LEXINGTON, Va. – The Western Carolina indoor track & field teams opened their season on a winning note as the men’s team claimed the team title combined with five individual event wins and multiple personal best performances at the season-opening VMI Team Challenge on Saturday.

The men’s team finished in first place in the team standings with 157.5 points while the women’s team finished in second place with 116 points.

“I felt like we did a great job in our opener today,” head coach Jesse Norman stated. “The men’s team got the win while the women finished second. We had numerous PR’s today which is always a good sign as we look ahead. It’ll be fun to look at the conference rankings to see how we stack up. Now it’s time to look ahead to ETSU next week and improve on some things.”

Trini Feggett’s collegiate debut was a successful one as the freshman won the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.38 meters. WCU had four of the top five finishers in the event with sophomore Shon Pratcher in third, junior Di'Joun Huitt in fourth and junior Nicholas Lyons in fifth.

Huitt was the winner of the men’s triple jump after stopping the tape at 15.35 meters. Freshman Benjamin Okafor finished in third place at 13.93 meters followed by Lyons in fifth place at 13.68 meters.

Junior Makaila McIntyre won the women’s triple jump at 11.53 meters and was the women’s long jump runner-up with a leap of 5.55 meters. Sophomore Autumn James finished in third place in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 11.44 meters followed by classmate Jada Woods in fourth at 11.32 meters.

Freshman Ronjay Williams claimed the women’s high jump as she cleared 1.65 meters. Williams also finished in third place in the 60-meter hurdles. Senior Marisa Scott gave WCU two of the top four in the high jump thanks to her fourth-place finish.

The quartet of junior Chase Washington-Saunders, junior Devaniel Dale, senior Miles Greer and senior Nick Lawson closed out the meet with a win in the men’s 4x400-meter relay as they zoomed around the track in 3:21.31.

Feggett was the runner-up in the men’s 60-meter dash with a time of 6.95 as well as in the 200-meter dash as he broke the tape in 21.84.

Washington-Saunders finished in second place in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 48.22 followed by Dale in third as he finished in 49.80. Washington-Saunders and Dale finished in third and fourth place, respectively in the 200-meter dash.

Senior Dakota Wright was the runner-up in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 18.30 meters. Wright finished in fifth place in the men’s shot put and was bested in the event by sophomore Mac Bennett who finished in fourth with a mark of 14.73 meters.

Sophomore Kinley Drummonds finished in second place in the women’s pole vault with a height of 3.65 meters. Drummonds and Appalachian State’s Hannah Emery each cleared 3.65 meters but Drummonds needed one more attempt than Emery to clear the bar and was relegated to second.

In the women’s shot put, Lesleigh Tabor finished in second place with a throw of 13.38 meters. Gwendolyn Solheim scored a fifth-place finish in the event as the freshman had a toss of 12.76 meters.

Junior Kellsie Whitehead finished in second place in the 400-meter dash, breaking the tape in 57.90.

Junior Cory Alston finished in third place in the 60-meter hurdles as he crossed the finish line in 8.40

Freshman Dakota Oxendine finished in third place in the men’s high jump in his first collegiate met as he cleared 1.94 meters.

In the men’s 800-meter run, senior Caleb Albrecht finished in third place as he recorded a time of 1:58.11.

The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Whitehead, sophomore Dominique Delisser, freshman Marissa Blakely and Woods finished in third place at 4:01.68.

Senior Christina Nikolaou finished in fourth place in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:19.11. On the men’s side, senior Jordan Bostian finished in fourth place in the men’s 3,000-meter run in 8:40.14

Western Carolina returns to action next weekend, traveling to ETSU for the Buccaneer Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Men's Scores

1 - WCU - 157.5

2 - App. State -  122.5

3 - East Tenn. St. - 86

4 - CSU - 68

5 - VMI - 67

6 - Citadel - 62

7 - SC State - 37


Women's Scores

1 - App. State - 172

2 - WCU - 116

3 - East Tenn. St. - 82

4 - CSU - 75

T5 - Radford - 42

T5 - Robert Morris – 42

7 - SC State - 28

8 - VMI - 24

9 - Citadel - 4