Boone, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers men's and women's cross country teams opened up their seasons this afternoon running at the Covered Bridge Open hosted by Appalachian State University at Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm Fields.
The women got the racing started running a 5K as the 49ers finished 10th as a team. Junior Ashleigh Handchen was the top finisher for Charlotte as she placed 36th overall running the course in a time of 20:28.24. Not far behind her was Kristen Stout who placed 46th as she traversed the course in 20:59.82. Rounding out the action for the Niner women were Lauren Pollard running 22:03.00 to finish 63rd, Tianna McHenry running 22:24.56 to finish 71st and Caragh MacDermott in 94th running 29:16.03.
On the men's side, the Niners also finished 10th as a team as they ran a four mile race. Junior Nicholas Rotz was the top finisher for Charlotte as he came in 51st overall running 22:30.70. Coming in within just a second of one another, Eli Clevenger and Carl Walton finished back-to-back as they came in 65th and 66th running 23:19.4 and 23:20.5, respectively/ Rounding out the action for the Niners were Michael Colven finishing 76th running 24:01.81 and Marcus Rinehardt in 86th running 25:12.01.
"Overall, I was happy with our effort at today's opening meet. We had a controlled race and a good showing by everyone. We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but this is a good starting point," said head coach Alex Gibby.
The Niners return to action on Saturday, September 13 when they travel to the William & Mary College Open in Williamsburg, Virginia.