The North Carolina Cross Country team took care of business on Thursday at Elon in its first meet of the year. Both the men’s and women’s teams won the team competition, and Caroline Alcorta took home the first place in the women’s meet.
UNC ran with an abbreviated roster today, choosing to sit out 10 to 11 male runners in favor of rest, but that didn't deter the Tar Heels.
The women’s team ran through the rain to victory, but the weather cleared for the men. Coach Mark Vanalstyne said the rain saved the runners from the heat they otherwise would’ve faced.
Alcorta, a junior, won the meet, and Morgan Ilse, a sophomore, came in second. The other three scoring runners placed 5th, 6th and 9th to seal out the win.
The men’s team rallied behind a pack of three runners — sophomore Nick Walker, redshirt senior Chris Madaffari and first-year Mark Myers — who finished within seconds of each other. The final two in the scoring five finished in 13th and 15th to lock in the UNC victory.
When was it decided?
Alcorta and Ilse lead from the start and held on to finish first and second. The other women in UNC’s top five were not in the front to begin with, but closed the gap to finish in the top nine.
Walker, Madaffari and Myers started in the middle of the group, but they didn't stay there for long. The trio picked off their competition to finish in the top 10 by the race’s end, setting up UNC to win.