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    NC State Cross Country's History of Success
     
     

    All it takes is a quick glance in the trophy case and a look down the hallway outside of the NC State cross country coaches' offices to see the success that the NC State cross country program has achieved over the years.   A deeper look behind the scenes will reveal the hard work, determination and competitive spirit it has taken to get there.  To quantify the magnificence of the program, consider these numbers: two national championships, five individual national titles, and an astounding 33 Atlantic Coast Conference championships ... all this while accruing at least one All-American in 27 of the last 30 years.  During the 2001 campaign, NC State boasted five All-Americans on its roster. 

     

    The Wolfpack was recognized as the best in the nation by The Cross Country Journal in 1987, when the men and women attained the highest ever combined finishes in the NCAA Cham-pionships at the time.

     

    In 1991, NC State became the first school in ACC history to sweep the conference championships, with the men and women winning the conference title in the same year. The Pack now has won dual conference championships nine times in 16 years, including four times in a row at one point. Traditionally, the women’s team has attained the most success, but in the last two decades the men have risen to an equal level of national prominence.

     

    The NC State Women

     

    NC State’s tradition of athletic excellence began in 1977 when Joan Benoit and Julie Shea became the first Wolfpack runners to earn All-America honors. In 1978, the Wolfpack finished second at the AIAW National Cross Country Championships. Shea was edged out by Colorado’s Mary Decker for the individual crown, but earned All-America honors along with Benoit. That same season the NC State women won the inaugural ACC women’s cross country championship.

     

    Shea and Benoit were the first two of a total 37 All-Americans produced by NC State’s women’s program.

     

    Shea won the individual national championship in 1979 and led the Wolfpack to the first of two consecutive national team cham-pionships. Shea repeated as individual national champion in 1980, and sophomore Betty Springs finished second as the Wolfpack successfully defended its national title.

     

    After Shea graduated, Springs continued the Wolfpack’s championship tradition, becoming the first NCAA women’s champion in 1981, despite running on a stress fracture. Two years later, Springs repeated as NCAA champion and also won the TAC cross country crown. During her career, she represented the United States in six World Cross Country Championships.

     

    The Wolfpack produced its third individual national champion in 1985, when Suzie Tuffey became the first freshman ever to win the individual cross country championship. Tuffey’s victory gave NC State five individual national champions in nine years.

     

    The tradition continued in the 1990s.  Earning All-America honors as a junior and senior, Laurie Gomez-Henes won the ACC individual championship in 1991 and placed fourth at the NCAA meet.  She was also a finalist for the Honda Sports Award for cross country.  On the track, she won the 1991 NCAA outdoor championship in the 5,000 meters. 

     

    The tradition of success continued in 1993, when Kristen Hall led the Wolfpack to a ninth-place overall finish at the NCAA and became NC State's 12th All-American with her 17th-place finish.

     

    In 1996, Laura Rhoads and Christy Nichols each earned All-America honors, and Rhoads became a two-time All-American the following year.

     

    The NC State women won the ACC championship in 1997 and duplicated that feat in 1998, their fourth consecutive league title, and had four all-conference runners in the process.

     

    In 1999, Christy Nichols captured All-America honors again, returning to competition after missing nearly two years due to injury. Nichols and fellow All-American Katie Sabino led the Wolfpack to a tie for 19th place at the NCAA Championships.

     

    The 2000 NC State women’s cross country team recaptured its ACC title, defending its home turf at the University Club in Raleigh.

     

    In 2001, the NC State women maintained their high standards and rolled through the postseason with wins at the ACC Championships and NCAA District III Championships, then placed second at the NCAA Championships behind a strong team from Brigham Young.

     

    The 2002 season was highlighted by a split-conference championship.  For the first time in the history of the league, two teams tied for the team honor, and in this season the Wolfpack shared the crown with Wake Forest.

     

    In 2003, the Wolfpack landed three runners on the All-ACC list as the team finished in second place at the conference championships.  The women’s squad finished strong, ending the season with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, marking the 11th time that the Wolfpack finished in the top 10 at the event..

     

    For the first time since 1981-82, the NC State women finished out of the winner’s circle at the ACC Championships in back-to-back years when the 2004 squad finished third. The women rebounded once again with a strong 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

     

    The 2005 women’s team finished second in the conference again, led by All-ACC performances from Jemissa Hess and Magin Kebert, but the Wolfpack returned to the winner’s circle in 2006, winning the league championship for the 21st time in 29 years. Julia Lucas won the individual championship, and Bona Jones, Brittany Tinsley and Angelina Blackmon earned all-conference. Jones was ACC Freshman of the Year. Lucas went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America honors, and Jones, by virtue of a 26th-place finish at the NCAA race, became the 10th NC State freshman to be named All-American. The Wolfpack as a team placed 19th at the NCAA Championships.

