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Thursday February 2nd

UNC cross country teams finish top four at ACC Championships

<p>Then first-year Parker Wolfe finishes first overall in a 6000-meter race, running a 17:48.0 Sept. 26, 2021 at North Carolina State University. <br>
Photo Courtesy of NC State Athletics.</p>
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Then first-year Parker Wolfe finishes first overall in a 6000-meter race, running a 17:48.0 Sept. 26, 2021 at North Carolina State University.
Photo Courtesy of NC State Athletics.

The North Carolina men’s and women’s cross-country teams placed third and fourth, respectively, at the ACC Championship on Friday in Earlysville, Va.

What happened?

The nationally-ranked No. 18 men’s team raced first, and its five scorers all finished in the top-30 to secure a third-place finish in the 8k race. The Tar Heels posted 87 points to place them behind Wake Forest’s 44-point finish and Syracuse’s 86-point finish, who earned first and second place.

No. 8 UNC’s women’s team followed the men’s races. The women also had all of its scorers place in the top 30 finishers, but no Tar Heels cracked into the top ten. UNC finished with a score of 109 points, which was enough to secure the fourth place spot.

NC State's top-ranked women's team dominated the top five finishes with three out of the five places occupied by Wolfpack runners. 

Who stood out? 

Sophomore Parker Wolfe finished second overall in the men’s 8k race with a season-best time of 22:56.1. Wolfe led the pack up through the 7k split, but Notre Dame sophomore Cater Solomon surpassed him in the final leg of the race. Wolfe was followed by Tar Heels Patrick Anderson and John Tatter, who finished 15th and 16th, respectively.

For the women’s team, sophomore Kelsey Harrington was the first Tar Heel to finish the 6k women’s race with a time of 19:59.1. She placed 11th overall and was backed up by sophomores Fatima Alanis and Sasha Neglia, who finished 20th and 21st overall. 

When was it decided?

After lagging behind in fourth place through the first four kilometers, the North Carolina men’s team pushed ahead to second-place by the 5k split. UNC lost some steam towards the end and a strong kick from Syracuse just edged out the Tar Heels and put the Orange ahead by one point.

The women’s teams for UNC, NC State, Virginia and Notre Dame were in close competition with each other throughout the 6k race. However, UNC held a consistent fourth place through each split behind Virginia, ultimately leading to the fourth place overall finish. 

Why does it matter?

The men’s third place finish is their best finish since the 2013 ACC Championship, where the team finished second.  

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 11 to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships – the qualifier for the NCAA national championships on Nov. 19. 

@carolinewills03

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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