O’Donnell Wins Title on Night 1 of ACCs

O'Donnell Wins Title on Night 1 of ACCs

From unseeded to ACC Champion – Paul O’Donnell started the three-day ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship in thrilling fashion for the Orange track and field squads.

O’Donnell turned in a facility record of 13:50.94 in the men’s 5000-meter run early on Thursday afternoon, racing in the unseeded section of the meet. Later that evening, 16 men raced in the seeded section of the meet. The ACC boasts nine of the nation’s top-50 5,000-meter run times, but O’Donnell’s time held off the entirety of the field to claim the title.

O’Donnell passed Louisville’s Ian Kibiwot in the final lap of his race, which turned in the top-five scorers of the event. Teammate Noah Carey (14:05.67) finished 10th, followed by Assaf Harari (14:08.27) in 14th. Ethan Wechsler (14:18.28), Sam Lawler (14:25.17), Alex Comerford (14:31.78) and Nathan Lawler (14:33.06) also raced for the Orange.

The 10 points collected by O’Donnell places Syracuse in a tie for eighth place in the team standings, with just four of 17 events completed.

The women’s 5k saw two ‘Cuse runners finish in the top-four. Savannah Roark – who was a cross country All-American this fall – wrapped up her first career ACC Indoor race on the podium, taking third in 16:04.75. The 2021 event champion Amanda Vestri finished fourth in 16:05.17 to start her double on the weekend.

Vestri led for much of the race before Kelsey Chmiel of NC State overtook her late en route to the championship. Ellie Lawler (16:45.87) was 17th behind Roark and Vestri.

The ‘Cuse duo collected 11 points, which places Syracuse in sixth overall after the first day of the event. Despite just five-of-17 events scored thus far, the Orange are already guaranteed to finish with their highest scoring total since at least 2019.

The lone other final for Syracuse on Thursday was the men’s Distance Medley Relay. The squad came away ninth in 9:43.49. Virginia was initially crowned champion in what was a historically fast meet – with two schools below the meet record in the event – but were eventually disqualified for making an exchange outside the exchange zone. Virginia Tech (9:28.86) was ruled the winner.

In prelims, Kaleia Arrington set a new personal-best mark in the 200-meter dash (24.81), but fell outside the time needed to advance to Saturday’s final. Peyton Rolins (25.45) also raced in the event.

James Nmah (21.98) and Carlton Landingham (22.06) also turned in new PRs in the 200, taking 15th and 16th, but also did not advance.

The meet…

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