KERNERSVILLE, N.C. - The University of North Carolina men's cross country team placed second at the 2013 ACC Championships on Friday with a team total 84 points while the women placed ninth. Ryan Walling, John Raneri, Pat Schellberg, and Isaac Presson each earned All-ACC honors for their finishes in the men's 8K and Annie LeHardy and Lizzy Whelan won All-ACC honors in the women's 6K.
The top 21 individuals receive All-ACC honors for the cross country conference championship. Carolina had the second-most All-ACC honorees among the men's teams with four.
"I don't know if you can ever expect those kind of individual accolades in this conference," said head coach Mark VanAlstyne after the meet, "There's so many good individuals and great teams that any time you have someone in the final win All-ACC is a huge accomplishment. To have six on the day says something about our individuals and everything they've worked for so far this season."
Walling led the team with his sixth-place 24:14.8, Raneri placed 10th in 24:20.8, and Schellberg finished 14th in 24:25.4, and Presson took 16th in 24:32.7. Rounding out the Tar Heels' top-five was Matt Valeriani, who placed 39th in 24:58.9.
"I think [the men] had another solid race in a stream of solid races this year," said Coach VanAlstyne, "I think they're naturally disappointed to get second when they thought the had a chance to win it but at this stage in the game all the teams are good. I just think they ran well.
"On a positive note, I know for a fact it's left them hungry and they want more," Coach VanAlstyne added, "I'm excited to see them in two weeks [at regionals] and again in three weeks at nationals."
This is Raneri and Schellberg's second cross country All-ACC honors and the first for Walling and Presson. Schellberg was a 2012 All-ACC honoree in his junior season and Raneri earned the honors as a sophomore in 2011. Presson has earned All-ACC honors on three occasions in his track career.
"I was thrilled for Ryan because he just missed last year getting All-ACC, he was one spot off," said Coach VanAlstyne of Walling's first conference honor and adding, "Isaac has been a force in the ACC in the middle distances for so long to have a coming out party his senior year and be effective in cross country is special. Those four [men] are the nucleus of our team. We just have to get a few more up there with them and we'll be a force for years to come."
The Syracuse men took the team title in their first ACC Championships, beating the Tar Heels by just 20 points. Andrew Colley of NC State was the individual champion with his time of 23:37.9, nearly 25 seconds faster than the field.
LeHardy led the Tar Heel women as she finished sixth in 20:28.4. Whelan placed 21st in 21:13.4 to secure the last All-ACC spot for the women. Kylie McCoy placed 47th in 21:48.7, Ashley Miess took 67th in 22:07.2, and Caleigh Bachop finished 74th in 22:13.4 to round out to top five scores for Carolina's 204 point-total.
"On the women's side Annie LeHardy - we talked in our meeting last week of her potential to finish top 10 in ACC - to back it up and go out and do it is phenomenal," said Coach VanAlstyne, "I was thrilled for her because it has been a tough for her up to this point."
This is the first cross country All-ACC honors for LeHardy and Whelan. LeHardy won track All-ACC honors for her third-place finish in the 1,500 at the outdoor conference championships last season.
The Florida State women won the team title and Juliet Bottorff of Duke was the individual champion with her time of 20:05.9.
Carolina will next compete at the Three Stripe Invitational at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C., on November 9th. Following that meet is the NCAA Southeast Regional in Earlysville, Va., on November 15th.
Carolina's ResultsRyan Walling - 6th, 24:14.8 - All-ACC
John Raneri - 10th, 24:20.8 - All-ACC
Pat Schellberg - 14th, 24:25.4 - All-ACC
Isaac Presson - 16th, 24:32.7- All-ACC
Matt Valeriani - 39th, 24:58.9
Scott Morgan - 41st, 25:03.1
Mike Jacobs - 49th, 25:12.6
Jack Driggs - 53rd, 25:16.9
Steve Magnuson - 72nd, 25:42.8
Team: 2nd, 84 points
Annie LeHardy -
6th, 20:28.4 - All-ACC
Lizzy Whelan - 21st, 21:13.4 - All-ACC
Kylie McCoy - 47th, 21:48.7
Ashley Miess - 67th, 22:07.2
Caleigh Bachop - 74th, 22:13.4
Malia Cali - 88th, 22:29.6
Doria Kosmala - 103rd, 22:51.3
Sami Jorgensen - 104th, 22:53.9
Grace Morken - 120th, 23:28.0 Team: 9th, 204 points