COLUMBIA, S.C- The Charlotte men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Carolina Challenge hosted by the University of South Carolina on Fort Jackson.

The 49ers women’s team placed fourth overall out of eleven teams.  Charlotte finished with a score of 107 in the 5K challenge.  Coastal Carolina placed first overall with a team total of 39, barely in front of host South Carolina at 41. 

The 49ers men’s team placed fourth as well out of eight programs.  Charlotte finished with a score of 111 in the 5K.  Davidson took home first place with a team total of 35.

“It was good to see what we did as a team, a good way to start the season off.  Conditions were extremely hot and humid, but with all things considered we ran very well,” said Coach Ed Schlichter.

Charlotte did not unveil their top runners, who are still in a heavy training session preparing for the Charlotte Invitational next month.  Experience was the main goal for the 49ers men’s and women’s team.

Charlotte newcomer, sophomore Carolina Casin-Silva led the way for the women’s team placing fifth overall with a time of 18:59.90 in the 5K, running a personal best.  Aleisha Murrell, the only freshman newcomer for the 49ers, placed inside the top 20 at 18th.

“This was a great first meet for our team. Carolina Casin-Silva and Aleisha Murrell were outstanding in their Charlotte debuts.”

Sophomores Michael Tamayo and Nick Rotz led the way for the men’s team posting a 13th and 19th overall finish respectively.

Sophomores Eli Clevenger and Caragh MacDermott finished just outside the top 20, placing 21st and 23rd overall respectively.  Redshirt freshman, Carl Walton finished 26th overall and senior Nicole Morgan placed 38th.  Junior Tianna McHenry finished 40th, while sophomore Marcus Rinehardt at 42nd and Kent Mann, the men’s only freshman newcomer, finished 57th overall.

“Both teams looked really strong, but the game plan was different, going conservative at the beginning and finishing strong towards the middle and end of the race.”

The Carolina Challenge featured South Carolina, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, The Citadel, Charleston Southern, USC-Beaufort, Georgia Southern, Presbyterian, South Carolina State and Savannah Art & Design on the women’s side. 

The men’s side featured much of the same teams, Davidson, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, Savannah Art & Design, The Citadel, Presbyterian, and South Carolina State.

The 49ers continue their training regimen until they host the Charlotte Invitational on Saturday, September 28 at McAlpine Creek Park, Charlotte, N.C. beginning at 9 a.m.