Earlier today, Citius Mag first reported that NC State veteran Kelsey Chmiel was seen on crutches the Friday prior to the NCAA XC Championships.
In a pre-race press conference, Jonathan Gault of LetsRun cited NC State Coach Laurie Henes as saying that Chmiel will not run during tomorrow's race. Henes is quoted as saying, "The amount of swelling, we can’t manage it," and "[Chmiel] did everything she can to get (back) but it’s not gonna happen. It’s not fractured. It’s not surgical. So she’ll be okay, but she is not able to run on it."
Chmiel, who is currently listed at TSR #5 in The Stride Report's D1 XC Top 50 Individual Rankings, has emerged as one of the most reliable All-American stars in the NCAA over the last few years.
A 10-time All-American across all three seasons of competition, Chmiel finished 3rd at last year's NCAA XC Championships after placing 6th and 9th in her two cross country national meets prior to 2022. She has been an integral of NC State's recent dominance.
With one of the Wolfpack's top standouts now expected to be sidelined for tomorrow's season finale, the chances of the NC State women defending their team national title on Saturday have dropped significantly.
And while there is still an avenue towards NCAA gold, toppling a juggernaut Northern Arizona squad has now become far more challenging than many cross country fans initially expected.