Syracuse begins life after Pagano at Harry Lang Invitational

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The women’s team lost Sarah Pagano, but added freshmen that have the potential to keep Syracuse competitive in its first Atlantic Coast Conference season.With almost the entire team back, the Orange has the experience to succeed this season, assistant coach Raynee DeGrio said. Pagano is the only senior SU’s women’s team lost, but she played a key role in bringing in victories. “It is definitely hard to fill a void like [Sarah],” DeGrio said. The women’s team is ranked fifth in the Northeast region for the 2013 season after finishing sixth in the Northeast Regional as well as the Big East championship last season. Coming up four places short of the NCAA championship meet, DeGrio is determined to get a bid for the meet this year. The women’s and men’s teams will run in their opening meet Saturday at the Harry Lang Invitational in Hamilton, N.Y.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Not only getting back to the national meet is important,” DeGrio said, “but showing that we are one of the premier cross country programs in the country is our goal.” This season, rather than focusing on each player individually, the team is taking a more group-centered mentality. Last season, there were several meets where it came down to a few points to determine the winning team. With the help of talented new freshmen, Syracuse could be well on its way to the NCAA championship meet, DeGrio said. There are a few new runners on the team that have backgrounds in high-level competition. Freshman Michelle Duffy, who attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School, was part of a four-person group that finished first in the 3200-meter relay at the New York State Championships last year. Sophomore Fiona Hendry was an All-American at Division III Haverford (Pa.) College before transferring to SU this summer.They have been able to adjust to college-level sports with no problems, junior Katherine Fleischer said. “Since there are less of them it is easier for them to adjust and bond with the team,” Fleischer said. With Syracuse moving from the Big East to the ACC, the women’s team will be encountering several new teams including Florida State. Competing in the ACC, DeGrio said, will be a “familiar feeling situation just with different jerseys.” Comments Published on September 5, 2013 at 1:02 pmlast_img read more