The North Carolina men’s cross country team finished first in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University on Friday morning.
In the Men’s College Gold 8k race, first-year Parker Wolfe was the first Tar Heel to cross the finish line with a fifth-place time of 23:38.9. Seconds later, multiple Tar Heel racers followed suit. Senior Jack Aho finished eighth, followed by junior John Tatter in 10th, first-year Will Coogan in 14th and sophomore Marshall Williamson in 19th. These racers secured the winning score for UNC with a total of 56 points.
It was a narrow win, with second place Villanova scoring one point more.
The remaining Tar Heels finished a little after 24 minutes with first-year Ethan Strand coming in 43rd, junior Jesse Hunt in 46th and first-year Michael Spragley in 75th.
Three first-years competed in the Open Men’s 8k race to open the meet. Andrew Lauer led the young group, finishing 28th with a time of 25:30.1. Jason Thompson finished right behind at 36th, and Tommy Gaffey wrapped up the race for UNC in 57th place with a time of 25:47.4.
Who stood out?
First-years Wolfe and Coogan made significant contributions to the Tar Heels’ victory. Wolfe, the 2020-21 Gatorade National Player of the Year for cross country, has been consistent in leading the team to first place, coming in first in the entire race at the Adidas XC Challenge and being the first Tar Heel to finish the race on Friday. Coogan has often found himself among the scoring runners as well, proving the UNC cross country program is in good hands moving forward.
Aho, Tatter, and Williamson were also standouts for the Tar Heels as they took the role of veteran leadership among the scorers.