1974. 1983. And now 2021.
For the first time ever, the NC State women’s cross country team took home the NCAA national championship on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the 2021 Division I Cross Country National championships in Tallahassee, Florida.
The win was a long time coming for the Wolfpack, which has won the last six ACC Championships and finished second at the NCAA Championships in the spring. The Pack entered the meet ranked No. 1 in the country and was the favorite to win its first NCAA championship in program history.
Junior Kelsey Chmiel had the highest finish among NC State runners, finishing sixth overall with a 6K time of 19:34.6. The Pack had three others finish in the top 25, including sophomore Katelyn Tuohy in 15th, graduate Allie Hays in 22nd, and graduate student Hannah Steelman in 24th.
Junior Sam Bush finished in 32nd place, senior Heather Holt finished in 95th and graduate Dominqiue Clairmont finished in 153rd to round it out as the Pack finished with a composite score of 84, 38 points lower than second-place BYU.
With the win, NC State now has its third team NCAA title in school history. The other two were won by men’s basketball in 1974 and 1983. This is the first NCAA championship won by a women’s team in school history.
The NC State women’s cross country team has actually won the national championship before in 1979 and 1980, but those were organized by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and are not considered NCAA championships.
The Pack received an outpouring of congratulations from across the NC State fan base and athletic department, as other Wolfpack teams, coaches and fans sent out congratulatory messages to the women’s cross country team on Twitter.
Also representing NC State in the national championships was graduate student JP Flavin of the men’s cross country team. He finished in 50th place.