Charlotte, N.C.-  The Charlotte 49ers men’s and women’s cross country program will host the eighth annual Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte.   McAlpine Creek Park plays host to the Charlotte Invitational for the fifth time of its existence.  

The Niners will be looking to defend their home turf, having fared well at McAlpine in the past.  Charlotte captured team titles in 2007 and 2009, while picking up top ten finishes each of the past three years. 

The 49ers have “been working hard in the offseason continuing our base training from the summer, making sure we are getting in longer intervals, hill workouts and strength training to get ready for the Charlotte Invitational,” said Coach Ed Schlichter.   

Charlotte has participated in one meet so far this season and will debut their “A” team at the Charlotte Invitational.  “I am extremely impressed with everyone in our top 10 on both sides.  They are looking outstanding, getting better every week.”

 “I think that everyone running for us in the gold race (top 7) is going to be a difference maker for us when it comes to team scores.”  Among the top runners from last year’s Charlotte Invitational, Junior Zach Greth placed 29th overall for the men’s squad as well as Morgan Richards placing 73rd overall for the women’s.  Running alongside Greth in the gold race for the men’s will be Daweet Dagnachew, Ross Roberson, Joseph Cotto, Ben Sterett, Michael Tamayo and Getisso Dentamo.  For the women’s gold race features: Kim Spano, Maraya Slatter, Jen Molke, Rachel Miller, Morgan Richards, Carolina Casin-Silva and Aleisha Murrell.

Although Taylor Carcella, Kristen Stout, Ashleigh Handchen, Nicole Morgan, Tianna McHenry, Tiffany Lang, Chelsea Matson and Lauren Pollard for the women’s side and Eleazar Garcia, Marcus Rinehardt, Nicholas Rotz, Eli Clevenger, Michael Colven, Phillip Hathaway, Kent Mann and Carl Walton for the men’s side are participating in the “green” race all of the Charlotte runners look to contribute to the team as the look to run personal bests as well as gain experience heading into the Paul’s Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa., October 5th.

This year’s field features 34 women’s teams and 29 men’s.  “We have some great teams coming.”  Most notable in the field are Division I squads such as: Conference USA foe Marshall, Miami, Florida State, Mississippi State, North Florida, Northern Kentucky, Radford, Tennessee Tech, NC A&T, UNC Greensboro, USC Upstate, Virginia Military Institute, and cross-town rival Davidson.  “It has been exciting every year to see the Charlotte Invitational grow and be able staple in the southeast.” 

The field displays numerous Division I, II, and III teams that are ranked regionally in their respected divisions and regions.  “We take pride in saying that we (Charlotte) have one of the largest cross country meets in the southeast.”  Because of the large number of teams competing, the meet will be split into four races, including men’s and women’s “gold” races, as well as men’s and women’s non-scoring “green” races. The meet kicks off at 8:45 a.m. with the women’s 6K “gold” race, with the men’s 8K “gold” event following at 9:20 a.m.

Be sure to check out the 2013 Charlotte Invitational Meet Preview for a complete list of schools and runners.