Nov. 9, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up the 2012 season today competing in the NCAA Cross Country Southeast Regional held in Charlotte, N.C. at McAlpine Park. The women competed in the 6,000m run while the men ran 10,000m. Senior Mara Smith put an exclamation point on an already stellar career running nearly 20 seconds better than the Western Carolina women's 6k record she set a season ago.
In her final race as a Catamount, senior Mara Smith went out with a bang. The Mauertown, Va., native ran a personal best 21:33, nearly 20 seconds faster than the WCU record she sat last year of 21:51. Her time earned her 25th place overall. Behind Smith was the future of WCU Women's Cross Country, classmates Aleshia Reese and Jocelyn Keen. The two sophomores placed 106 and 107 with Aleshia Reese running a 22:32, the fourth fastest WCU 6k time ever. Keen finished just behind Reese with a time of 22:32. Keen ran a 22:29 at McAlpine Park earlier in the season at the Charlotte Invitational.
Crossing the line next for the Catamounts were freshman Kaitlyn Shetler (200, 23:54.32) and sophomore Lena Elliott (225, 24:40). The final two runners for WCU were junior Kaylan Lance who ran a 25:33 (241) and freshman Mackenzie Jensen with her time of 27:03 (251).
As a team, the women placed 25th overall. Duke was the overall women's winner with an average time of 20:53.89, while Cally Macumber of Kentucky was the individual winner (20:10).
On the men's side, Western Carolina placed 22nd overall, averaging the 10k in 32:52.15. The men's team was led by senior Josey Weaver, who placed 56th overall with a personal-best time of 31:32. That time is the fourth fastest 10k time ever ran by a Catamount, besting his previous fastest of 32:01 in 2010. Behind Weaver came sophomore Travis Alfaro. Alfaro placed 101st with his time of 32:26. Alfaro's time also made the top times list at number 19.
Senior Nolan Clark ran the third fastest time for the Catamounts, 32:37, to place 116. Clark's time was less than 20 seconds faster than his previous personal best of 32:56.th Sr. Josey Weaver 31:32.13. Classmate Chase Fisher also ran his final race in the Purple and Gold, crossing the line in 33:16 (145), which also was a personal best.
Overall, Virginia came away with the Southeast Regional title (30:16.67) to complete the ACC sweep, while Eastern Kentucky's Soufiane Bouchikhi was the individual winner (29:32).