For the North Carolina men’s cross country team, the ACC Championships could not come soon enough. After a disappointing finish at the Wisconsin Invite two weeks ago, the Tar Heels were looking to get the bad taste out of their mouths.
And with a second place finish after Friday’s final race, they did just that.
After a kilometer, Tar Heel runners held three of the top four spots in the race, not the recipe for success coach Mark VanAlstyne had wanted.
“I thought we got out a little bit aggressive again,” VanAlstyne said. “And we did that at Wisconsin and you know it cost us a bit up there. I would have preferred them to take a more conservative approach and be sitting in behind the lead pack.”
The fast start began to take its toll halfway through the race as senior Pat Schellberg, junior Ryan Walling and senior John Raneri began to lose places, and many thought that Syracuse had virtually locked up the race. That was when the veteran upperclassmen began their charge.