CULLOWHEE, N.C. - For the 10th straight season, the Western Carolina men's and women's cross country programs opened their season at home by hosting the Western Carolina Invitational but for the first time in that span the Catamounts were under the direction of first year head coach Cale McDaniel. Both the men's and women's programs each finished second in their respective races with sophomore Liam Brooks picking up the best individual finish as he placed third in the men's 5K race.
Brooks traveled the course in 15:42.66 to pace the men. Freshman Justin Tucker was next to cross for WCU as he clocked in at 16:02.82.
The women were led by sophomore Kaitlyn Lingard and freshman Shawnda Martin as they finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Lingard completed the course in 11:43.52 while Martin followed close behind at 11:43.95.
UNC Asheville won the men's race with a total of 47 points while WCU finished with 56 points. College of Charleston rounded out the top three after totaling 63 points.
On the women's side, College of Charleston repeated as champions with just 23 points. Western Carolina took second with 65 points while UNC Asheville came in third at 88 points.
Sophomore Harrison Conner and freshman Tyler Robakiewicz crossed 13th and 14th for the WCU men as they clocked in at 16:15.54 and 16:15.99, respectively. Sophomore Jordan Bostian rounded out WCU's five scorers as he came in at 18th with a time of 16:27.46.
Sophomore Trinity Wiles crossed third for the women as she came in 14th overall after completing the course in 12:18.70. The final two scorers for WCU were junior Madison Goode and freshman Lindsey Trotter. Goode placed 19th at 12:28.65 while Trotter came in 23rd with a time of 12:35.42.
WCU will be back in action one week from today at the Asheville Cross Country Invitational.