CARY, N.C. - Isaac Presson won the men's Division I 5K at the adidas XC Challenge on Friday evening as the North Carolina men's and women's cross country teams placed second and third, respectively.
Presson won the race in 14:46.2 beating out the top six runners for NC State who placed second through seventh.
"I thought [Isaac] looked really relaxed throughout. He never really looked like he was pressing," said head coach Mark VanAlstyne after the race. "He didn't get the opportunity to run at our home meet a couple of weeks ago but his training has been going phenomenally. He's showing strength that he's never had in the past.
"We knew he as fit," added Coach VanAlstyne, "He just kind of sat in there and when the final 200 meters came, he did what typical milers do in a cross country race. We are very happy for him and we're looking forward for him to be back with our top 10 guys at Virginia next week."
While the majority Carolina's top squad are resting for next week's Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational, the Tar Heels continued to represent the program's motto of a better blue with a 54-point second-place finish thanks to efforts by Bryan Noreen, Braedon Koerwitz, Chris Reeder, and Chris Madaffari.
"Like I said, Isaac was the only one of our top guys running today, but there were other guys with good races," said Coach VanAlstyne, "Noreen looked good today for us. Next week will bet he big week for us - we can score points for at-large and add everybody back into the line-up."
Noreen placed 11th in 15:30.8, Koerwitz in 14th in 15:47.8, Reeder in 16th in 15:59.9, and Madaffari in 17th in 15:59.9.
In the women's race, Lizzy Whelan led the Tar Heels with her fourth-place finish in 17:38.3.
"On the ladies side, it was the same story with the guys," said Coach VanAlstyne, "Lizzy was one of our only top girls competing and she looked good today too. She's still feeling out how to race the 5K distance. It's not two laps around the track like she exceled at in the spring."
Three Tar Heel freshmen added to the women's score of 76 points with Caleigh Bachop placing 12th in 18:01.1, Doria Kosmala in 14th in 18:11.3, and Grace Morken in 20th in 18:33.2. Aundrea Holmes rounded out the women's finishes in 31st in 19:00.9.
"All of our freshmen had personal bests today, we're very proud of that," said Coach VanAlstyne. "Caleigh nearly broke 18 minutes, Doria had a great race, Grace has run on this course a lot during her high school career in North Carolina so I was happy with how they raced."
Carolina will head to Earlysville, Va., outside of Charlottesville as Virginia hosts the Panorama Farms Invitational on Saturday, September 28th.