Women's Cross Country Team Cruises At Raleigh Invitational
RALEIGH, N.C. — Despite having almost half the roster racing unattached or not competing at all, the NC State women’s cross country team had no trouble lapping the field Friday at the Raleigh Invitational, held at the SAS Complex in Cary.
Wolfpack runners accounted for six of the top seven spots in the official women’s college race, with senior Julia Lucas taking individual honors with a time of 17:27. Ann Wheatley was second at 18:02 and Amy Kelly third at 18:19. Jessie Yester was fifth at 18:48, Georgia Davis sixth at 19:01, and Elena Helmerick seventh at 19:17.
Two NC State runners racing unattached — sophomore Brittany Tinsley and freshman Bona Jones — came across the finish line in a virtual dead heat with Lucas, and sophomore Angelina Blackmon, also unattached, finished at 17:45.
In addition, senior Jemissa Hess and junior Magin Kebert, both of whom earned all-conference notice a year ago, did not compete in the race.
“We had a lot of people running out of uniform,” associate head coach Laurie Henes said. “We’d have taken the first seven spots in the race if we’d had everyone in uniform.”
More than the first-place finish, Henes cited the performance of the individuals at the front of the race as bright spots in a good day for NC State cross country.
“I wanted to keep more people in that front group, but they ran a lot faster than I thought they would,” Henes said. “It was Julia’s first time out on the course in almost two years, and she looked really good. Ann Wheatley ran well, and Amy Kelly, who also missed last year, did a nice job for her first time back.”
NC State finished atop the team standings with a score of 17. Campbell was second with 54 points, followed by Hampton at 75, Norfolk State at 105, St. Augustine’s at 141, and Meredith at 201.