Two of North Carolina's best announced their respective college decisions this past week, and neither are going far from home.
Both programs have secured top tier recruiting classes over the last two seasons as they look to rise to the top of the ACC and the NCAA. The last time the NC State men's team won the ACC title was 2011, and for UNC it was 1985.
The two programs have seen a surge of success recently, as NC State opened the season ranked No. 28 nationally, and UNC currently sits No. 18.
Motondo has the NC No. 1 time this season after his 15:09 runner-up performance at Great American XC Festival. Soule, on the other hand, is NC No. 2 this season and is fresh off a team championship at Great American XC Festival. With Mount Tabor moving up to the NCHSAA 4A classification, we will not see these two race for the individual state title for their classification. Motondo is the defending NCHSAA 3A state champion, where Soule finished 4th.
The friendly-rivals will continue their rivalry at the next level in ACC play.
"The first time I talked to Coach Mitenberg [Head Coach of UNC], he was enthusiastic, energetic, and excited about what he was building in Chapel Hill," Soule said, "Right away I felt that I connected well with him and I knew I wanted to be a part of a rising program."
Staying in-state means a lot to Soule, "After that visit, I remember telling my dad that this place was home."
Motondo will be only 25-miles down I-40 in Raleigh, at NC State University.
Like Soule, Motondo was in awe of the coaching staff and their pedigree, "The coaching staff at NC State is known everywhere you go. Coach Pearson had an incredible running career and Coach Geiger has been known as a legend in the coaching world."
Montondo felt like NC State had a strong family feel to their team, "In the end, the reason I chose NC State was because I knew I would have coaches that I trust and teammates that I would love being around every day."
Both Soule and Motondo will be gearing up for the NCHSAA Regionals at the end of the month, and the NCHSAA state meet the first weekend in November.