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Graves, Molke reflect on Syracuse careers while qualifying for Olympic Trials

first_imgRobert Molke excitedly scanned the competition at the starting line.There was Meb Keflezighi, the reigning Boston Marathon champion and former silver Olympic medalist in the marathon. There was 2012 Olympian runner Diego Estrada. There was Sarah Pagano, a collegiate All-American runner — and also Molke’s girlfriend, so he wasn’t as surprised to see her.But Molke’s other fellow Syracuse graduate at the starting line, Griff Graves, was the most unexpected one. Molke didn’t know it, but his former teammate had scheduled to run in the race as well.On Jan. 18, Molke, Graves and Pagano each qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials with their performances at the USA Half Marathon Championships at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Graves and Molke finished at 1:03.27, just below the required bar of 1:05.00, and Pagano will join them in February 2016 in Los Angeles when they run at the Olympic Trials.This race wasn’t just proof of their training, but a testament to the familial atmosphere of SU running and an extraordinary friendship between Graves and Molke. Syracuse head coach Chris Fox introduced them when Molke was considering coming to Syracuse for the fall of 2009.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Wow. This guy’s really tall. He’s got really big ears,” Graves said he thought of Molke. “… I could tell immediately after meeting him, he’s the type of person you want to be around.”Before the race on Jan. 18, the trio formed a prayer circle. They used to do this before every race in college.To Pagano, Houston suddenly felt like Syracuse.“To feel that camaraderie… It was really cool,” she said. “It’s like a family, it’s comforting.”Those prayers are old habit.Freshman year, Graves joined an on-campus chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and, by the end of sophomore year, Molke joined him for the group’s regular meetings.Their faith and friendship grew stronger.They leaned on one another when obstacles emerged. Molke struggled physically to improve and Graves’ running growth stagnated due to nagging injuries.Fox praised their work ethic and reliance on another to move through those tough times.Graves and Molke earned multiple all-conference and all-regional honors. They held instrumental roles in Syracuse’s first cross-country Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 2013. That race was also their last cross-country meet together, as they both graduated the following spring.And they finished within 10 seconds of one another in that race.At the starting line in Houston they joked, “We should run together again, like old times.”The meeting in Houston was less coincidental than initially thought. They were both around the same point in their own training schedules, so as the race progressed they were sticking to the same pace.“We hadn’t seen each other in so long,” said Molke. “Yet there we were working with each other to get to the finish, just like we were back in Syracuse.”Their plan to run together was in jest, but as they reached the last few checkpoints of the 13.1-mile race, they were still together.Molke had trained for this moment, the final stretch, since summer. To build his endurance, he increased his mileage during his time at SU from around 70 miles per week to 115 miles. He ran to and from his job with the New York Road Runners, a running organization in New York City.Molke was the only one of the trio who wasn’t running professionally. Searching for a sense of team, he joined the New York Athletic Club and came to visit Fox in August. They mapped out a training routine, communicating regularly, and Molke said Fox’s help was instrumental.Then as the two men approached the finish line in Houston, Molke began to pull away from Graves.Graves caught up, grabbed Molke’s arm and they held hands as they crossed the tape together, finishing with the exact same time.“It felt like old times, running and racing together,” said Molke. “We’re not on the same ‘team’ anymore, but we’re still able to share the awesome feeling of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.”“I told Rob,” said Graves, “‘it’s a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life.’” Comments Published on January 28, 2015 at 12:03 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Eric Dungey becomes SU’s all-time passing leader in the third quarter against West Virginia

first_imgORLANDO, Fla.— Senior quarterback Eric Dungey is now Syracuse’s all-time leading passer. A third-quarter shovel pass to Chris Elmore of Friday evening’s Camping World Bowl pushed Dungey to 9,194 passing yards, passing Ryan Nassib (9,190 yards) atop the all-time list.Dungey entered his final game with SU on Friday holding 18 program records including passing yards per game (237.8), total offense (11,008) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (35). In 2018, he’s thrown for 2565 yards and 17 touchdowns while also rushing for 732 yards and 15 touchdowns.Dungey amassed this feat without playing a full season until this year. Missing four games his freshman season and three in his sophomore and junior years, Dungey’s passing touchdowns and yards are the most he’s had in a single season with the Orange. Comments Published on December 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more