Photo contributed by NC State’s Student Athletics
The North Carolina State University athletic department is currently achieving high levels of success in their performances in their 2021-’22 season. F
The Women’s Cross Country brought home the ultimate goal of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national title which is the Athletic Department’s first national championship in a team sport since 1983.
It was the Women’s Cross Country program’s first NCAA title and third National Title as the team won back-to-back Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championships in 1979 & 1980.
Kelsey Chmiel was the University’s highest placing finisher in the championship race and finished 6th of all competitors. Katelyn Tuohy, Allie Hays, Hannah Steelman, and Sam Bush assisted in bringing home the team’s championship race, giving the team five of the top 32 competitors in the race.
Chmiel, Tuohy, Hays, Steelman, and Bush all earned all American-Honors earning the school’s record for All-Americans in a single season.
It was the First NCAA title the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) had won in Women’s cross country since Virginia accomplished the feat by winning the 1981 & 1982 titles.
NC State’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Team earned the second-highest result in program history by finishing 5th at the 2022 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Katharine Berkoff won the national championship for the 100-yard backstroke for the second year in a row. Berkoff won the race with a time of 48.74 and became the first woman representing NC State in swimming and diving to break an NCAA record and in the process set a new record for NCAA, ACC, US Open, Pool, and program history.
Berkoff, Emma Muzzy, Hylee Alons, Sophie Hansson, Annabel Crush, and Abby Arens all earned All-American honors for their individual and relay efforts in the NCAA championships.
In total, the team earned seven All-American honors with four of those being individual All-American honors.
The team also set a new University record for the 400-yard relay event with a time of 3:09.95
NC State’s Men’s Swimming and Diving Team finished 4th to tie the university’s highest result in men’s swimming and diving.
The team has reached this position multiple times from 2016 to 2019.
Kacper Stokowski won the national championship for the 100-yard backstroke, which is the 6th fastest in the history of the event and the second-fastest in NC state history.
Will Gallant and Ross Dant placed second and third respectively in the 1650 freestyle.
NC State’s men’s team had seven individual All-Americans & Each of NC State’s five relay teams received All-American honors.
NC State Women’s Basketball
Raina Perez’s steal sends NC State’s Women’s Basketball Team Into the elite eight.
North Carolina State’s Women’s Basketball team has reached high levels of success on the court. The team recently won their third consecutive ACC tournament title. Also, winners of the ACC regular-season championship, this was the first season in which they won both the regular season and tournament since they were coached by Kay Yow in 1986.
But NC State’s most successful season since the 1980s was almost over as the Wolfpack were losing by a point to Notre Dame before Raina Perez stole the ball with 21 seconds left in the game to give Pack a 64-63 lead. Notre Dame would then miss a jumper and Perez would get a rebound and make two free throw shots that sealed the win for NC State 66-63, advancing to the first Elite Eight in the program’s history since 1998.
While Perez made the play that gave the Wolfpack the lead, it was players like Kai Crutchfield that kept them in the game by scoring 14 points and making half her shots while playing a team-high 40 minutes in the game. Elissa Cunane, Jada Boyd, Kayla Jones, and Jakia Brown-Turner also helped keep the back in the game by securing rebounds and scoring points that kept the game close.
Heading into the final quarter of play down 7 points, ESPN’s win probability metric gave the Wolfpack a 19.6 chance of winning the game.
The Wolfpack would quickly bring the game within 2 points early into the 4th quarter but Notre Dame would increase their lead to 8 points with six minutes left in the game.
After defeating Notre Dame the Wolfpack were set up to play against UCONN for a chance to reach the Final Four. UCONN one of the best basketball programs in the nation has reached every Final Four Since 2007.
Although NC State was the higher seeded team, they had to travel to Connecticut and play in their opponent’s home state.
Many NC State fans and neutral observers questioned the fairness of higher seeded NC State playing in Connecticut, UCONN’s home state.
Still, there was a game to be played.
UCONN took control of the game early, taking a 9 point lead halfway through the second quarter.
The Wolfpack mounted a comeback in the second half and got within two points of tying the game two minutes into the third quarter and when the quarter ended State trailed by just a point 44-43.
The fourth quarter was back and forth as State took the lead on a Jada Boyd layup early in the fourth quarter and would take a 4 point lead after Diamond Johnson made three pointer the next possession, but UCONN would quickly regain a two point lead behind their star No. 1 recruits Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd.
With one minute left in the fourth quarter Elissa Cunane made a layup off the backboard to tie the game, after both teams failed to score for the rest of regulation there would be an overtime.
The overtime was back and forth leading to NC State being down three points with 6 seconds left. Coach Wes Moore in a last second effort called a timeout and drew up a play for Jakia Brown Turner who made a three point shot to tie the game and send it into a second overtime.
This marked history as the first Women’s NCAA tournament game in the elite eight to ever go into double overtime.
The Wolfpack would fall in the second overtime marking the end of a historic season that saw the team win the conference regular season and tournament titles as well as reach the elite eight.
NC State’s Women’s Tennis Team is currently undefeated through seven games of ACC play for the first time in program history. Overall they’ve only lost one of their first twenty matches.
This success has earned the Wolfpack women’s team the second overall ranking in the nation.
The Wolfpack Wrestling Team won their fourth ACC title in a row in 2021-22.
NC State’s Baseball Team is recovering from last year’s decision that barred the team from competing in the final four after an outbreak within the team. While they aren’t currently ranked in the top 25, Freshman Tommy “Tanks” White is currently 2nd in the Nation in home runs and captivated by social media with a stretch of 9 home runs in 10 games.
NC State Football had success accomplishing a 9 win season with wins over Clemson, Florida State, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Offensive Lineman Ikem Ekwonu is expected to be a top pick in this year’s upcoming draft while the team returns most of their starters on defense.
The success program-wide has been recognized nationally as Athletic Director Boo Corrigan has been awarded the Cushman & Wakefield Athletic Director of the year award. The award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities