“It’s kind of preseason, so working hard, going through it with the training block we’re doing and to still come out and win races, that’s very good,” coach Peter Watson said.
On the men’s side, senior Evan Watchempino won his second race in two weeks. He was the only student to complete the four-mile course in less than 20 minutes.
“He’s really fast,” said Brock Baker, a 2009 UNC graduate who ran in the event Friday. “I was fortunate enough to run on a team with him for the last couple of years and he’s a great teammate, great competitor.”
This victory makes back-to-back wins for Watchempino, a feat that he has never accomplished at the collegiate level. It is also the third time he has won this event.
“It’s kind of a good way to get the season rolling,” Watchempino said. “The Boone meet was a good way to start, too, but just the fact of coming out here three times — especially given that it’s the home meet — it’s pretty cool.”
Patrick Schellberg, a freshman from Morristown, N.J., finished second. Six of the runners finished in the top eight and all seven of the men who ran finished in the top 20.
Senior Adam Cunningham did not compete for the men’s team. Senior Ashley Verplank and junior Kendra Schaaf did not compete for the women’s team, leaving mostly underclassmen on the course Friday.
“Both teams are really young, but anytime you can win and you start to get that mindset that you’re going to win every time you line up, it helps,” Watson said.
The teams are now setting their sights on the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 2 in Madison, Wis. Watson expects the level of competition to increase.
“We better be ready to run and if we aren’t, then we’re going to be in big trouble,” he said. “But I think we’ll be ready once we get to Wisconsin.”
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