Wolfpack Women Fourth, Men 10th at Notre Dame Invitational
Sept. 28, 2012
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The NC State men's and women's cross country teams competed at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, as the women's team had an impressive showing with a fourth place finish in the 5K race, while the men's team posted a 10th place finish in the five mile run.
Sophomore Joanna Thompson had the best performance for the women's team, racing to a ninth place finish in 16:53, while senior Erin Mercer posted a 19th place finish with a time of 17:04. Freshman Samantha George notched a top-30 performance with a 29th place finish and a time of 17:15, as redshirt junior Samantha Norman was close behind in 32nd at 17:17.
"We were one point out of third, but on a good day, we need to be much more competitive," women's head coach Laurie Henes said. "Joanna [Thompson] had a good day, finishing in the top 10 at a major invitational. I thought the freshmen did really well, too, running for the first time in that kind of situation. There were some very positive things."
The men's team had trouble staying near the front in its grouping efforts, but there were several strong performances on the day for the Wolfpack, but perhaps none better than redshirt-senior Matt Sonnenfeldt who led the way for NC State with a 14th place finish in 24:04. Redshirt seniors Patrick Campbell (43rd; 24:28) and Brian Himelright (50th; 24:32) rounded out the NC State runners finishing in the top 50.
"Basically, the team needs to improve," men's head coach Rollie Geiger said. "It's not just one athlete, it's the whole group. It's not like one athlete has to have an outrageous performance. It's a group performance. I've used this analogy over the years: We had no passing game or running game today. You can't win with that absent."
Tulsa won the meet with 104 points, followed by Princeton (139), Notre Dame (143), Florida State (152) and Eastern Kentucky (167) to round out the top five team finishes, followed by New Mexico (200), Texas A&M (201), Washington State (230) and McNeese State (231) ahead of the NC State (237) in the top 10.
Several members of the women's team also competed at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, N.C. Running unattached, freshman Esther Fisher finished fourth in the 5K race, crossing the finish line with a time of 18:59.6. Freshman Kaitlyn Davis also posted a top 10 finish, crossing the line in 10th place in 19:28.7.
The next time the Wolfpack line up will be in two weeks at the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisc., while several other runners will compete at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C. Both meets are scheduled for Oct. 12.