Cross Country Opens Season at Adidas Invitational on Friday
Sept. 13, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State men's and women's cross country teams will open their 2012 campaigns Friday in the Adidas Cross Country Invitational at the WakeMed cross country course in Cary, N.C.
The men's race will begin at 5:15 p.m., followed by the women's race at approximately 5:45 p.m. The races are free to the public.
"We like to control the distance of this event and we keep it at 5,000 meters," men's head coach Rollie Geiger said. "Heat is normally a factor this time of year, so we keep things on the short side racing-wise. This competition kind of sets us up for two weeks from now when we go to Notre Dame."
The men are ranked first in the southeast region and 11t in the latest USTFCCCA poll, while the women are ranked second regionally behind ACC rival Virginia to begin the season. Both squads, especially the women, will use tomorrow's competition as a measuring stick for the team's current condition.
"We're definitely going to be doing some grouping tomorrow," women's head coach Laurie Henes said. "We're not going to have everyone racing all-out. We're kind of practicing the grouping that we want to do at races later in the season, so it'll be a dress rehearsal for that kind of thing."
Last year, the NC State women won with a team score of 23, the men's team recorded a perfect score of 15 to win the meet as well.
"For the coaching staff, it gives us an idea of where they are at with their training," Geiger said. "I think we'll learn something, but it's an early-season meet. It's a long time until November. We have a lot of things to get done, but this gives us a gage."
Wolfpack Cross Country Tradition
The Wolfpack men, last year's ACC Champions, have won 15 conference titles since 1986, including 12 of the last 17. The men have made 24 appearances at the NCAA Championships, and have finished in the national top-10, 10 times since 1984, including a third-place finish, a fifth-place finish and a sixth-place finish.
Since 1978, the NC State women's program has won 21 of 33 Atlantic Coast Conference championships, 11 individual ACC championships, had 10 team finishes in the national top five, won two team national championships and five individual national championships. The women have made 27 appearances at the NCAA Championships, most by any school, and have had 11 finishes in the top 10 since 1981, including a pair of second-place finishes and three third-place finishes.
Men's Team Seeks Repeat
The Wolfpack hope to repeat as both Regional and ACC champions in 2012. Despite the loss of two-time All-America selection Ryan Hill to graduation, the team returns a bevy of veterans, including redshirt-seniors Patrick Campbell and Brian Himelright, along with 2011 All-America selection and redshirt-junior Andrew Colley.
Women's Team Loaded with Veterans
The Pack returns a plethora of accomplished runners in 2012. Redshirt-senior Emily Pritt, an All-America, All-ACC and All-Region in 2009 and junior Laura Hoer was an All-America selection in 2010, while sophomore Joanna Thompson earned All-ACC honors last season.
"I think they're excited," Henes said of the women's team. "We have a lot of depth this year. We want to be in contention at the ACC meet and be able to get back towards that top-10 finish at nationals, and we think we have the people in place to do that this year."