Charlotte, N.C.- The Charlotte men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday.
Both squads placed 15th overall in the meet against many of the top teams in the country. The 49ers were led by junior Zach Greth, R-senior Ross Roberson and R-junior Ben Sterett for the men’s squad. Graduate Kim Spano, R-senior Maraya Slatter and sophomore Morgan Richards led the way for the women’s squad.
Seven C-USA women’s programs competed in the Pre-Nationals meet. UTSA, Tulsa and UAB ran in the Blue ”A” race. Charlotte, Rice, East Carolina and UTEP ran in the White “B” race. The 49ers led the way in the White race placing five spots in front of Rice, 14 places in front of East Carolina and 20 places in front of UTEP. "The women's team did really well competing against the Conference USA. This meet allowed us to see what our competition will be like heading in to C-USA Championships in two weeks," said Coach Ed Schlichter.
Rice women's squad came into the meet ranked ninth in the south central region. Rice is one of four programs in C-USA with regional rankings. Tulsa, UTSA and UAB, ran in the "A" race, were also ranked fourth in the midwest, tenth in the south central and ninth in the south region respectively.
The men’s program competed against East Carolina as their only C-USA foe in their competition. The 49ers placed two spots better than the Pirates.
"Both teams got revenge on East Carolina this week after (they) got the best of us at Paul Short. We were able to beat some of the programs that are very strong in our region which will help us heading into the southeast regionals in a couple of weeks." Charlotte placed higher than Clemson, Liberty, Campbell and Memphis out of the southeast region.
Kim Spano placed 30th overall out of a field of 227 with a time of 21:52. Spano placed 1st in the gorup of Conference USA runners in the "B" race. Maraya Slatter placed 59th with a time of 22:11. Zach Greth placed 44th overall followed by Ross Roberson in 53rd and Ben Sterett in 54th. Daweet Dagnachew placed 58th for the Niners.
"We will head into Conference USA Championships in two weeks with a lot of confidence knowing that we can compete with the top teams on both sides. We will get into our championship phases and come out ready to compete on November 2."
Charlotte takes next weekend off from competition to prepare for Conference USA Championships in Denton, Texas, November 2.