CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The Charlotte cross country team has its sights set high as it prepares to compete in its home opener, the Charlotte Duals, set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Frank Liske Park in Concord, N.C. The men's 5K race will start at 9 a.m., with the women's 5K event following at 9:30 a.m.

Charlotte looks to take advantage of its home course as it took four of five wins at the dual meet last year. In 2011 at the inaugural Charlotte Duals meet, Katie Holloway finished in a course record time of 18:14.88.

The 49ers got their 2012 season off to a great start last weekend, as both teams finished third at the Western Carolina Invitational. Both squads placed its top seven runners in the top 30 which was highlighted by two top ten performances.

Freshman Morgan Richards dazzled in her collegiate debut with a sixth place finish in the two-mile run (11:42.0). Sophomore Zach Greth, who was a top runner for the 49ers last season, was in the forefront at the WCU Invitational. Greth led the men's team with a tenth place finish (15:53.9) in the 5K event.

Although the 49ers withheld some of its top runners at the WCU Invitational, its depth proved to be a major asset for the 2012 season.

"Last week was a great opener for us," Head coach Ed Schlichter said. "You never really know what to expect during the first meet. Right now we're still in a big training phase to help prepare for the bulk of the season. After the last meet I thought both teams looked great. We have a lot of young talent to go along with our depth and it'll be good for us."

Lauren Pollard, Hana Sutchar, Caragh MacDermott, and Jenna Christensen each finished in the top 20 last weekend and are expected to be among Charlotte's top runners on Saturday.

Chris Anderson finished second for the 49ers and 15th overall (16:07.1) at the WCU Invitational and will look to have another solid race on Saturday along with Ben Sterett, Mike Tamayo, John Felts, and Eleazar Garcia. Last year at the Charlotte Duals, Greth and Garcia cracked the top ten, finishing ninth (16:03.56) and tenth (16.09.84) respectively.

Following the Charlotte Duals, the 49ers will head to Toledo, Ohio for the Toledo Regional Bubble Buster on Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.