The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 72 of 95

SEPTEMBER 2017 ■ 73 Among the Wolfpack's returning run- ners, Sheehan, Barrett and Hall all finished in the top 22 at the ACC Championships, with Sheehan and Barrett both earning All- ACC honors. "What I like about the team is we have some upperclassmen that are high-level distance runners, but I think they are lead- ers also," Geiger said. "That is so impor- tant." Geiger found out Aug. 8 that Myjer would be back, and the former All-Ivy League standout is coming off a quality track and field season in the steeplechase for the Wolfpack. He finished 14th at the NCAA East Regional with a personal-best 8:48:45 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. American University graduate transfer Brandon Johnson also arrives in Raleigh, and could push for a spot. He ran just one cross country race in 2016, and didn't par- ticipate in track and field last spring. He finished sixth at the 2015 Patriot League Cross Country Championships. Redshirt sophomore Kyle Christ will help provide increased depth, and Princ- eton sophomore transfer Gavin Gaynor Jr. could be one to watch, if not this year, then down the road. "I don't know if there will be a Ryan Hill or Andrew Colley, Those guys wouldn't just go to the front, but they could work their way through the situation," Geiger said. "I think we'll have top-10 finishers and maybe top five. We might have someone run for the conference title. "The key to our success, and it stays the same every year, is what is the number of seconds from your first runner to your sev- enth runner, with five scoring." ■ Runners To Watch Redshirt sophomore Ben Barrett The Norman, Okla., native redshirted his freshman year and then emerged in cross country last fall. He was the third runner at the 2016 ACC Championships, which was good for 18th place. He followed up by finishing 230th overall at the NCAA Championships. Sixth-year senior Aubrey Myjer The Columbia graduate transfer received another year of eligibility Aug. 8 from the NCAA. He was the Wolfpack's second runner at both the NCAA Southeast Regional and the NCAA Championships, finishing 98th in the latter. Redshirt junior Patrick Sheehan The Mooresville (N.C.) Lake Norman High product put together a consistent cross country season, highlighted by finishing 15th at the 2016 ACC Cham - pionships, which was second on the Wolfpack. He was the third runner at the NCAA Championships, placing 132nd in the meet. Noting The Pack • Before the season starts Sept. 15, both the men's and women's programs will come together for a retreat in Asheville, N.C. This fall, it will take place Labor Day weekend. "We'll have some team-building exercises," head coach Rollie Geiger said. "Asheville is a great running area, and we are getting them off campus. They aren't in a dormitory, and they are together. There will be a lot of elements that are really positive." • Sophomore Gavin Gaynor Jr. has extensive ties to NC State. His parents, Gavin Gaynor Sr. and Stacy Gaynor, both ran for NC State, and were both recruited and coached by Geiger. Gavin Gaynor Sr. finished 15th at the 1983 ACC Championships while helping the Wolfpack fin - ish fifth and earned team MVP honors. He also earned All-ACC honors in 1985 when the team finished 11th at the NCAA Championships. He followed up by again earning All-ACC honors in 1987 and helping the Wolfpack finish fifth at the NCAA Championships. Stacy Gaynor, whose maiden name is Bilotta, was named All-ACC in 1984, 1985 and 1987. The Wolfpack finished third at both the 1984 and 1985 NCAA Championships, and second at the 1987 NCAA Championships. Gavin Gaynor Jr. was in five races his freshman year for Princeton, and was 38th at the 2016 Ivy League Championships. • Redshirt freshman Edwin Rutto could be one to watch this fall. He ran unattached in two events last year while redshirting, finishing in 35th-place at the adidas XC Challenge. The na - tive of Kenya, who moved to the United States in 2013, attended St. Benedict's in Newark, N.J., and was the 2014 New Jersey Catholic schools cross country state champion. "I think Edwin has huge upside," Geiger said. "He could be a factor." Fellow redshirt freshmen Tim Bason, Joe Bis - tritz and Eric Walz will also provide extra depth this season. ■ By The Numbers 3 Ivy League transfers now at NC State — Aubrey Myjer (Columbia), Gavin Gaynor Jr. (Princeton) and Elijah Moskowitz (Brown). 16 ACC Championships under head coach Rollie Geiger since 1986, including 13 in a 16-year span from 1991-2006. 85 All-ACC honors since 1995 for NC State men's runners, including three last year. Redshirt junior Patrick Sheehan earned All-ACC honors with a 15th-place finish at the league meet last year. PHOTO BY CHERYL TREWORGY/PRETTYSPORTY.COM

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