The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 73 of 95

74 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL T he NC State women's cross coun- try team is flirting with achieving the ultimate goal. Last fall, the Wolfpack finished fourth at the NCAA Champion- ships, the second-highest placement in school history behind the 2001 second- place finish. NCSU totaled 223 points, which trailed only national champion Oregon (125 points, the lower the score the better), Michigan (126) and Colorado (134). NC State will miss Erika Kemp, Megan Moye and Kaitlyn Kramer, who were key parts of last year's success. Kemp paced the Wolfpack, placing 17th at the NCAA Championships, and Moye was the fifth scoring runner, finishing 117th. Fifth-year seniors Wesley Frazier and Alyssa Rudawsky, junior Ryen Frazier — who is Wesley's sister — redshirt junior Rachel Koon and sophomore Elly Henes all return and were All-ACC runners last year. Sophomore Beth Taye also picked up valuable experience in 2016. Koon was NC State's top runner at the ACC Championships with a fourth-place finish, leading the Wolfpack to the team title. She followed up by finishing 25th at the NCAA Championships, which helped her earn All-America honors. Koon could lead the way, but head coach Laurie Henes believes her teammates will be closely be- hind her. "We have four or five women who have run around 16 minutes or under at 5K," Henes said. "I think Rachel has been con- sistent at the big meets. That group trains together and works out all the time." Henes said the returning runners learned a valuable lesson at the NCAA Champion- ships on not being too conservative in their approaches to a big meet. There is that mo- ment during a race when runners may be in ■ PREVIEW WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY ■ Key Meets • adidas Cross Country Challenge, Sept. 15 — The first meet of the season will give the women a chance to see where they stand after a spring of track and field and a summer of healing up. Head coach Laurie Henes can also learn which runners are "gamers." NCSU won the meet, held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., last year. • Nuttycombe Wisconsin XC Invitational, Oct. 13 — The meet is the closest in feel and competition to the NCAA Championships and will help the Wolfpack ac - cumulate seeding points. • ACC Championships, Oct. 27 — Henes expects NC State to get challenged by Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia, Duke, Boston College and North Carolina this season. Last year, redshirt junior Rachel Koon earned All-America honors with a 25th-place showing at the NCAA Championships and also crossed the finish line fourth at the ACC Championships. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS IN THE HUNT NC State Has The Talent To Compete For Another Top-Four National Finish

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