CARY — It wasn’t really even that important of a race — it’s early in the season, a kilometer shorter than a typical race and the team didn’t taper down or spend months mentally preparing for it.
But it was Stella Radford’s first cross country race in America. The Australian sophomore transfer finished first for the North Carolina women's cross country teams at the Adidas XC Challenge, taking 13th place.
“It was massive. Just the field and everything,” Radford said. “But I didn’t want pressure for this race because it’s just like one for fun.”
The Tar Heels competed in 5-kilometer races at the Adidas XC Challenge on Friday evening at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Women usually race 6-kilometer races and men usuallyrace 8-kilometer races, so the 5-kilometer races were a chance for the teams to test their speed in a less-competitive environment. The team did not race all of its top runners.
The women’s team finished fourth out of 18 teams, while the men placed second to N.C. State in a field of 11 teams.