     

     

    NC State’s women’s program has won 21 of the 29 ACC Championships that have been held, and has qualified for the NCAA Championships 23 times since the NCAA began recognizing a women’s national champion in cross country in 1981. The Wolfpack women have compiled 10 finishes in the national top 10, including two championships and two second-place finishes. 

     

    The NC State Men

     

    For two decades now, Rollie Geiger has led the NC State men’s cross country team to national success that rivals that of the women’s program. In 1986, the Wolfpack won its first ACC men’s championship in 33 years and placed 12th at the 1986 NCAA Championships. The next year, the Pack men recorded their first top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships, moving up to fifth nationally.

     

    The Pack continued to add to its trophy case by winning 12 conference championships in a span of 16 years. The Wolfpack followed up those 12 conference titles with six national top 10 finishes, including sixth place in 1997, eighth in 1998 and third in 1999.

     

    The men’s program, which has finished first or second in the ACC 19 of the last 22 years and has won 10 of the last 12 ACC team championships, has produced 22 All-Americans. In 1980, Steve Francis was the first Wolfpack runner to receive the honor, and he was followed by Pat Piper and Bob Henes in 1987.

     

    Henes earned All-America honors in 1987, 1989, and 1990, becoming only the second runner in ACC history to win three individual conference titles.

     

    David Honea earned both All-ACC and All-America honors in 1991, and Tony Riley earned All-America honors in 1992 and followed that with the 1993 ACC individual championship.

     

    In 1995, the Wolfpack men won the conference championship in historic fashion, posting what at the time was the lowest team score in conference history with an 18. NC State runners placed first, second, third, fourth, eighth, 10th and 14th. An unprecedented six Wolfpack runners, led by individual champion Pat Joyce, made all-conference. Joyce went on to earn All-America honors.

     

    In 1996, the NC State men claimed the ACC crown for the second year in a row and the fourth time in six years. Four members of that team earned All-ACC notice, including Chan Pons, who earned All-America honors.

     

    The Wolfpack dominated the ACC again in 1997, repeating its feat of placing six runners on the All-ACC team and winning its third team championship in a row. The Pack went on to record a sixth-place finish at the NCAA nationals, their fourth top-10 finish since 1984. Chan Pons earned All-America status for the second time in his career along with first-time honoree Brendan Rodgers.

     

    The men continued their dominance in 1998, winning their fourth consecutive ACC championship with five members collecting All-ACC honors. NC State secured its fifth finish in the national top 10 in 15 years by taking eighth place at the NCAA Championships. Brendan Rodgers was named All-America again along with first-time All-American Chris Dugan.

     

    The Wolfpack men had the best season in their history in 1999. They won their fifth consecutive ACC championship, missing a perfect score of 15 by one point, settling instead for a nearly unbreakable conference record with a score of 16. The men shattered another incredible record by placing seven runners on the all-conference team, then had their greatest national finish by running third at the NCAA Championships and placing four runners on the 1999 All-America team: Chan Pons (third time), Corby Pons (first), Abdul Alzindani (first) and Chris Dugan (second).

     

    The 2000 men’s cross country squad rebounded from a tough second-place outing at the ACC Championships in Raleigh to post an impressive 11th overall finish at the NCAA Championships, the highest of any ACC squad at the meet. Freshman Andy Smith continued the long line of All-Americans under Geiger with a 45th-place finish at the NCAA meet.

     

    In 2001, NC State finished at the top of the leaderboard and won the ACC championship for the sixth time in seven years with a low score of 26 points.  The Wolfpack added five members to the All-ACC team, two of whom Chad Pearson and Chris Seaton finished 31st and 35th nationally to become All-Americans at the NCAA Championships.  NC State notched its seventh top-10 finish in the program’s history, placing ninth in the 31-team field. 

     

    The Wolfpack men captured the program’s 10th conference title in 2002, and placed five individuals in the top 10 to finish with a score of 16 points.  Coach Geiger received his eighth nod as the ACC’s men’s coach of the year, and went on to capture the Southeast Regional title en route to a 23rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

     

    In 2003 the Wolfpack once again captured the ACC men’s championship en route to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.  Chad Pearson was named an All-American for the second time, and a total of five team members were named all-conference.

