Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Michael Phillips is headed to Syracuse

I don't know which university has the most Foot Locker finalists on their cross-country rosters, but Syracuse University has to be near the top. The Orange boast eight athletes who raced at Foot Locker Cross-Country Nationals in high school, four men and four women. On the men's side, Mickey Burke was fourth in the 2015 Foot Locker Nationals, Noah Affolder sixth in 2016, Joseph Dragon 30th in 2015, and Nathan Henderson 39th in 2016. For the women, Emma Wilson placed 15th in the 2015 Foot Locker Nationals, Kelsey Potts 17th in 2014, Madeleine Davison 28th in 2015, and Julien Webster 30th in 2016.

When the 2018 season opens, Syracuse adds another Foot Locker finalist. Chiles High senior Michael Phillips, sixteenth in the boys' 5K at the 2017 Foot Locker Cross-Country Nationals, has committed to the Orange.

Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips

Phillips isn't just a Foot Locker finalist. He won the FHSAA class 3A boys' cross-country title in 2016, then he did it again in 2017. During the 2017 track season, Phillips posted personal bests of 9:05.22 in the 3200, 4:13.53 in the 1600, and 1:56.95 in the 800. He may yet improve on those marks; the 2018 season is still ahead.

Like Florida State University, Syracuse competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Orange have won ACC men's cross-country title five years in a row since 2013, the year that Syracuse joined the conference. During that same 2013-2017 period, the Syracuse men won the 2015 NCAA-D1 National Championship in cross-country. It was the second cross-country national title for Syracuse; the men also won the crown in 1951.


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