McLeod was the only member of the men’s team that raced Saturday who had also raced at the ACC Championship, where he finished 71st in the 8K.
McLeod said he thought the meet was a good opportunity for those who had redshirted to get a chance to compete.
“I guess as a team we did alright. This unit that ran today is kind of focused on track now, just because we’re done,” he said.
On the women’s side, sophomore Jill Hardies led the way with an eighth-place finish. Hardies redshirted last season and hadn’t raced a cross country meet since the state meet of her senior year of high school.
“It was definitely an adjustment getting used to the hurt again,” she said. “But it was good; I was happy with it. I felt like I was mentally in it the whole time.”
Hardies was followed by junior Caroline O’Hea, who placed 10th. Freshman Emma Astrike-Davis — the only other UNC athlete who competed Saturday who had also competed at ACC’s — placed 12th, and senior Kylie McCoy placed 20th to finish out the race.
“I was thrilled for Jill Hardies and Caroline O’Hea,” VanAlstyne said. “They’ve worked really hard this year and came up just short of making our ACC and NCAA squads, so to see them have a good race and that their hard work is paying off is nice.”
Hardies said she and other members on the team wish they could have had a few more racing opportunities this season, but they are ready to carry their training into track season.
“I think we’re all happy with it, especially the girls who haven’t raced at all this season,” she said. “We just need to keep the momentum going, and we’ve had a solid block of training during cross country, so that’s very important to carry over into track.”