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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels earn four top-10 finishes as UNC cross country sweeps Paul Short Run

Then First-year Parker Wolfe finishes first in a 6000-meter race on Sept. 17, 2021. Photo courtesy of NC State Athletics.

The No.12 North Carolina women’s cross country team and the No. 13 North Carolina men’s cross country team both received first place in the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Friday. 

What happened?

The men kicked off the race first running in the Men’s College Gold 8k. 

After the first mile, sophomore Ethan Strand led the Tar Heels in eighth place and right behind him was sophomore Parker Wolfe in 10th. 

Junior Patrick Anderson was in 14th place after the first mile and made the biggest jump for North Carolina between then and the 5k mark, climbing to second place overall. 

The last checkpoint before the finish line was the 6.3k mark. Wolfe and Anderson made the jump to first and second place respectively. 

Wolfe and Anderson did not slow up and neither did the Tar Heels crossing the finish line. Wolfe and Anderson remained in first and second, and North Carolina was crowned first place with 64 points as a team, with five runners finishing in the top 25. The Villanova Wildcats took second place with 100 points. 

The North Carolina women competed in the Women's College Gold 6k race immediately after the men's team.

Sophomores Brynn Brown and Fatima Alanis got the Tar Heels started off in 12th and 13th place after mile one. 

After the second mile, junior Kelsey Harrington made a 12 place jump from 16th place to fourth place. Right behind her in fifth place were Brown and Alanis in ninth place. 

The last checkpoint was the finish line. Brown led the Tar Heels coming in sixth place, and Harrington came in eighth place. The women had five runners finish in the top 20 and the The Tar Heels managed to edge out the Georgetown Hoyas 63 to 67 to receive first place.

Who stood out?

Wolfe and Anderson dominated on the men’s side of the race. Wolfe ran a 23:02.4 and came in first place out of over 400 runners. Anderson ran a 23:04.4 to finish in second place. 

On the women’s side, Brown and Harrington helped the Tar Heels get two top-10 finishes out of 416 runners. Brown ran a 19:38.9 coming in sixth place and Harrington ran a 19:41.8 coming in eighth place. 

When was it decided?

For the men’s race, the Tar Heels held a 18 point lead over Villanova after the 6.3k checkmark. The Tar Heels extended this lead and won by 36 points. North Carolina has won the Paul Short Run for the second straight year. 

The women’s race was intense until the finish. After mile one, the Tar Heels trailed the Hoyas by four points. After the second mile, the Tar Heels held a one-point lead. Junior Taryn Parks jumped from 27th place after mile two to 12th place when she crossed the finish line. The Tar Heels escaped 63 to 67. 

Why does it matter?

The women’s team was ranked 12th in the country and the men was ranked 13th in the country coming into this race in Bethlehem. The women’s and men’s teams have not lost a single meet this year, coming in first place in the Charlotte Opener and the Coaching Tree Invitational previous to Friday's race, putting the team in a good position to potentially be ranked in the top-10 nationally.

When do they play next?

The team’s next meet is Oct. 14tin Madison, Wis., where the Tar Heels will compete in the Nuttycombe Invitational. 

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