NC State Cross Country: A Tradition of Excellence
A national championship. Some look at it as a lofty expectation. NC State cross country sees it as a tangible goal.
Each year the Wolfpack cross country squads set out to finish in the top 10 of the nation, but why stop there when you can win it all?
In the storied history and tradition of the NC State cross country programs, the men's and women's squads have made a tradition of participating in the annual championships and finishing among the nation's elite.
The men's team has consistently finished well at the championships. NC State has qualified for the NCAA Championships 25 times since 1984, recording eight top 10 finishes and finishing lower than 20th just five times. In 1999, the Wolfpack men's squad finished a school-best third and boasted four All-Americans. Most recently in 2013, Andrew Colley finished in seventh place, the highest finish ever for a NC State men's runner and good enough for the third All-American nomination of his illustrious career.
The Wolfpack women's squad has a championship tradition that places them among the nation's elite programs. In leading NC State to back-to-back national team championships in 1979 and 1980, the likes of Julie and Mary Shea, Betty Springs and Joan Benoit created a tradition like few others. NC State's women have proudly carried that tradition ever since, qualifying for the NCAA Championships 27 times since 1981, recording 11 finishes in the national top 10, and 24 finishes in the national top 20.
The Wolfpack marked its best finish in 11 years when it finished second in the nation in 2001. All-American Kristin Price finished fourth in the nation, while Megan Coombs crossed the finish line 13th and Katie Sabino finishing 21st, both also getting an All-America nod.
Wolfpack teams have recorded top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships 11 times in the last 25 years. The NC State program has had at least one All-American on its roster in each of the last 36 years, including multiple All-Americans on 22 occasions.
Since 1983, the Wolfpack have enjoyed continuous success over their competition, with the men's and women's teams winning a combined 29 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Additionally, NC State has swept the men's and women's conference championships nine times since 1991. Combined, the remaining ACC schools have swept the men's and women's championships just once.
- ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS:
* Men (15)
1986, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, ?1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011
* Women (20)
1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, ?2001, 2002, 2006
- ACC COACH OF THE YEAR AWARDS:
* Men (13)
1986, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011
* Women (16)
1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006
CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING LOCATIONS/TRAINING TOOLS
- William B. Umstead State Park
Located only 8 miles from the heart of NC State's campus, William B. Umstead State Park covers over 5,000 acres and boasts over 40 miles of crushed gravel and single track trails. The shaded trails, soft surfaces, and challenging terrain make for an ideal location for workouts and long runs.
- American Tobacco Trail
Spanning 3 counties and close to 20 miles, the American Tobacco Trail is a Rails to Trails project utilizing an abandoned tracks built for use by tobacco companies. With access points located just a short drive from campus, the crushed gravel trail provides athletes within the program a soft surface for use in a variety of training runs.
- Lake Johnson
Situated 3 miles from the NC State campus, Lake Johnson is used by athletes for workouts and daily runs. The bark chip path running along the shores of the 150 acre lake provides a scenic backdrop and soft surface for athletes to utilize during training
- HyrdroWorx Underwater Treadmill
A tool that is utilized by many elite professional runners, the HydroWorx underwater treadmill allows NC State athletes to reduce the impact on the body compared to running on land. The treadmill allows athletes to more easily handle to stresses associated with hard training and reduce the time needed to come back from injuries.