The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 73 of 95

74 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER I n each of the last three years, NC State has finished among the top eight at the NCAA Championships, return- ing the Wolfpack program closer to its glory days of the 1980s. Between the first NCAA meet in 1981 and 1988, the Pack finished no worse than seventh and five times was in the top four — a placement that now earns a team a podium finish and a trophy. The Pack has had a hard time finding satisfaction with last year's eighth-place showing one year after reaching that po- dium by finishing fourth in 2016. Head coach Laurie Henes, who took over the women's cross country program in 2006, noted that her team was not pleased with its effort at the championship meet. "They wanted to be on the podium, and they were disappointed in the eighth-place finish for sure," Henes noted. "A lot of re- turners have treated it as motivation to get back on the podium." While Henes appreciates the competitive desires of her team, she also wants them to recognize that success or failure is not defined by being on the podium. "Part of this process has to be to have fun with it," she added. This year's team has the potential to have a lot of fun and success at the same time. Six of the top seven runners at the 2017 NCAA Championships are returning, and some tal- ented newcomers are entering the mix. "I feel like we have the personnel to return to the podium, but every year is dif- ferent," Henes noted. Last year, redshirt sophomore Domi- nique Clairmonte finished third at the ACC Championships and helped NC State win the league title. She was fifth at the NCAA Southeast Regional, also won by the Pack. Clairmonte was NC State's top finisher in both meets and third fastest on the squad at the NCAA Championships. Junior Elly Henes earned All-America honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track during the 2017-18 school year. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS W O M E N ' S CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW CHASING THE PODIUM NC State Aims To Return To A Top-Four Finish At Nationals

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