Syracuse wins first Cross Country title in 64 years
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - After 64 years, the Syracuse men's cross country team returned to the top of the podium as the 2015 national champions.
The Orange, which hadn't reached the podium at the NCAA Championship since 1957, entered the race No. 2 in the rankings, took down unanimous No. 1 Colorado by placing three runners in the top-10.
Syracuse secured 82 points in the victory, with Colorado (91), Stanford (151), Oregon (183) and Iona (231) rounding out the top-five behind 'Cuse.
Sophomore Justyn Knight led the way for the Orange, taking fourth overall in 29:46.1, with teammates Colin Bennie and Martin Hehir right behind, as they have been all season, in eighth and ninth overall.
Bennie completed the 10k course in 29:55.9 and Hehir crossed the line in 29:59.5.
Philo Germano (39th/30:29.8) and Joel Hubbard (47th/30:31.5) rounded out the Syracuse scoring, with Dan Lennon (65th/30:41.6) and Joe Kush (123rd/31:10.2) serving as the sixth and seventh 'Cuse runners. The late push by Germano and Hubbard is what secured the title for the Orange, as Germano passed 14 runners in the final 2k, with Hubbard reeling in four competitors over that span.
Syracuse is the first program east of the Mississippi River since Tennessee won it in 1972. The title is also the first for any sport at Syracuse since the men's lacrosse team won the 2009 National Championship.
With their performances, Knight, Bennie, Hehir and Germano all earned All-America honors.
The title is the culmination of an 11-year building process by head coach Chris Fox and his staff, which took a program who consistently wasn't even qualifying for the NCAA Championships and turned in its second-straight top-five finish. This Orange squad is littered with regional talent, with three of today's seven competitors hailing from New York, two from Massachusetts, one from Pennsylvania and one from Ontario.
The women's team also turned in a historic performance, with the squad finishing 12th overall – its second-best finish in program history behind 2010's 10th-place finish.
Margo Malone led the Orange across the line at the NCAA Championship for the third time in her career, taking 52nd overall. Malone completed the 6k course in 20:32.6, with teammate Shaylyn Tuite closely following, taking 55th overall with a time of 20:33.5.
Sydney Leiher (68th/20:38.7), Cassia Hameline (141st/21:08.6) and Rebecca Skodis(21:20.2/171st) rounded out the 'Cuse scoring.
Stephanie Bitcon (208th/21:43.9) and Mary Malone (230th/22:07.7) were the sixth and seventh finishers for the Orange.