CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The 49ers men’s cross country team put up a dominating performance in the Charlotte Invitational Friday at McAlpine Park, taking first place with 27 points. The women also delivered a strong showing, coming in second with 48 points.
“The men seized control of the race right off the bat,” coach Alex Gibby said. “They did a good job of working through some problems when guys came after them, and its unfathomable how far ahead we are from this point last year. It was great to see Tom [Nobles] almost get that win. .”
“On the women’s side, we were perhaps a little too patient for that first 1,000 meters, but I think they did a great job of regrouping from that early deficit and did a great job putting themselves into position to almost win.”
Redshirt freshman Tom Nobles set the pace in the men’s race, leading the pack the for the entire 8K course before slipping to second place overall in the final strikes of the race. Nobles clocked in at 25:27.1., just 0:01.2 behind the winner, Lukas Mees from Emory College.
The rest of the Niners fleet finished just as strongly, with senior Ben Sterett finishing fourth at 25:38.2, and sophomore Daniel Beamer right behind him in fifth at 25:49.9, setting a new personal record. Seniors Michael Tamayo and Nick Rotz rounded out the top 10 field, coming in seventh and ninth respectively.
The 49ers also sent a gang of freshmen into the race as unattached competitors, with Aaron Gebhart turning in a stellar pace at 26:23.6 and a 14th place finish. Classmates Alex Sumida and Matt Bomkamp also cracked the Top 25, turning in a 26:52.3 clip at 23rd place and 26:56:8 at 25th.
Veteran Tiffany Lang was the team’s third finisher for the third straight meet, coming in 8th overall with a time of 22:41.7. Seniors Rachel Miller and Ashleigh Handchen both collected Top 20 finishes, with Miller clocking in at 23:00.3 (13th place) and Handchen 23:06.8 (16th). Redshirt freshman Erin Nelson also turned in a solid showing, with a 22nd finish at 23:30.8.
The 49ers will next take to the course on October 16, running in the Wake Forest Invitational in Winston-Salem.