This time last year, NC State landed three-time New York state champion and four-time Nike Cross National All-American performer Kelsey Chmiel. The Saratoga Springs graduate was recently named ACC XC Freshman of the Week after her second run of this season.
That's one obvious success. But so far this recruiting cycle, NC State has landed more big talents who could immediately become a part of the success they're envisioning for the future. On Sunday, Pan-American U20 Champion Marlee Starliper announced her commitment to the Wolfpack over the University of Oregon and Northern Arizona.
And in the weeks preceding that major announcement, the ACC distance powerhouse also gained the commitments of three-time Florida state champion Alyssa Hendrix; three-time NXN All-American Claire Walters; and two-time NXN All-American and New York distance standout Jenna Schulz.
Riverview's Hendrix committed to the Wolfpack in early October. After winning her first cross country state championship last year, she placed 17th at Foot Locker Nationals. This season, she placed fourth at the Great American Cross Country Festival in a PR of 17:31.50.
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Walters placed fifth individually at NXN last year--for the second straight year--and has now been to four championship races since the eighth-grade--and has been a part of three national championship teams at F-M. She opened up last outdoor season with a time of 6:57.03 in the 2K steeplechase, which finished last track season as a No. 12 effort. The Fayetteville-Manlius senior was also top 15 in the nation in the 1,500m with her effort of 4:33.50.
In the past two seasons, Schulz had two All-American finishes at NXN, with a best of 17:37.70 in 2018. The New Yorker--who has had the fortunate (or unfortunate) position of going up against some of the top-ranked athletes in the country year-after-year in cross country--was also ranked top 20 in the indoor two-mile (10:27.92) and 3,000m (9:46.27) and top 15 in the outdoor 3,000m (9:42.21).
Read: Claire Walters Picks NC State
Starliper, meanwhile, is one of the best distance runners of her recruiting class. The Northern senior, ranked No. 4 in MileSplit's top 50 recruits of the Class of 2020, opened up her cross country season with a PR of 16:30 for US No. 3. During the indoor and outdoor season, she was ranked top five in the nation in the 1,500m, 1,600m, mile, two-mile, 3,000m and 3,200m. She had some big moments during the post-season, too. The Pennsylvania runner won the mile at New Balance Nationals Outdoor and broke 2:10 for the first time in the 800m.
With additional personal records of 2:09.44 (800m), 4:37.45 (1,600m), 4:39.05 (Mile in.), 9:37.88 (3,000m) and 9:54.75 (3,200m), Starliper holds a range that NC State could immediately find a role for in 2020.
The Wolfpack women are ranked No. 9 on the USTFCCA Coaches' Poll after their third-place finish at the Nuttycombe Invitational this past weekend. And NC State loses only one of its returning seven.