Cross Country prepares for Adidas Invitational
The ECU Cross Country program is set to travel about 83 miles down Highway 264 when the Pirates travel to N.C. State and match up in the Adidas XC Invitational.
This should be a very interesting meet because of the intense rivalry that is already in place between ECU and N.C. State. This meet would give either school another victory against a North Carolina opponent. Those of you out there that just truly despise N.C. State; this is the tournament to watch.
The Pirates return a women’s team that finished fourth in Conference USA and a men’s team that finished seventh. The women are led by All-Conference USA selection Brooke Kott junior Bjork Olsen. Olsen has not missed a race in her time as a Pirate.
The ECU men’s team is coming off of a season that featured only two upperclassmen that placed seven of their eight runners in the C-USA Championships. The team’s most notable returnees are junior Jakob Trzasalski and senior Antonio Palmer, two Pirate runners that competed in all seven races last season.
The Wolfpack is led by All-American selections Emily Pritt, Laura Hoer and Andrew Colley. They will also have All-ACC selections Joanna Thompson and Patrick Campbell.
This match-up will be one of few during this year where ECU and N.C. State will face off against each other in a major collegiate sport. The winner of this meet will give them an entire year to brag about who is the better North Carolina team.
Recently N.C. State has gotten the best of the Pirates, but the Adidas XC Invitational could be the one thing that ECU needs to start changing the tide in winning match-ups against N.C. State.
ECU’s Men and Women teams kicked off their season this past Friday evening in the Seahawk Invitational in Wilmington, N.C. Other schools that competed were Barton College, Campbell University, Guilford College, Meredith College, Methodist University, Peace College, Pfeiffer University, Shaw University, St. Andrews University and UNC-Wilmington.
The men usually compete well at the Seahawk Invitational, especially from 1998-2000, where they won three straight championships. The women won the championship back in 2000.
The women’s team led by senior sisters Brooke and Britney Kott, took two of the first six spots of the 5k race. Brooke who recorded a time of 18:43:32 was good enough for fourth place while the first place overall runner, and fellow Pirate, Stacey Gonzalez ran a personal-record time of 18:17:69. Redshirt sophomore Stefanie Fresenius set another personal-best record, as she ran an 18:32:50.
ECU’s Men’s team won the Seahawk Invitational, which makes it the first time since 2000 where the Pirates won both the men and women races.
Palmer started off with a bang, winning the 5k event out of a total of 81 total competitors. Palmer’s time of 15:42:94, which happens to be a personal record, is also the 13th fastest time an ECU athlete has ran at a 5k event in school history.
The second Pirate to cross the finish line with a personal best of 16:03:81 was redshirt sophomore Chase Miller. The third Pirate to cross the finish line was team leader Trzasalski with a time of 16:06:61.
Coach Dan Lee was not available for comment as he and his wife are expecting their child to be born at any time.
The Adidas XC Invitational has yet to set a time for the race to start.
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