September 17

Syracuse prepares for NCAA Northeast Regional coming off Big East Championship

first_img Published on November 8, 2012 at 1:06 am Contact Melissa: qsbronso@syr.edu The Syracuse men’s cross country team turned in its worst performance of the season at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in October. It was the only meet the Orange failed to place first as the runners struggled to break through in the congested race.SU got back on track in the Big East championship, taking the title with four harriers finishing in the top 10.“Last week we showed that we have the pieces to be a good team,” Smith said. “We just need to put everything together on the right day and we can be one of those top teams.”Though the 210-runner field set for the NCAA Northeast Regional will be less challenging to maneuver than the 316-harrier Adidas Invitational. SU found its stride on the open field at the Big East championship, but the team will need to avoid getting boxed in like it did against Wisconsin at this weekend’s meet in Madison, Conn.Coming off the Big East title, the men’s team has momentum on its side. The women’s team saw spurts of growth and decline as it finished sixth overall, two spots down from its 2011 Big East finish.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU senior Sarah Pagano, who led the pack with a ninth-place finish in the Big East, realizes she must step up more as a leader for the young women’s team to have a strong showing in the Northeast Regional.“The region is pretty stacked this year,” Pagano said. “So our goal is to qualify for nationals, but we’re going to have to have our best race to do so.”Assistant coach Adam Smith says sticking to the fundamentals will help the team advance in the competitive field.Running two 10Ks in two weeks fatigues the body, so head coach Chris Fox’s focus was recovering and healing their bodies. In a typical week of practice the team averages 70 miles, but in an effort to restore his runners’ bodies, Fox toned the workouts down, having just three intense practices over the past two weeks.Redshirt sophomore Max Straneva is still “a little hurt” and will not compete, but Smith is confident SU can be a top team even without him. Andrew Palmer, a redshirt sophomore, will fill his spot.“Andrew is a great runner so it’s not like we’re downgrading at all,” Fox said.Straneva’s injury is minor to the team as on Tuesday night, SU redshirt junior Joe Whelan didn’t know the definitive top-seven harriers, as any nine runners could be set to run.The men’s team is deep, but Fox says the women’s team has its work cut out for it to finish with the lowest score possible.Pagano knows running with a young team has its challenges. To help the team advance, Pagano is looking to freshman Brianna Nerud.“She has been having great workouts and finding her way each race,” Pagano said. “Brianna’s a very talented freshman and I think she’ll come up big for us.”Despite the injuries and running in a larger field, the team’s depth gives it confidence as it goes for its fourth consecutive Regional title. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img


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