CULLOWHEE, N.C. - For the 11th straight season, the Western Carolina men’s and women’s cross country programs opened their season at home by hosting the newly named Western Carolina Cross Country Festival. Both the men’s and women’s programs each finished second in their respective races with junior Kaitlyn Lingard picking up the best individual finish as she placed fourth in the women’s two mile race.
Lingard finished among a pack of runners from the University of Georgia who took six of the top seven spots in the race. Lingard turned in a time of 10:58.17 which bested her time from last year’s event by 45 seconds. Junior Christina Nikolaou was WCU’s next finisher as she crossed the line six spots back in 10th with a time of 11:35.22.
The men were led by junior Jordan Bostian who crossed the line in 15:53.30 which earned him seventh overall. The top five spots in the 5K race were all held by Bulldogs from the University of Georgia. Sophomore Ian Reesh came across next for the Catamounts as he completed the course in 16:04.69.
Georgia won both the men’s and women’s races. In the men’s race the team tallied a perfect score of 15 points while the women won with 24 points. WCU came in second in both events with the men’s team tallying 59 points and the women turning in 56 points. Milligan took third in both races with the men scoring 76 points while the women tallied 63 points.
Sophomores Shawnda Martin and Lindsey Trotter were WCU’s third and fourth place finishers as the placed 12th and 13th overall. Martin crossed the finish line in 11:37.55 while Trotter came in at 11:39.14. Senior Madison Goode rounded out the scorers for WCU as she placed 22nd overall with a time of 12:14.70.
Junior Harrison Conner, sophomore Jacob DeAngelo, sophomore Justin Tucker and sophomore Isaiah Hanna finished 17th through 20th overall with Conner, DeAngelo and Tucker rounding out WCU’s scorers. Conner crossed the line in 16:16.15 while DeAngelo finished just behind in 16:17.45. Tucker rounded out the scoring at 16:20.89 while Hanna just missed out on the top-five at 16:22.31.
WCU will be back in action in two weeks at the Mountains to Sea Duals hosted by Appalachian State on Saturday, Sept. 16.