BOONE, North Carolina – Seniors John Riemer and Ashley Wybersky were UNCW’s top runners again as the men’s and women’s cross country teams battled a large field of runners in the Blue Ridge Open late Friday at the State Farm Fields.

With the fall colors of the Appalachian Mountains serving as a picturesque backdrop, the Seahawks finished 14th out of 28 entries in the 8K men’s race and eighth out of 27 schools in the 5K women’s run. The large turnout competed in near-ideal conditions of plentiful sunshine and 60 degree temperatures.

“The conditions were great today,” said Layne Schwier, UNCW’s long distance coach. “Most of the hard work is over now for both teams as we get ready for the CAA race. We’ve been focusing on the process and doing what we need to do each day. It’s hard to have it all come together on the same day, but we’re hopeful that can happen in two weeks.”

Host Appalachian State won the men’s race with 102 points, with Cedarville, George Mason, Morehead State and East Tennessee State rounding out the top-5. Matt Brooker of Cedarville captured individual honors with a time of 24:27.

Riemer, meanwhile, wound up 60th overall with a time of 25:55 to pace the Seahawks in all five races this fall. A total of 229 runners competed in the race.

“Our men were solid and John (Riemer) was solid out front for us,” added Schwier. “John broke 26 minutes for the first time. We needed a couple more guys up with him and that didn’t happen. Dylan (Skinner) had a better race today and Colin (Kern) continues to come up big for us.”

On the women’s side, Furman came in first with 45 points, followed by Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, UNC Asheville and East Tennessee State in the top-5. Furman’s Allie Suchalski took individual honors by clocking a 17:39.

Wybersky, who returned to competition after sitting out the Mason Invitational two weeks ago, came in 30th overall with a 19:02 time. She went up against 216 competitors.

“Our women certainly ran faster than we did here seven weeks ago, but not what we had hoped,” said Schwier. “We had a fairly large gap between our fourth and fifth runners and that really hurt our score.

“Michaela Moran really made a big improvement for us today after missing last week. We still have a few injuries that are holding a few people back from performing their best. If we can find a solid fifth runner and get a few to break off in front, we should do well in the conference race.”

The Seahawks return to action on Nov. 2 when the teams compete in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships in Cockeysville, Md.

Final Blue Ridge Open Women’s Team Results (Top 10): Furman, 45; Appalachian State, 64; Coastal Carolina, 136; UNC Asheville, 191; East Tennessee State, 197; George Mason, 229; Morehead State, 240; UNCW, 244; High Point, 263; Duke, 299.

UNCW Individual Women’s Results: Ashley Wyberksy, 30th, 19:02; Rachel Quinn, 40th, 19:13; Haley Kapheim, 49th, 19:20; Michaela Moran, 50th, 19:21; Dakota Foskey, 107th, 20:11; Sarah Goodnight, 114th, 20:16; Kim Black, 117th, 20:18; Hannah Riordan, 119th, 20:22; Sarah Alexander, 120th, 20:22; Parker Navarro, 162nd, 21:14; Allie Worsdale, 188th, 22:08.

Final Blue Ridge Open Men’s Team Results (Top 10): Appalachian State, 102; Cedarville, 118; George Mason, 124; Morehead State, 156; East Tennessee State, 160; High Point, 168; VMI, 175; Davidson, 213; Coastal Carolina, 256; Northern Kentucky, 268.

UNCW Individual Men’s Results: John Riemer, 60th, 25:55; Dylan Skinner, 79th, 26:12; Zach Nifong, 93rd, 26:29; Casey Buddenbaum, 122nd, 26:55; Colin Kern, 126th, 26:57; Will Bunch, 136th, 27:09; Mike Parsons, 169th, 27:46;