds. His time of 8:39.34 placed him sixth overall and just seven seconds behind the first-place finisher.

Two other Syracuse runners qualified on Saturday, the final day of the preliminary round. Tia Thevenin was the first to advance to Oregon, finishing 12th in the 100 meter hurdles to earn the Orange’s only qualifying spot in a sprinting event. Her time of 13.27 seconds was a career-best, breaking the mark of 13.38 that she had set the previous day. Thevenin needed every hundredth of a second of her new record, as the 13th-place runner finished right on her heels in 13.30 seconds.

Freddie Crittenden, who finished fourth at the NCAA championships last year and is the two-time reigning ACC champion in the 110-meter hurdles, did not finish his preliminary race Saturday.

Justyn Knight was the fifth and final qualifier for Syracuse, winning his heat in the 5,000 meters and finishing ninth overall with a time of 14:13.64. Knight won the ACC championship in the event and will look to improve on his 10th-place performance at last year’s national championships. The junior ran the world’s fastest 5000-meter time of 2017 three weeks ago at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

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