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The Daily Tar Heel

Teamwork Focus Propels UNC to Place 2nd

On a rainy Saturday morning at the Finley cross country course, the UNC men's alumni team defeated the present Tar Heel team, while Coastal Carolina eked out a 3-point win over the UNC women's team.

But Whittlesey was satisfied by the second-place finishes. He even kept his top four women from competing.

"We wanted to put some of the other girls in the position where they had to win or lose the race," he said. "It's important that they know they have to perform as well."

The Tar Heel women's team fulfilled its cooperative goal for the race, finishing in the top 10, taking places five, six, eight and 10.

Led by Jennie Sucher with a time of 18:18, the Tar Heels women's team all finished within 28 seconds of each other.

"Overall though, I was pleased with the girls' performances," Whittlesey said. "We got nipped by Coastal Carolina today, but that's the team we put out today, and they had a good race."

Coastal Carolina's Anne Marie Moutsinga finished in first place, running the 5 kilometers in 17:40. She was followed by UNC alumna Joan Mabe and Coastal Carolina teammate Kara Koppel.

Although Whittlesey didn't take out his top runners on the men's side, his focus remained on a team-oriented game plan.

Before the race, Whittlesey told his top runner Brian McGovern to race a solid 5k with the team and to race the final 3k with nothing to lose.

McGovern sped up in the final quarter of the race and jumped from fifth to second place. "Basically, I went through the 5k with the team," he said. "Then with the 2k to go, I tried to make up some of the room. Overall, I feel like I did what I needed to do for the team."

Although McGovern placed second, it wasn't enough to hold back the UNC alumni, who put five of their runners in the top 10, including winner Andre Williams.

Williams won the 8k race in 25:28, with McGovern four seconds behind.

UNC's Joel Thomas secured sixth place with a time of 26:06. Following Thomas came a pack of four Tar Heel runners led by David Stroupe. They finished 10th through 13th.

The four were 18 seconds apart and rounded out the Tar Heel scorers.

"Our team came through and did exactly what we needed to do -- work together," McGovern said. "But the alumni are just great."

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