     

    In 2004, the Wolfpack won its fourth ACC championship in as many years and its ninth in 10 years. Bobby Mack, Andy Smith, Wesley Smith and Gavin Coombs earned all-conference honors. Coombs was the conference Freshman of the Year. The Wolfpack won the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships two weeks later, and then finished 16th at the NCAA Championships.

     

    With Coombs, Mack and Wesley Smith each sitting out in 2005, the Wolfpack dropped to third in the conference and did not qualify for the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time since 1994. John Crews emerged as a front-line runner, however, earning All-ACC and All-NCAA Regional honors, and qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

     

    Smith, Mack and Coombs rejoined a loaded lineup in 2006, and the Wolfpack once again dominated the ACC, placing all eight runners in the top 19 at the ACC Championships and rolling to its 10th conference championship in 12 years with a score of 31. Smith, Crews, Coombs, Tibor Vegh, Stephen Furst, and Bryce Ruiz all earned all-conference accolades. The Wolfpack went on to win the NCAA Southeast Regional, then finished 16th at the NCAA Championships.

     

    Since 1986, the NC State men have dominated the ACC and been among a handful of teams to consistenly rank among the nation’s elite. The Wolfpack men have won 10 of the last 12 ACC team championships, and 12 of the last 16. Since 1984, the Pack has produced nine individual conference champions and 73 all-conference performers. In that same span of time, NC State has nine finishes in the national top 10, and 14 in the national top 15, and has produced 22 All-Americans.

     

     

     

    All-Americans

    Abdul Alzindani                                 1999

    Joan Benoit                                  1977, 78

    Megan Coombs                                  2001

    Sande Cullinane                                 1982

    Chris Dugan                                 1998, 99

    Steve Francis                                      1980

    Laurie Gomez-Henes                   1990, 91

    Kristen Hall                                        1993

    Renee Harbaugh                                 1987

    Bob Henes                             1987, 89, 90

    David Honea                                      1991

    Bona Jones                                         2006

    Pat Joyce                                            1995

    Julia Lucas                                         2006

    Bobby Mack                                      2004

    Christy Nichols                            1996, 99

    Sue Overby                                        1981

    Chad Pearson                               2001, 03

    Pat Piper                                             1987

    Chan Pons                              1996, 97, 98

    Corby Pons                                        1998

    Katrina Price                                       1988

    Kristin Price                                 2001, 02

    Laura Rhoads                               1996, 97

    Tony Riley                                         1992

    Connie Jo Robinson               1982, 83, 84

    Brendan Rodgers                         1997, 98

    Katie Sabino                             1999, 2001

    Chris Seaton                                       2001

    Julie Shea                         1977, 78, 79, 80

    Mary Shea                                          1980

    Andy Smith                                        2000

    Janet Smith                             1984, 85, 87

    Betty Springs                   1979, 80, 81, 83

    Lynne Strauss                                    1983

    Suzie Tuffey            1985, 87, 88

     

     

     

    All-ACC Men

    Ackley, Neil                        1970

    Alzindani, Abdul     1996, 97, 99

    Bader, Allen                        2003

    Bateman, Tony              1976, 77

    Bowker, Dean           1999, 2000

    Brooks, Michael                  1995

    Brookshire, Ricky               2002

    Brower, Kevin               1977, 78

    Brown, Steve                      1986

    Christian, David        2001, 2002

    Coombs, Gavin       2004, 06, 07

    Crews, John            2005, 06, 07

    Davis, Silas                         1963

    Dugan, Chris       1998, 99, 2001

    Dvorak, Scott                      1990

    Eicholtz, Jason                    1990

    Fincher, Ed                          1959

    Fitzula, Mike                       1999

    Francis, Steve                1979, 80

    Furst, Stephen               2006, 07

    Garcia, Shane                      1992

    Gaynor, Gavin              1985, 87

    Gonzalez, Jose              1994, 95

    Hayes, Gareth         1968, 69, 70

    Henes, Bob                   1987, 89

    Herr, Andy                          1986

    Honea, David                      1991

    Howell, Robbie             1997, 98

    Inscoe, Bill                          1957

    Joyce, Pat                            1995

    Kollar, Chris                        2007

    Little, Kelvin                        1979

    Lopeman, Todd             1991, 92

    Lyon, Dan                     1979, 80

    Mack, Bobby                      2004

    Marlowe, Kurtis                  2002

    Martinez, John                    2007

    Michael, Jon                  1977, 78

    Patterson, David        1998, 2002

    Pearson, Chad           2001, 2003

    Piper, Pat                       1984, 85

    Pluchos, Chris                     1998

    Pons, Chan        1995, 96, 97, 99

    Pons, Corby      1995, 96, 97, 99

    Riley, Tony                   1992, 93

    Rodgers, Brendan   1996, 97, 98

    Ruiz, Bryce                         2006

    Saft, Aaron                          1999

    Seaton, Chris                       2001

    Shea, Mike                          1956

    Smith, Andy      2000, 01, 03, 04

    Smith, Wesley   2003, 04, 06, 07

    Swann, Devin           2002, 2003

    Thompson, Steve          1980, 81

    Vegh, Tibor                         2006

    Vigilante, Jason                   1994

    Wallace, Ricky              1985, 86

    Wentworth, Jeff            1980, 81

    Wilkins, Jim      1970, 71, 72, 73

    Wirgau, Joe                   1995, 97

    Woods, Ryan                      2000

     

