Syracuse hurdlers swept the top three places at the recent Southern Tier Collegiate Open in Ithaca, N.Y., and here’s the remarkable thing: All three are from South Jersey! And two of them are from Deptford!
Syracuse junior Tyler Garland won the 60-meter highs in 8.01, sophomore Jamil Adams was second in 8.09 and freshman Naseem Smith ran 8.26 for third.
Garland and Smith graduated from Deptford and Adams from Winslow.
Syracuse is one hurdler away from an all-South Jersey shuttle hurdles team! Hey, Sincere Rhea, maybe you should transfer from Penn State to Syracuse! Just kidding!!!
None of this should be too surprising considering one of Syracuse’s coaches is former Winslow star Reuben McCoy, who went on to a multiple All-America career at Auburn and was runner-up in the 400-meter intermediates at NCAA’s and was a finalist at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Let’s take a look at each South Jersey hurdler:
TYLER GARLAND: Garland placed third in the 110 highs in May at the NCAA Division 3 nationals, finishing only 3-100ths of a second out of first. He ran as fast as 14.28 with legal wind outdoors.
Garland was the state Group 3 champ over the 39-inch highs for Deptford in 2016. He competed for Rowan College at Gloucester County in 2017, where he was a JUCO All-America before attending Rowan.
The Southern Tier was Garland’s first race for Syracuse. He ran 8.06 in the trials and 8.01 in the final. His PR at Rowan was 8.24, which he ran last February in a meet at the Armory.
Garland’s time is No. 7 in the ACC so far this year.
JAMIL ADAMS: Adams tied his PR of 8.11 in the trials and then PR’d just behind Garland with his 8.09 in the final. He had run 8.11 previously at ACCs two years ago.
Adams, a 2017 Winslow graduate, was a state group 3 champ in both the 110 highs and intermediates at Winslow.
He competed in the spring of 2018 for Syracuse and ran as fast as 53.10 in the intermediates but did not compete last year. He returned to action this winter, and the Southern Tier meet was only his second competition in the last 19 months.
His 8.09 is No. 9 so far this winter in the ACC.
Adams also ran on Syracuse’s 1,600-meter relay team at the Southern Tier meet. The Orange won the race in 3:30.26.
NASEEM SMITH: Smith, Garland’s former teammate at Deptford, was state Group 3 champ in the highs this past spring with a 13.98 and then ran a PR 13.95 for third in a very fast race at the Meet of Champions.
He began his collegiate career with an 8.14 win last month at the Greg Page Relays, also at Ithaca. He ran 8.19 in the trials at the Southern Tier race before his 8.26 in the final.
With his 8.14 he’s No. 11 in the ACC and No. 2 among freshmen, behind Clemson’s Devon Brooks, who ran 7.80.
Slightly off topic, but the Southern Tier meet was held at Ithaca’s Barton Hall, home of one of the most legendary Grateful Dead concerts ever held – May 8, 1977.