MADISON, WIS. - The University of North Carolina raced the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Saturday bearing the cold for a men's team finish of 11th and the women 29th.
Ryan Walling led the men with his 35th-place 23:53, a personal best in the 8K for him. Rounding out the top 100 runners for the Tar Heels were John Raneri who placed 55th in 24:02, Pat Schellberg took 70th in 24:11, and Isaac Presson placed 80th in 24:14.
"Overall, I think it was just an average day for the men's team even though we probably improved our position with respect to at-large points," said head coach Mark VanAlstyne, "I believe the biggest issue was that we were just a little too excited and got out too fast in the early stages. We were fourth at 3K with some very good teams behind us and we've not really done the speed work to be ready for that kind of race. Obviously, we want to run well at ACC's but this team has goals beyond that and that's where our training has been focused."
The Tar Heel men beat out eight ranked teams, including one ranked higher than their current No. 13 standing.
On the women's side, Lizzy Whelan and Annie LeHardy led the Tar Heels with their 38th and 43rd place finishes, respectively. Whelan earned a 6K PR of 20:32 and LeHardy also PRed in 20:35.
"For the women, we are really looking forward to ACC's where we finally expect to have everyone in the lineup," said Coach VanAlstyne, "Having said that, both Lizzy and Annie had good races today. Annie ran a little more aggressively early and probably felt the effects of that late whereas Lizzy really measured herself out and came on strong at the end. Both of them have a fantastic shot at All-ACC honors in two weeks and, with the rest of the ladies back, our team should be competitive as well."
Also competing for Carolina was Kylie McCoy who placed 190th in 21:50, Doria Kosmala placed 203rd in 21:57, Caleigh Bachop took 224th in 22:16, and Ashley Miess placed 239th in 22:39. The top five earned 698 points for Carolina's team finish.
The Tar Heels will next compete at the ACC Championships hosted by Wake Forest in Kernersville, N.C., on November 1st beginning at 10 a.m.
Ryan Walling, 35th, 23:53 PR
John Raneri, 55th, 24:02
Pat Schellberg, 70th, 24:11
Isaac Presson, 80th, 24:14
Matt Valeriani, 141st, 24:35
Joe Sansone, 145th, 24:36
Scott Morgan, 149th, 24:38
Lizzy Whelan, 38th, 20:32 PR
Annie LeHardy, 43rd, 20:35 PR
Kylie McCoy, 190th, 21:50
Doria Kosmala, 203rd, 21:57
Caleigh Bachop, 224th, 22:16Ashley Miess, 239th, 22:39