Superstar Freshmen Katelyn Tuohy and Marlee Starliper Will Not Race at ACCs; NC State Coach Laurie Henes Optimistic They’ll Be Ready for NCAAs in March

By Jonathan Gault
October 28, 2020

Star NC State freshmen Katelyn Tuohy and Marlee Starliper will not race at Friday’s ACC Cross Country Championships, Wolfpack coach Laurie Henes confirmed to on Tuesday.

“I am hopeful and I believe that both of them will be ready whenever there is an actual NCAA championship, and that’s our goal, the long-term,” Henes said.

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The NCAA championships are scheduled for March 15, in Stillwater, Okla.

Tuohy, a three-time NXN champion and the US high school record holder at 5,000 meters (15:37.12) and Starliper, the 2019 Foot Locker runner-up with personal bests of 4:37 (mile) and 9:54 (3200m) came to Raleigh this summer as part of one of the most decorated recruiting classes in NCAA history. But Henes said that neither athlete was 100% healthy when they arrived on campus — she declined to go into specifics — and said it didn’t make sense to rush them back to racing in a fall season devoid of an NCAA championship.

Tuohy in 2018 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

“We’re going to be very conservative and patient and take a long-term approach to it, because I think that for both of them, they’re at a super high talent level and their goals are very high,” Henes said. “We just didn’t see a benefit to rushing back to racing at this point.”

Starliper last raced on March 1, winning the mile/3000 double at the Pennsylvania indoor state meet. Tuohy’s last race was a win in the 1500 at the New York indoor state meet on March 7.

Starliper told Milesplit in May that she had taken a month off of training in the spring after tweaking her leg on a trail run. Tuohy told in July that she was forced to take some time off this summer due to injury.

“I’ve been dealing with knee pain for the last two years, so I’ve kind of just shut it down,” Tuohy said.

Henes said that both athletes have resumed training — though not at full volume — and has liked what she has seen from an attitude perspective.

“They’re great teammates, both of them,” Henes said. “They’re highly motivated.”

NC State will host the ACC Championships on Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

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