BUIES CREEK, North Carolina - Senior Wil Zahorodny bested 34 other runners to capture first place in the Campbell Invitational early Saturday as the UNCW teams opened the new cross country season in a four-team scored meet.
The Seahawk teams, running the first of five regular season races, each went 1-2 in the meet, defeating Methodist and losing to the host Camels and Winthrop.
"Our objective today was to work on team or pack running," said Layne Schwier, assistant cross country/track and field coach. "Some of the guys held back early. We were led by our two seniors, Wil and Erin, but had some young runners step up as well.
"We know we have a lot of work ahead of us to reach our goals. We missed having our top three women runners in the lineup, but still had some encouraging performances from both teams."
Zahorodny, from Damascus, Md., clocked a time of 16:04 over the 5k course to clobber Winthrop's Steve Rivard by nine seconds. Teammates Kelly Carmichael (16:43) and Casey Buddenbaum (16:43) came in seventh and eighth, respectively.
On the women's side, senior Erin Brennan of UNCW finished seventh overall with a time of 15:48 on the 4k layout. Freshman Kim Black wound up 12th at 16:06 in her collegiate debut.
The Seahawks stage the annual Seahawk Invitational next Friday, Sept. 9, on the campus fields. The men will run a 5k race at 6 p.m., with the women following at 6:30 p.m.