CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte men’s and women’s cross country wrapped up successful seasons this past weekend after both teams competed in the 2015 NCAA Southeast Regional in Charlottesville, Va.
Second year coach Alex Gibby was overall quite pleased with his squads this season, after implementing his training program to a large group of upperclassmen unfamiliar to it beforehand.
“This year we had a blended group; we were young and old at the same time,” Gibby said. “I was pleased with the rate of preparation on the men’s side, they came back ready to run and were light years better than we were last season.”
“The women were deeper across the board in terms of being so much better than in 2014, with a big group of experienced runners. From an overall standpoint, the foundation is now in place to better execute our performances, we just need to focus on believing in that more.”
The men’s squad had a fantastic year, winning the Charlotte Invitational and placing second at the Wake Forest Invite, against several regionally ranked opponents. The team placed fifth at the Conference USA Championships, catapulted by performances from senior Michael Tamayo and sophomore Daniel Beamer, who each earned Third Team All-C-USA for their runs.
Seven members on the men’s squad set new personal-bests in 2015, some shredding more than 40 seconds off their old times. Through most of the season, the Niners were led by a core four in Tamayo, Beamer, senior Ben Sterett, and redshirt freshman Tom Nobles. Sterett and Nobles took turns turning in the top performances on the team for most of the season, but were always followed closely by Tamayo and Beamer.
The team also performed well in the classroom, placing two 49ers on the elite six-man C-USA All-Academic Team in Beamer and redshirt senior Zach Greth. Greth’s stellar 3.97 GPA is a league-best.
Nobles and Beamer will lead the 49ers next season, accompanied by a promising group of will-be redshirt freshmen who spent this season training and running unattached to better prepare themselves. Also returning is Adam Huff, who finished the season setting personal records in both the C-USA Championships and the Regional. Also returning is classmate Josh Barrett, who ran his best time of the year and his career at the C-USA Championships.
The women consistently turned in Top 5 finishes, taking a second place at the Charlotte Invitational and finishing fifth at both the Wake Forest Invite and the C-USA Championships. Redshirt junior Carolina Casin-Silva emerged as the top 49er female, posting the top finish on the team in four of five meets. Casin-Silva also earned Third Team All-C-USA at the conference championships, setting a new personal record in the outing.
A collection of seniors also provided strong performances on the women’s side this year; Morgan Richards finished was first or second on the squad in four of the six meets, with Tiffany Lang controlling the third team spot in all but two of the meets. Rachel Miller and Ashleigh Handchen posted new personal bests during the 2015 campaign.
Returning with Casin-Silva next season will be Caroline Sang, who battled injury during the early part of the year and replied with outstanding performances in her last three meets, falling just one place shy of All-Conference honors at the C-USA Championships and recording the top team finish at the NCAA Regionals.
Seven members on the women’s fleet also recorded new personal bests throughout the season, including current redshirt freshmen Erin Nelson who also returns after posting personal bests at both the 5K and 6K distances this season.