The Wolfpacker

July 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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the NCAA Championships and place among the nation's top 10. That mission was accom- plished in 2011, thanks to a pair of standout runners that led a strong supporting cast. E ■ TEAM OF THE YEAR Senior Ryan Hill led the team to its 15th ACC championship by winning the individual conference title, and he was fol- lowed closely by redshirt sophomore An- drew Colley, who trailed his teammate by three seconds. Wolfpack runners also took 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th — all fin- ished within 10 seconds of All-ACC honors (top 14) — to help the Pack beat Florida State for the crown by just four points. It is the program's 12th title in the last 16 years. BY RYAN TICE very year, NC State men's cross country coach Rollie Geiger has three goals for his team — take home the ACC crown, qualify for It marked State's best NCAA finish since 2003, when it also placed 10th. Hill and Colley were both named All- Americans, and Geiger's squad wrapped up the 10th top-10 finish in program his- tory. The lead runners gave the school its first All-American duo since 2006 and the first men's tandem since 2001, while Hill became the eighth three-time honoree in State annals and the first since 1998. Moldovan finished 93rd, Sonnenfeldt finished 123rd and Henken finished 124th to round out the scoring. "That's an incredible day for the program," Geiger said. "Both Ryan and Andrew had terrific years, and they're the cornerstones of the program, but it was a team effort. "I think everybody looks to Ryan and Men's Cross Country Is The Wolfpacker's Team Of The Year Hill is NC State's first individual cham- ACCOMPLISHED MISSION: two Pack men accomplished that feat. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Redshirt sophomore Andrew Colley (above) and senior Ryan Hill both earned All-America honors, marking the first time since 2001 that pion since 2007 — which made the victory that much sweeter according to Geiger, who was later named ACC Coach of the Year for the 13th time in his 30 years at the helm of the program. The longtime mentor has also been voted ACC Coach of the Year in women's cross country 15 times as well as five times in track and field. "I think winning a conference champion- ship is always special, no matter how many the program has previously won," Geiger said. "With Ryan, Bobby Moldovan, Greg Dame and Adam Henken being seniors, it was a really special day because that was their last opportunity. We want to be successful every year, but when you have that many seniors, it's nice to go out as a conference champion. "It was a one-two finish — and it was certainly a team effort — but we don't win unless we go one-two in that race. It was also great to see that, as soon as Ryan finished, he immediately turned around and looked for Andrew Colley. It was a special day for NC State." The Pack wasn't satisfied with taking the ACC trophy, though. Hill and his teammates were both victorious at the NCAA South- 124 ■ THE WOLFPACKER east Regional, while Colley placed fourth. Moldovan and juniors Patrick Campbell and Matt Sonnenfeldt were all named all-region after placing among the top 25 at the race. The gold medal finish earned the program its 23rd trip to the NCAA Championships, which includes 16 appearances in the past 17 years, and that was where the Pack was focused on performing all year. "I think they were on a mission, [look- ing] past the ACC Championships," Geiger noted. "They really wanted to finish in the top 10 at nationals. It would've been disap- pointing had we not done so. It wasn't just, 'Let's win a conference championship and qualify for nationals,' it was, 'Let's finish in the top 10.' There was always a goal beyond the conference level. "This was a quality team, and I knew early on that we would be competitive [on the national level]. Having said that, it's all about opportunity and they have to take advantage of the opportunity." The Pack certainly took advantage of its chance in Terre Haute, Ind. With Hill and Colley leading the way — the duo finished 12th and 15th, respectively — the Red and White accomplished its goal and finished 10th at the biggest race of the year. be at Ryan's level athletically, but they're getting better because of the level that Ryan is performing at." NC State's entire athletics department had a memorable year — only three schools in the nation, including the Pack, boasted a victorious bowl team in football, a Sweet 16 team in basketball and a Super Regional squad in baseball. Those accom- plishments weren't lost on Geiger, who wanted to commend those teams, as well as the department as a whole, for the past year's accomplishments. "I think it's great that our team is The Wolfpacker's Team of the Year, but I've been taken aback by the success of the football team for coming back against Maryland and winning their bowl game, the basketball program for finishing in the top 20 and making the Sweet 16, and the baseball team for almost getting to the Col- lege World Series," the coach said. "Those are all great teams, and it would be difficult for me to have to pick one of those four. My hat's off to those programs, too." ■ finish at the NCAA Championships. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Head coach Rollie Geiger guided the Wolfpack to its 15th ACC championship and a top-10 sees what he has accomplished in the pro- gram, and the other athletes want to raise their level. I think it has had an effect on Andrew and the level he's running at, and it affects the other athletes, too. They may not

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