After finishing first in both the men’s and women’s races at the Elon Opener, the North Carolina cross country team traveled to Cary on Friday for the Adidas XC Challenge at WakeMed Soccer Park. The men’s team finished fifth out of 12 teams while the women placed second in a field of 17 teams.
Both the men’s and women’s teams raced distances that were shorter than normal. The men, who usually compete in 8k races, raced on a 6k course while the women, who usually compete in 6k races, raced on a 5k course.
Because of this, Coach Mark VanAlstyne used the competition as an opportunity to get the team’s newcomers some valuable collegiate experience in a low pressure environment. First-years made up half of UNC’s entrants in both the men’s and women’s race.
Senior Joe Sansone led the men’s team, finishing in tenth place with a time of 18:17.5.
North Carolina showed remarkable consistency, placing five other runners in the top 35, but lacked the finishing to overcome strong outings from ACC foes Virginia, NC State, and Florida State.