The NC State cross country teams will compete in the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships (women’s 6K, men’s 10K) Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The fifth-ranked women’s team recently took home the ACC championship with 64 points and the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship with 48 points. The regional victory gave the women an automatic bid to the championships, their 33rd appearance in school history. The women’s team has placed first in 3 of the 5 meets it has competed in this year.
The No. 24-ranked men’s team also performed well in the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship, placing third with 116 points. The team was chosen for a bid in the NCAA selection show.
The women have been phenomenal all year, with two-time All-American senior Elly Henes leading the Pack. Henes took home the individual title in the 6K ACC Championships for the first time for NC State since 2010, with a time of 20:37.4, winning by 11 seconds. She also won the 6K NCAA regional with a time of 19:48.9, beating the next finisher by six seconds. Freshman Kelsey Chmiel has impressed as well, finishing fourth in the regional with a time of 20:02.6 and first out of all the freshmen in the race.
The men’s team has been decent this year, placing in the top three in five meets. After not placing well at the ACCs, in eighth place, the men’s team stepped it up in the 10K NCAA regional, finishing in third place. The men’s team is led by All-ACC and two-time All-Region junior Ian Shanklin, and All-ACC and All-Region redshirt junior Gavin Gaynor. Shanklin finished the 10K regional race in sixth place with a time of 29:50.3, the best regional performance of his career. Gaynor was the next Wolfpack finisher in 18th place with a time of 30:32.1.
Being the fifth-ranked cross country team in the nation, the women’s team has a chance to make a statement and take home the NCAA national championship Saturday. Henes has the chance to finish her collegiate career with an individual national title. The men’s team, filled with young talent, is under the radar, being ranked 24th going into the race. The team’s third, fourth and fifth runners sophomore Hannes Burger, redshirt junior Tim Bason and redshirt freshman Nate Kawalec, respectively, will likely continue their strategy of running as a pack and could push their group to outperform themselves.
The NCAA championships will be held at Lavern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 23. The women’s 6K race will start at 11:15 a.m. and the men’s 10K race will start at 12:15 p.m.