Noah Affolder, Aidan Tooker advance to NCAA steeplechase final

first_img Published on June 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmerman The first night of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships was the last night of the season for SU’s Matt Moore, who failed to advance to the 110-meter hurdles final, and Colin Bennie, who claimed ninth place in the 10K final. But Wednesday was not the end for steeples Aidan Tooker and Noah Affolder, who qualified for the final.The strategy for the SU steeples was clear: hang back until the last few laps, then burst into the top five places to qualify for the final. The plan worked for sophomore Tooker and freshman Affolder, who will both represent Syracuse in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase final on Friday.In the steeplechase semifinal, both Tooker (8:40.24) and Affolder (8:40.36) qualified for the final by finishing in the top five in their heats. Tooker recorded the fifth-fastest time and Affolder, who won his heat, finished seventh overall.In the first heat, Tooker paced himself in the back of the pack for the majority of the race until surging in the final lap. He barely finished in the top five, leaning past the finish line 0.01 seconds before Houston’s Brian Barraza.Like Tooker, Affolder hung back before making his move with two laps to go. Affolder briefly overtook everyone to start the final lap, jockeying for position with Stanford’s Steven Fahy. Fahy stumbled through the last water trap and Affolder muscled past him to win the heat with a personal-best time.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor most of the 10K race, Bennie lurked around tenth place, within striking distance. He could not create separation when the leaders picked up the pace for the final lap, and settled into ninth place, capping a four-year career for the Orange.In the 110-meter hurdles, Moore crossed fifth in the third heat, wrapping up a stellar season in which he earned an honorable mention to the All-American team. Although he cleared every hurdle cleanly, he did not have the pace to keep up with the top runners from Illinois, LSU and Florida State.The action resumes tomorrow at 7:32 p.m. ET when Paige Stoner looks to continue her dominance in the women’s 3000m steeplechase semifinal. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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