On Friday, the North Carolina cross country team took part in the men’s and women’s ACC Championships at Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, Mass. The men’s group finished in ninth place and the women’s team finished in 11th place. Enyaeva Michelin stood out in the competition, as the first-year captured All-ACC honors.
After finishing in the top six at all three previous competitions this year, the men’s side looked to continue their streak of solid racing on Friday. The squad ended with a ninth-place finish, two spots better than last year's finish at the ACC Championship.
The Tar Heel men were led by Jeremy Brown and Alex Milligan. Brown finished in 31st place with a time of 24:28.1, while Milligan was just seven-tenths of a second behind him in 32nd place with a time of 24:28.8.
The women, who had finished in 19th in their most recent competition, had the type of promising performance that earned them a second place result in the Charlotte Opener.
The squad finished in 11th, thanks in part to an All-ACC performance by Michelin. Michelin finished 12th with a time of 20:45.2, just 37 seconds behind the race winner.
Who stood out?
Michelin continued to demonstrate why she has been one of the top runners in the ACC with her fourth finish in the top 31, and her third finish in the top 14 this season. Head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough had nothing but high praises for the first-year Michelin after the race.
“She had a terrific day,” Grove-McDonough said. “She was really our only runner who was at the front like that, and it’s exciting for us to build around that because she’s the future of the program.”
When was it decided?
On the men's side, Brown and Milligan crossed the finish line within one second of each other to help the team with its promising finish. Graduate student Nick Golebiowski finished soon after his teammates, crossing the finish line in 36th place.
On the women’s side, Michelin looked to be in trouble after just 1.5 kilometers. At that point she was in 27th place, but she made up the ground over the remainder of the race to earn all-conference honors with her 12th-place finish.
Why does it matter?
This was North Carolina’s final competition before the NCAA Southeast Regional. It was encouraging to see three Tar Heel men finish in the top 36 runners and improve two spots from last year's finish.
As far as the women’s team goes, the bounce back from a 19th place result at Penn State provides a piece of optimism going into the NCAA competition.
“If you have an off day in this conference, you’re going to pay and that’s what happened to us today,” Grove-McDonough commented after the race.
When do they play next?
The cross country team will compete in the NCAA Southeast Regionals on Nov. 9. The event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. that morning.
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