    All-ACC Women

    Benoit, Joan                        1978

    Beykirch, Amy        1997, 98, 99

    Bilotta, Stacy           1984, 85, 87

    Blackmon, Angelina      2006, 07

    Carraher, Marianne             1987

    Cook, Kelly                         1992

    Coombs, Megan                  2001

    Coscia, Jackie                      1995

    Cullinane, Sande     1980, 81, 83

    Dean, Kim                     1990, 91

    Dumas, Francine           1989, 90

    Faircloth, Meredith    1995, 1997

    Fonner, Beth                 2000, 01

    Girard, Suzanne                  1981

    Gomez, Laurie   1988, 89, 90, 91

    Goode, Kim                         1992

    Gray, Sarah                         1997

    Gunning, Renee                  2003

    Hall, Kristen            1993, 95, 96

    Harbaugh, Renee           1986, 87

    Henderson, Ann                  1979

    Herrman, Ami                     1995

    Hess, Jemissa                      2005

    Hollis, Heather         1992,93, 95

    Hull, Lucinda                      2003

    Jones, Bona                         2006

    Kebert, Magin                     2005

    Knabb, Katherine            1991,92

    Kraft, Beth                           2000

    Lauber, Josi                         2002

    Lucas, Julia             2003, 04, 06

    Modliszewski, Jennifer       1998

    Musson, Erin                      1997

    Nichols, Christy  1996, 99, 2000

    Norton, Jennifer                  1991

    Ormsby, Kathy              1984, 85

    Price, Katrina     1988, 89, 90, 91

    Price, Kristin             2001, 2002

    Rhoads, Laura               1996, 97

    Robinson, Connie Jo 1982, 83, 84

    Rogers, Lindsey                  1998

    Roth, Kris                      2002, 04

    Sabino, Katie 1998, 99, 2000, 01

    Shea, Julie               1978, 79, 80

    Shea, Mary                    1979, 80

    Smith, Janet       1984, 85, 87, 88

    Springs, Betty   1979, 80, 81, 83

    Strauss, Lynne                    1983

    Tinsley, Brittany            2006, 07

    Tuffey, Suzie           1985, 87, 88, 89

     

     

    NC State’s ACC Championship Finishes

    Men

                  Team

    Year    Finish   Top NC State Finisher

    1953      1st       No ACC Meet Held

    1954    None    Dave Miller (3rd)

    1955    None    Chris Gwynn (5th)

    1956      5th      Mike Shea (2nd)

    1957      4th      Bill Inscoe (7th)

    1958      4th      Maurice Barbour (12th)

    1959      3rd      Ed Fincher (10th)

    1960      4th      Not Available

    1961      5th      Richard Edwards (25th)

    1962      8th      Not Available

    1963      4th      Mel Woodcock (2nd)

    1964    None    Steve Middleton (43rd)

    1965      7th      Marshall Adams (33rd)

    1966      6th      Pete MacManus (25th)

    1967      4th      Pete MacManus (18th)

    1968      5th      Gareth Hayes (5th)

    1969      5th      Gareth Hayes (2nd)

    1970      3rd      Gareth Hayes (2nd)

    1971      4th      Jim Wilkins (4th)

    1972      3rd      Jim Wilkins (4th)

    1973      4th      Jim Wilkins (7th)

    1974      4th      Dave Senter (16th)

    1975      3rd      Kevin Brower (15th)

    1976      5th      Tom Bateman (4th)

    1977     2nd      Tom Bateman (5th)

    1978      4th      Kevin Brower (7th)

    1979      3rd      Steve Francis (4th)

    1980     2nd      Steve Francis (5th)

    1981      5th      Steve Thompson (8th)

    1982      4th      John George (14th)

    1983      5th      Gavin Gaynor (15th)

    1984      3rd      Pat Piper (7th)

    1985     2nd      Pat Piper (4th)

    1986      1st       Andy Herr (4th)

