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February 29, 2024 4:49 pm

Mount Olive cross country squads compete in Catawba Fleet Feet Invite

SALISBURY – The Mount Olive men finished second in the Catawba Fleet Feet Invite on Sept. 2, while the women notched a fourth-place tally.

The men placed a trio of runners among the top-20 overall on Saturday morning and finished second in the team standings at the season-opening Catawba Fleet Feet Invite.

The University of Mount Olive men’s cross country team totaled 69 points after featuring two of the top-15 individual finishers. The host Catawba captured the team title by tallying 15 points at the seven-team event, while North Greenville finished third overall with 86 points.

Junior Aman Tsegay led the Trojans and crossed the line with a time of 27 minutes, 25.1 seconds to place 11th in a field of 63 competitors. He paced the program in all five events in 2022 and posted a 33rd-place finish at the Conference Carolinas Championship.

Fellow junior Riley Willcox posted a time of 27:47.8 over the eight-kilometer race at the Salisbury Community Park to finish 13th overall. In his first appearance with the program, freshman Evan Hall placed 18th for Mount Olive after recording a time of 28:09.8 on Saturday.

After missing all of 2022 due to injury, junior Ashton Olmstead made his return and crossed the line in 28:35.7 to take 25th place and four positions behind junior Richard Villafranco finished 29th overall with a time of 28:48.7 to round out the team scorers.

Sophomore Josh Hendren posted a time of 29:07.3 in the season-opening race to place 35th and teammate Matthew Riggs crossed the line with a 41st-place finish after registering a time of 29:36.1. Additionally, senior Nathanael Bierly recorded a time of 29:44.5 to finish in 43rd place, while freshman Devon Coughlin placed 56th overall with a time of 33:10.3.

Senior Celine Fleurilus finished 18th overall on Saturday morning, as the women’s team placed fourth in the team standings at the Catawba Fleet Feet Invite at the Salisbury Community Park.

The University of Mount Olive women’s cross country program totaled 120 points at the event to place fourth in a small field of competitors. Host Catawba claimed the team championship with 15 points behind the top-five runners. North Greenville placed second overall with 60 points after three individuals finished in the top-15, while Pfeiffer finished third with 70 points.

Fleurilus led the team with a top-20 finish in the season-opening event after crossing the line in 22 minutes, 12.3 seconds while competing in the five-kilometer race.

Sophomores Ciara Sulton and Natalie Baldwin finished 25th and 26th, respectively, in a field of 45 competitors. Sulton registered a time of 23:13.3 while competing in North Carolina and Baldwin posted a time of 23:25.7.

Junior Caroline Allred crossed the line with a time of 25:12.2 to place 34th overall. Senior Tylyia Triggs competed in her first career cross country meet at UMO and finished 41st after registering a time of 30:22.8.

Catawba sophomore Madison Clay earned individual medalist honors after winning the race by nearly nine seconds with a time of 18:24.8 on Saturday.

Both Mount Olive teams return to action at the Wilmington Beach Blast on Friday, Sept. 8, at Olsen Park.