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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC cross country teams falter in last meet before ACC Championships

The North Carolina’s cross country teams performed poorly in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday. The women finished 30th out of 31 teams while the men finished in last.

What happened?

The Tar Heels raced in a field that included 30 other teams, 19 of which were ranked — including the top three teams in the NCAA.

On the women’s side, Morgan Ilse finished 65th overall and was the first Tar Heel to finish the 6k. Following Ilse closely were three first-years, Mady Clahane, Blair Ramsey and Erin Edmunsen.

For the men, senior Mark Derrick led North Carolina and finished 72nd overall. Derrick was followed by two first-years, Jeremy Brown and Mark Myers, who both finished in the 27th minute in the 8k. The men’s team was rounded out by another first-year, Matt Thornton.

Who stood out?

Ilse, a sophomore, finished at 65 overall and was the first Tar Heel to finish. Ilse’s time of 21:05 was a personal record.

Derrick led the men’s team with a 72nd place finish. Derrick finished at 24:50, just 44 seconds off his personal best.

When was it decided?

Justyn Knight of Syracuse won the men’s race, and was followed by a Northern Arizona runner in second. The rest of Northern Arizona’s men’s team took home the win with the lowest score 78, which was 40 points lower than the second-place team. The Tar Heels couldn’t catch up with the Lumberjacks or many of the other teams Friday.

On the women’s side, Washington secured the victory. The Tar Heels finished 30th out of 31 teams, edging out Columbia.

Why does it matter?

In the last meet before ACC Championships, UNC didn’t outperform its competition. But, though the Tar Heels may be lacking momentum, they’ve gained experience. 

UNC has competed against the top three teams in the country as well as 16 other ranked teams thanks to the meet on Friday.

Heading into ACC’s and the NCAA Championships, North Carolina will be prepared to face the best runners in the country and continue to improve its times.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heel’s next meet is the ACC Championships on October 28.


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