In the Men’s Open 5 Mile, junior Jesse Hunt placed 16th with a time of 25:03.40. First-year Matthew SantaMaria finished 50th with a time of 26:06.20. In the Women’s Open 5K, junior Emmeline Fisher, with her time of 18:04.19 placed 27th. In the same event redshirt junior Ashley Smith placed 51st with a time of 18:39.44.
When was it decided?
The Women’s Blue Division 5K, the first event Friday afternoon saw two Tar Heels finish in the top 100. As a result, the women were placed down in the rankings to start the meet. UNC finished 20th out of 24.
Similarly, the Men’s Blue Division 5 Mile saw only one Tar Heel placed in the top-100. North Carolina started hot, as through the first mile the team was 12th, but fell to 17th by the second split and eventually dropped to 21st out of 22 teams, where UNC would ultimately finish.
Who stood out?
Hunt placed 16th out of 113 competitors and was a bright spot for the men Friday afternoon. After transferring from Georgetown University, Hofstad continued to put up solid numbers for the Tar Heels.
Why does it matter?
Both the men and women saw tough competition. There were five top-10 programs in the country, and 10 of the top 30 teams in the nation in Women’s Blue Division 5K. For the men the competition has 12 nationally ranked teams out of the 21 competing teams in the Men’s Blue Division 5 Mile.
Head coach Chris Miltenberg said the team improved but must continue the optimistic and confident attitude moving forward.
“I think it’s continuing to run with more confidence,” Miltenberg said. “That we belong in these races and that we don’t line up and look at these other teams and feel like we don’t belong there.”
Miltenberg said in meets like this it’s important to improve and not feel overwhelmed by the competition.
“I think we got to focus on doing us, no matter where we’re at, no matter who else is there, no matter what’s going on,” Miltenberg said. “Our guys and our women are doing a great job of that at workouts, and we can do that in races, and we haven’t done that yet.”
Miltenberg said this needs to be the team’s biggest improvement before the Pre-National Invitational in two weeks.
Where do they play next?
North Carolina has two weeks to prepare before they travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to compete in the Pre-National Invitational Oct. 19.
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