Photo courtesy UNC Athletic Communications
The UNC Cross Country men and women were back in action Saturday morning in Boone for the Mountains to Sea Open. Both teams ran well and took home first-place team finishes.
First on to the course was the women’s team for their 5-kilometer race. They were led by a 1-2 finish from junior Morgan Ilse and sophomore Maddy Clahane. This was Ilse’s first race of the season and she wasted no time in proving that she is ready to go, taking the race from the gun and finishing in 17:13. Clahane would finish in 17:42, four seconds ahead of third place.
Also in the top-ten was senior Casey Greenwalt who took 6th in 17:59, as well as first-year Lindsey Lanier taking ninth with a 18:09. The fifth, sixth, and seventh Tar Heels across were sophomore Erin Edmundson, senior Emma Astrike-Davis, and sophomore Blair Ramsey, all within three seconds of each other in 11th-13th place. Thanks to a runner in the top-10 running unattached, these finishes were good enough for the Heels to go down as officially placing their entire top-7 in the top-12 of the team race. This was more than good enough for the win as the team scored 27 points well ahead of second place Appalachian State with 60 points. Not to go unmentioned, senior Blake Dodge finished in 23rd place and first-year Ashley Smith finished 26th.
Just a short time later the men’s team toed the line for their 8-kilometer race. Leading the team with a 2-3-4 finish, just behind a Coastal Carolina runner, were redshirt-first-year Mitch Resor —the team’s top finisher from the Elon Opener— in 25:33, sophomore Jeremy Brown in 25:34, and sophomore Mark Meyers in 25:36. They were joined in the top ten by senior Logan Carroll in 8th and sophomore Matt Thornton in 9th. that pair running 25:43 and 25:44 respectively. Rounding out the Tar Heels’ top seven were sophomore Brandon Tubby in 26:23 and first-year Jake McEneaney in 26:29. These finished were good enough for a dominant win. The team scored 24 points in a runaway from Troy University’s 73 points. Also in the race were first-years Luke Peterson and Brodie Modini, finishing in 26th and 47th respectively.
The men’s team put into action their previously-expressed sentiment about their ability to run in packs, something which had a positive impact on today's action and could be very important in the coming months as they get into bigger races.
Next up, the teams will travel to the Louisville Classic on September 30th. This will be the biggest test of what these teams are made of so far and can be another huge step in the right direction for both teams after successful outings this weekend.