The North Carolina cross country team competed in the ACC Championships on Friday where the women placed fifth and the men finished seventh. This was the best finish for the women since the group also took fifth in 2015.
In the women’s 6k run, first-year Sasha Neglia finished sixth with a time of 20:24.6, making her the first Tar Heel to cross the line. Senior Paige Hofstad finished with a time of 20:35.3 to put herself in 11th place.
In 19th place, first-year Kelsey Harrington finished with a time of 20:41.1. Senior Emmeline Fisher finished with a time of 20:56.5 and placed 32nd.
In 50th place was first-year Taryn Parks as she finished with a time of 21:20.2. With a time of 21:31.1, senior Mady Clahane finished in 59th place. First-year Sarah Trainor finished 78th with a time of 21:53.3. Junior Camryn Petit finished with a time of 22:39.7 and finished in 104th place.
The men’s team performed well in the 8k run as junior John Tatter finished 28th with a time of 23:51.0. In 38th place was first-year Will Coogan as he finished with a time of 24:08.2.
Sophomore Marshall Williamson finished with a time of 24:11.5, good enough for 41st place. First-year Patrick Anderson finished right behind as he placed 42nd with a time of 24:12.1.
With a time of 24:19.1, first-year Dolan Owens finished 52nd. Graduate student Alex Milligan finished 55th with a time of 24:21.0. In 68th place, first-year Michael Spragley finished with a time of 24:32.1.
Who stood out?
Neglia once again led the women’s team in the 6k race with her sixth-place finish to continue her stellar first-year season. Her performance earned All-ACC honors and ACC Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year.
When was it decided?
The women’s 6k run saw close finishes for schools three through six. The Tar Heels earned fifth over Notre Dame, even though both teams finished with 116, North Carolina placed higher in the rankings. The Tar Heels missed fourth place by three points and were nine points off third place.
Why does it matter?
Head coach Chris Miltenberg normally is not a numbers person — he focuses on every practice with as much importance as meets — but he raved about how the team improved over a season.
The team improved in the standings compared to the 2019 ACC Championships. The women placed four runners in the top 33 on Friday, whereas in 2019 the team only placed two within that mark. and trajectory.”
The team improved in the standings compared to the 2019 ACC Championships. The women placed four runners in the top 33 on Friday, whereas the 2019 team only placed two within that mark.
Miltenberg said the plan is for the program to become an ACC powerhouse and meets like this are a sign the team is not there yet but they are on the right track.
“We want to have men’s and women’s teams at nationals competing for trophies and winning ACC titles, and we’re not there yet,” Miltenberg said. “But man, the growth we took in a year shows we’re going to get there, and this is going to work over time."
When do they play next?
The Division 1 Board of Directors approved a proposal to move fall NCAA championships to the spring, and the men’s and women’s cross country race is scheduled for March 15, 2021. It remains to be seen if UNC will participate in this tournament.
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