Cullowhee, N.C. - The Charlotte men's and women's cross country teams both finished third at the Western Carolina Invitational Friday evening.
The women's team finished with a team score of 72 in the two mile run. Florida won the event with a team score of 17, followed by UNC-Asheville in second with 59.
On the men's side, Charlotte finished with a score of 86 in the 5K run. The Gators tallied 19 points to win the event, followed by host WCU in second with 55.
The 49ers didn't unveil some of their top runners at the WCU Invitational in plans to continue its training and preparation for the latter half of the season.
Charlotte placed seven runners in the top 30 out of a field of 74. Freshman Morgan Richards paced the 49ers with a sixth place finish overall in her collegiate debut with a time of 11:42.0.
"Morgan had a good race, she worked really hard to get up to the front and break up Florida's top five runners," head coach Ed Schlichter said. "It was a really good start for her and Lauren also stepped up to the challenge during her first race."
Freshman Lauren Pollard also finished in the top five for Charlotte. She finished second for the 49ers and 13th overall (11:58.5). Senior Hana Sutchar was third for Charlotte and 16th overall crossing the line at 12:09.7. Freshman Caragh MacDermott and sophomore Jenna Christensen finished fourth and fifth respectively for the 49ers and 18th and 19th overall. MacDermott finished with a time of 12:11.8 and Christensen followed with 12:17.2.
"The returners that raced for us today had a solid performance," Schlichter said. "We're very happy with our training and they've been working hard."
The men placed nine runners in the top 30 for the 49ers out of a field of 83. Zach Greth finished 10th overall to lead Charlotte with a time of 15:53.9.
Freshman Chris Anderson was second for the 49ers and 15th overall (16:07.1). Sophomore Ben Sterett and freshman Mike Tamayo were third and fourth respectively for Charlotte. Sterett was 19th overall (16.13.9) and Tamayo was 20th (16:19.3). Freshman John Felts was fifth for the 49ers and 24th overall with a time of 16:22.5.
Freshmen Nick Rotz (16:29.4), Phill Hathaway (16:34.6), and David Keeler (16:40.2) rounded out the top 30.
"This was a good first test for the guys," Schlichter said. "I was really impressed to see how the newcomers worked well the returners. We have a lot of options and I think the top five will move around a bit for us this season. We're really excited to get back to work and get ready for the Charlotte Duals."
The 49ers will host the Charlotte Duals on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Frank Liske Park, Concord, N.C. beginning at 9 a.m.
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