CARY — The Duke men’s cross country team turned in a dominant performance to claim its fourth consecutive team title at the annual Great American Cross Country Festival Friday afternoon at the WakeMed Cross Country Course.
Junior Phil Fairleigh paced the Blue Devil men for the second time this season, coming in second overall with a personal-best time of 24 minutes, 56.8 seconds on the 8K course.
Sophomore Brian Schoepfer also recorded a new personal best, crossing the line just behind Fairleigh in 25:14.5. Senior Joseph Elsakr took fourth at 25:21.0, and junior Christian Britto placed fifth with 25:22.7, in his first outing of the season. Freshman Daniel Moore, who notched a course record at the same meet during his high school career, rounded out the scoring for the Blue Devils with a seventh-place finish of 25:33.2.
A pair of Duke freshmen completed the first race of that distance during their careers. Eddie Merenda finsihed ninth at 25:56.6 and Blake Udland finished 10th in 26:24.9.
Sophomore Nate McClafferty followed in 11th place (26:45.9) and junior Spencer Pecha in 17th (27:10.3).
As a team, the Blue Devils totaled 16 points to take first overall. Longwood came in second with 70 points. Young Harris took fifth (109), Hampden-Sydney eighth (220) and Methodist University 10th (282).
N.C. State: The Wolfpack men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Notre Dame Invitational. The women’s team had an impressive showing with a fourth place finish in the 5k race, while the men’s team posted a 10th place finish in the five mile run.
Sophomore Joanna Thompson had the best performance for the women’s team, racing to a ninth place finish in 16:53, while senior Erin Mercer posted a 19th place finish with a time of 17:04. Freshman Samantha George notched a top-30 performance with a 29th place finish and a time of 17:15, as redshirt junior Samantha Norman was close behind in 32nd at 17:17.
The men’s team had trouble staying near the front in its grouping efforts, but there were several strong performances on the day for the Wolfpack, none better than redshirt-freshman Cody Pelliccioni who led the way for N.C. State with a 14th place finish in 24:04. Redshirt seniors Patrick Campbell (43rd; 24:28) and Brian Himelright (50th; 24:32) rounded out the NC State runners finishing in the top 50.
Boston College 2, N.C. State 1: The Wolfpack fell to the Eagles late after allowing two goals after the 61st minute.
The Wolfpack (7-4, 0-3 ACC) grappled with Boston College (5-3-1, 1-1-1) for 61 minutes before the first goal. The Eagles’ Stefan Carter deposited a header into the Wolfpack net from three yards out, on assists from Charlie Rugg and Diego Medina-Mendez. Up to that point, the Pack defense had withstood a barrage of chances from BC. Fabian Otte registered five saves before giving up the goal.