Cross Country

Syracuse men’s cross country finishes 3rd at nationals, unable to defend NCAA title

Courtesy of The ACC

Justyn Knight took second place at nationals on Saturday. The Orange, though, couldn't defend its national title from last year.

Justyn Knight’s second place finish at the national championship was not enough to carry Syracuse to its second-straight national title.

No. 5 SU conceded its national champion status on Saturday to No. 1 Northern Arizona. Northern Arizona was led by fourth-place finisher Futsum Zienasellassie (29:49.8), a redshirt senior.

In the 10-kilometer race, Syracuse’s fastest runner, Knight, finished in second place with a time of 29:27.3, and was followed by his Syracuse teammate Colin Bennie, who finished in 17th place (30:10.4).

The rest of the Orange’s top five ran well, but not well enough, with Joel Hubbard (30:21.3) in 34th place, Philo Germano (30:32.5) in 49th place and Adam Visokay (30:55.5) in 108th place.

Syracuse’s usual third-place runner, Illias Aouani (31:06.4), finished as its seventh-place runner on the day, in 128th place, with Kevin James (30:58.6) also placing ahead of him, in 116th place. That unusual drop proved too big for the Orange to overcome.

Last year, Chris Fox’s Syracuse team won the national title with 82 points. This year, the Orange finished with 164 points, falling to the 125 points of Northern Arizona and the 158 points of No. 3 Stanford.

Finishing at the top of the race was Patrick Tiernan (29:22.0) of Villanova. Tiernan and Knight were able to hold off Edward Cheserek (29:48.0) of Oregon, a senior, who was the three-time defending national champion.

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