first_img Comments Published on January 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb In 7.61 seconds, Jarret Eaton established himself, for now, as the most premier hurdler in Syracuse’s history. And if Flings Owusu-Agyapong could have finished the 60-meter dash just .04 seconds quicker, she would have also placed her name even deeper into the Orange’s record books.‘Jarret was exceptional, the fastest time in the country. It doesn’t get better than that,’ head coach Chris Fox said. ‘For Flings, it was a super start. She’s healthy and she’s going to run fast enough to make nationals. The sky is the limit for these two.’Owusu-Agyapong finished the 60-meter dash in 7.40 seconds at the Cornell Upstate Challenge on Saturday, narrowly missing the school record she set last season. At the same meet, Eaton’s 7.61-second performance in the 60-meter hurdle broke not only an SU record, but also set a new national record for this season.This weekend, the Orange will be competing in two locations — the Boston University Terrier Invitational and the Penn State National Invitational — where Owusu-Agyapong and Eaton will be competing, looking to build on their performances at Cornell.Though she didn’t break her record from last season, Owusu-Agyapong’s time at Cornell’s Barton Hall still secured her spot in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Indoor Championship in early March. Eaton’s time, which he says didn’t top his personal best, qualified him for the Big East, IC4A and NCAA championships later this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It felt pretty good to get my first one out of the way,’ Eaton said. ‘I’m looking forward to get back to where I was last year, and if I can do that, things are OK.’In his first meet of the season, Eaton showed no signs of rust. Eaton’s record-breaking performance also showed his coaches that his capabilities and potential for the season are high.SU assistant coach Chris Hegland said in just one meet, he saw that both Eaton and Owusu-Agyapong were in near-perfect shape physically at the beginning of the season.‘They showed that they are in good shape right now,’ said Hegland, who works often with sprinters and hurdlers. ‘It’s a good indicator that they’re fit, and hopefully we can keep them moving forward.’In addition to their strong performances in competition, both Owusu-Agyapong and Eaton feel they have become team leaders. Fox said he can tell the younger members of the team to look up to Eaton, and for good reason, considering he’s been at SU for five years and is one of the team’s best competitors.And for Owusu-Agyapong, the support goes both ways. Though she tries to be a role model for the young runners, she’s also able to take advantage of the support they show her.‘There are a lot of young girls here that need some guidance,’ Owusu-Agyapong said. ‘I feel like I provide that leadership to get us all going as a team when we are at a meet. I’m there for them, and they are also there for me as well.’Although the season is just getting started, the team has its sights on the NCAA championships at the end of the season. Owusu-Agyapong said she hopes to clinch an automatic qualification for the nationals with her performances in the next few weeks.And Hegland said what Owusu-Agyapong and Eaton do now is only the buildup to what they could do toward the end of the year.‘The goal for both of them, just like everybody else, is to keep getting better every day and every week and keep working hard,’ said Hegland. ‘It’s all about what they can do at the end of the year. The expectation now is to keep working real hard, stay healthy and compete a lot better later in the season.’Since he’s already clinched his spot in nationals on March 9-10, much of Eaton’s focus now will be putting his role as a leader to good use and helping his teammates, who will be there with him in Nampa, Idaho.‘I expect to stay composed, keep running fast, stay healthy and continue to help my team get there as well,’ Eaton said. ‘I don’t want to be the only one going to nationals. I want my team there, too. Hopefully, we can make that happen.’pmdabbra@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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