first_imgWhen asked about the near end of their collegiate careers, nostalgia set in for Lauren Penney and Griff Graves.As freshmen, it seemed like college running would never end. But as spring nears, so does the end of the indoor season, which makes them realize time isn’t slowing down.“It may be close to the end for some runners, which is sad,” Syracuse head coach Chris Fox said. “But it is just another step for what should be an exciting next three months.On Saturday, the Orange will travel to Geneva, Ohio, for the Big East Indoor Championships. Although two indoor meets and the NCAA championships will follow in the beginning of March, this is a marquee event that is telling senior and post-graduate runners their races are numbered.Graves and Penney are post-graduate distance runners who have enjoyed elongated collegiate careers. After years of success, Penney looks to capture her first Big East championship on Saturday. After months of hard work, injury will sideline Graves this weekend as he looks to recover for the outdoor season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOne will run, one won’t. Yet their feelings on the beginning of the end are the same.“This is a step in ending college running for me, and ending Big East running for Syracuse,” Penney said. “I haven’t thought much about it, and with outdoor, I feel like I still have a lot of time. But now that I do think about it, it’s definitely sad.”Graves shared similar sentiments with Penney. Both are taken off guard as the end nears.“It’s weird to think that this indoor season, and then the outdoor season, are the last times that I’ll run in the NCAA,” Graves said. “It’s definitely a nostalgic feeling.”Both Penney and Graves smiled while thinking back to their freshman seasons.Penney only ran cross country, and was part of the first women’s team in program history to compete in the NCAA championship. She strained her quad before the 2009 spring season, and remembers hoping to run at the same level in the future.Graves only ran outdoor track as a freshman, and fondly recalls the experience of training with older runners.“I was one of the only freshmen to run outdoor track and it was really interesting being with the older guys back then,” Graves said. “Now I’m one of the older guys and I’m just trying to show the younger guys how to do it.”While Graves recovers from injury, he is confident his younger teammates will be successful this weekend. He and Penney hope the team can collect enough points for Syracuse to make its mark in its last year in the conference.“We want to finish in the top half of the Big East,” Fox said. “It’s sad that Griff isn’t running, because he was in great shape and had a good chance to win the 5K, and I do feel for bad for him.“For Lauren, she is one of the best runners in the country, and this is her chance to win a Big East championship which she hasn’t done yet, so this is a big deal to her.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories TRACK : Penney breaks Orange teammate’s mile record at Valentine’s Invitationalcenter_img Published on February 14, 2013 at 1:38 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img read more