Malone and Hehir shine for Syracuse cross country.

The men's team placed second in Boston and the women's team placed seventh in Minnesota.

This time last year, Margo Malone was just another freshman trying to adjust to the grind of college life. Now, after another solid performance at the Roy Griak Invitational over the weekend, she’s emerged as the star of Syracuse’s cross country team.

Malone led the charge once again on Saturday, finishing 22nd and leading the Orange to a 7th place finish overall out of 28 teams. Junior Jesse Petersen (22:07), senior Brenna Symoniak (22:08) and sophomore Brianna Nerud (22:09) also contributed for Syracuse, finishing 51st, 52nd and 53rd, respectively.

But it was Malone who stole the show, as she’s done all year. After a rocky freshman campaign last fall, she came back to campus in the spring with an entirely different mindset, and the results have been apparent — first place in the Harry Lang Invitational to open 2013 and a 7th place finish at the Dartmouth Invitational a week later. And Syracuse has needed it, breaking in a young team after losing three-time all-Big East selection Sarah Pagano to graduation.

“Margo, like any freshman, had a tough first season,” senior Alexandra Clinton said. “Towards the end of spring track she was really running well, turning things around. She came in this year in great shape and has been running awesome.”

On the men’s side, the Orange put together another strong early season effort. Syracuse took second, behind only No. 12 Oregon, at the Boston College Invitational. Every SU runner finished in the top-20 overall. Martin Hehir almost took the top spot for the Orange, placing third with a time of 24:12 — just one second behind the leader. Juniors Reed Kamyszek and Ryan Urie also contributed for Syracuse, with times of 24:29 and 24:37, good enough for 14th and 16th place, respectively.

Syracuse will get a two-week break before heading to the Princeton Invitational on October 19. 

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