The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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one athlete 15th at the NCAAs in cross country, those two guys will score points for you," Geiger said. "Last year, Ryan ran 13:31 in the 5,000 meters and Andrew ran 13:44. Those are not just good marks; those are national athletes. So they're kind of the cornerstones." Hill won the ACC outdoor champion- ship in the 10,000 meters last spring, and fifth-year senior Adam Henken was sec- ond in that race, five seconds off of Hill's blistering pace. Henken also runs the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters. Fifth-year senior Bobby Moldovan also ran the 3,000 meters at the Flotrack Husky Classic, albeit in a different heat, and ran a strong 8:02.69. A 3,000-meter conference champion in 2009, Moldovan is running as well so far this season as at any time in his four-plus years in Raleigh. "I think I'm having my best indoor sea- son," Moldovan said. "I've had [personal records] my last two races, in the mile [4:04.63 at the Virginia Tech Elite] and the 3,000 meters [8:02.69 at the Flotrack Husky Classic], but I think I've still got plenty of good races in me." Much has been made of Hill's sub-four- In February, Hill ran the first sub-four-minute mile in school history (3:58.33 at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet) and broke the American col- legiate record for the 3,000 meters (7:43.08 at the Flotrack Husky Classic in Seattle). PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Hill's record-setting season notwith- standing, Geiger's original point still holds true. As great as Hill has performed so far this year and as great as he's performed throughout his career — a five-time All- American, he's a national contender in five events — the Wolfpack should be pretty strong across the board this season. Start with Hill's fellow distance run- ners. The Wolfpack finished 10th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, with Hill finishing 12th individually and redshirt sophomore Andrew Colley fin- ishing 15th to earn All-America honors. Colley has yet to run indoors in 2012, but he earned All-ACC honors indoors in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters a year ago, and qualified for outdoor regionals in the 5,000 meters. "When you have one athlete 12th and minute mile, but several Wolfpack run- ners just missed four minutes in the same race. Redshirt sophomore Brian Himelright (4:04.93), graduate student Sandy Roberts (4:05.33 running unattached) and redshirt sophomore Matt Sonnenfeldt (4:08.8) all finished in less than 4:10, and true fresh- man Graham Crawford was just north of 4:10 (4:11.50 running unattached). Also in the distance races, Sonnenfeldt ran an 8:08.38 in the 3,000 meters earlier this season at the Valentine Invitational, and redshirt junior Patrick Campbell ran an 8:10.58 at the same race. Moldovan and Sonnenfeldt run both the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters. Campbell competes in the 1,500 meters, the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. NC State also is strong in the middle dis- tance races. Fifth-year senior Greg Dame was a regional qualifier a year ago in the 1,500 meters, and Himelright made it to the regional finals in the steeplechase. Roberts, a Raleigh native and Georgetown transfer, was recently granted an extra year of eligi- bility for the outdoor season. He was an in- door All-American in the distance-medley relay in 2009 with the Hoyas and is strong in several events. Redshirt freshman John Wolfe and true freshman Vibush Sivakumaran run the 800 meters, and one or both of them may drop down to join the 4x400-meter relay team. NC State was a force in the sprints a year ago thanks to the world-class speed of football wide receiver and kick returner T.J. Graham. The NFL combine and draft have Graham's full attention this spring, so he is not running track, which leaves something of a void. Fellow receiver Tobais Palmer ran sprints a year ago and is back again in 2012. Daniel Frentz is strong in the longer sprints, the 200 meters and the 400 meters. Off the track and onto the field, the Wolf- pack has several familiar names back for 2012, and those names also should be scor- ing points. Junior high jumper Kris Kornegay- Gober already has cleared 7 feet, 2 inches this season indoors and should only get better. Freshman Reuben Malone has es- tablished himself as a contender in the long jump and triple jump, with redshirt junior Kwame Boatwright also in the long jump. Fifth-year senior Emmanuel Davis also is strong in the long jump. The throws also are a strength for the Pack. Redshirt freshman Jule Rich, who redshirted a year ago and participated in the Junior National Trials, stands out in the dis- cus, while Nathaniel Williams throws the shot put, discus and hammer. Grant Pearce heaves the discus and hammer. Finishing in the top 25 nationally is the Wolfpack's goal as a team. To accomplish that, Geiger said, the team will need strong performances across the board. "For this program to reach its goal, we have to have athletes scoring points at nationals," Geiger said. "It's not enough just to get there; you have to score points. We've had that in the past and we have more than enough talent on this team to get that done this year." ■ — He already has cleared 7-2 this season, and head coach Rollie Geiger can envision the junior from Washington, D.C., upping that personal best by another two inches or so. The school record is 7-6, and while that may be a stretch for 2012, he has another year after this one. Redshirt freshman thrower Jule Rich — The Junior high jumper Kris Kornegay-Gober Three To Watch drew Colley — In most other programs, Colley would be a star, but he gets overshadowed by redshirt junior Ryan Hill, who can score points in every event from the mile to the 10,000 meters. Colley burns up the track in the 1,500 meters (3:45.44) and the 5,000 meters (13:44.79), and is capable of qualifying and scoring in both all the way to nationals. discus is arguably track and field's signature event, and Rich got one throw out to 52.29 meters at last year's Duke Twilight Open and competed in last year's Junior National Trials. Because the discus is not thrown indoors, look for Rich to come busting out of the chute when the outdoor season starts in March. Redshirt sophomore distance runner An- MARCH 2012 ■ 77

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