BOONE, North Carolina - Junior Lindsay Ester continued her strong season with a fourth place individual finish to highlight UNCW's appearance in the Blue Ridge Open Cross Country Race on Friday at the State Farm Fields.
The Seahawks finished ninth out of 18 teams in the 8K men's race, while the women came in 11th out of 18 entries.
Ester, from Burlington, N.C., was the story again for the Seahawks. She led the team for the fourth time in as many meets this season and trailed only a trio of Duke runners in the race. Ester wound up clocking a 17:46 time over the 5K course under cool, windy conditions.
"Lindsay had an amazing race and ran with several of the top girls from Duke," said Layne Schwier, UNCW's assistant cross country coach. "It was over a minute improvement from her time one year ago. I knew from her previous races and recent workouts that she was ready to explode, and today we saw it."
A familiar face also paced the Seahawk men. Junior Wil Zahorodny placed 28th overall with a time of 25:36 and Kelly Carmichael turned in the best race of his career with a 39th place finish and 25:51 time.
"Wil had another solid outing," Schwier noted, "but Kelly closed down the gap and finished just 15 seconds behind Wil. Our men were much improved from last year, but we still need a few more guys to step up in two weeks at the CAA meet."
The Seahawks host the CAA Championships on Saturday, Oct. 30, on the campus recreation fields. Schwier has high hopes of both teams doing well.
"Lindsay is poised to make a strong run at a top 10 finish. Ashley Wybersky and Lily Patterson both had solid showings today, but we are still lacking a top five. We've got two weeks to put the finishing touch on things, freshen up and be ready for the CAA's."
The Seahawks travel up the road to compete in the Mount Olive Invitational next weekend.
Blue Ridge Open Men's Team Standings: Appalachian State, 59; High Point, 63; Virginia Tech, 108; Kentucky, 143; Mississippi State, 160; VMI, 177; Furman, 188; Campbell, 232; UNCW, 247; Lynchburg, 266; Western Carolina, 266; College of Charleston, 309; Lees-McRae, 391; Georgia State, 410; Lenoir Rhyne, 423; Coastal Carolina, 431; Radford, 443, Gardner-Webb, 529.
Blue Ridge Open Women's Team Standings: Duke, 23; Virginia Tech, 63; Mississippi State, 127; Kentucky, 191; Appalachian State, 194; High Point, 198; VMI, 207; Furman, 241; Georgia State, 243; Coastal Carolina, 265; UNCW, 279; College of Charleston, 319; Milligan, 341; Campbell, 349; Western Carolina, 356; Lynchburg, 423; Lenoir Rhyne, 459; Gardner-Webb, 495.