    1987     2nd      Bob Henes (1st)

    1988    None    David Honea (15th)

    1989      3rd      Bob Henes (1st)

    1990     2nd      Bob Henes (1st)

    1991      1st       David Honea (3rd)

    1992      1st       Tony Riley (3rd)

    1993     2nd      Tony Riley (1st)

    1994     2nd      Jose Gonzalez (2nd)

    1995      1st       Pat Joyce (1st)

    1996      1st       Chan Pons (2nd)

    1997      1st       Chan Pons (2nd)

    1998      1st       Brendan Rodgers (1st)

    1999      1st       Chan Pons (1st)

    2000     2nd      Ryan Woods (5th)

    2001      1st       Chad Pearson (2nd)

    2002      1st       David Patterson (1st)

    2003      1st       Andy Smith (1st)

    2004      1st       Bobby Mack (2nd)

    2005      3rd      John Crews (14th)

    2006      1st       Wes Smith (4th)

    2007     2nd      Chris Kollar (1st)

     

    Women

                  Team

    Year    Finish   Top NC State Finisher

    1978      1st       Joan Benoit (2nd)

    1979      1st       Julie Shea (1st)

    1980      1st       Julie Shea (1st)

    1981     2nd      Betty Springs (1st)

    1982      3rd      Connie Jo Robinson (8th)

    1983      1st       Betty Springs (1st)

    1984      1st       Janet Smith (1st)

    1985      1st       Suzie Tuffey (1st)

    1986    None    None

    1987      1st       Suzie Tuffey (2nd)

    1988      1st       Janet Smith (2nd)

    1989      1st       Suzie Tuffey (2nd)

    1990      1st       Laurie Gomez (2nd)

    1991      1st       Laurie Gomez (1st)

    1992      1st       Kelly Cook (4th)

    1993      1st       Kristen Hall (1st)

    1994    None    Kathy Knabb (11th)

    1995      1st       Kristen Hall (4th)

    1996      1st       Christy Nichols (2nd)

    1997      1st       Laura Rhoads (2nd)

    1998      1st       Lindsey Rogers (3rd)

    1999     2nd      Christy Nichols (1st)

    2000      1st       Christy Nichols (5th)

    2001      1st       Katie Sabino (4th)

    2002    T-1st     Kristin Price (3rd)

    2003     2nd      Julia Lucas (4th)

    2004      3rd      Julia Lucas (5th)

    2005     2nd      Jemissa Hess (3rd)

    2006      1st       Julia Lucas (1st)

    2007     2nd      Brittany Tinsley (5th)  Team

     

     

    NC State’s NCAA Championship Finishes

    Men

    1984 - NCAA                                9th Place

    1985 - NCAA                              11th Place

    1986 - NCAA                              12th Place

    1987 - NCAA                                5th Place

    1991 - NCAA                              11th Place

    1992 - NCAA                              10th Place

    1993 - NCAA                                9th Place

    1995 - NCAA                              13th Place

    1996 - NCAA                              16th Place

    1997 - NCAA                                6th Place

    1998 - NCAA                                8th Place

    1999 - NCAA                                3rd Place

    2000 - NCAA                              11th Place

    2001 - NCAA                                9th Place

    2002 - NCAA                              23rd Place

    2003 - NCAA                              10th Place

    2004 - NCAA                              16th Place

    2006 - NCAA                              16th Place

    2007 - NCAA                              18th place

     

    Women

    1977 - AIAW                                 9th Place

    1978 - AIAW                                2nd Place

    1979 - AIAW                                 1st Place

    1980 - AIAW                                 1st Place

    1981 - NCAA                                5th Place

    1982 - NCAA                                7th Place

    1983 - NCAA                                3rd Place

    1984 - NCAA                                3rd Place

    1985 - NCAA                                3rd Place

    1987 - NCAA                               2nd Place

    1988 - NCAA                                4th Place

    1989 - NCAA                              14th Place

    1990 - NCAA                              11th Place

    1991 - NCAA                                8th Place

    1992 - NCAA                              11th Place

    1993 - NCAA                                9th Place

    1995 - NCAA                              16th Place

    1996 - NCAA                              13th Place

    1997 - NCAA                              11th Place

    1998 - NCAA                              19th Place

    1999 - NCAA                          T-19th Place

    2000 - NCAA                              11th Place

    2001 - NCAA                               2nd Place

    2002 - NCAA                              13th Place

    2003 - NCAA                                6th Place

    2004 - NCAA                              12th Place

    2005 - NCAA                              14th Place

    2006 - NCAA                              19th Place

    2007 NCAA                              29th place

     


     

     

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