Tom Nobles.  Photo courtesy of Charlotte Athletics.
Tom Nobles. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Athletics.

The Charlotte 49ers cross country teams started strong this season, dating back to Sept. 2 where they swept the Charlotte Preview, led by sophomores Caroline Sang and Tom Nobles.

Sang set the precedent for how the rest of the day went for the 49ers, striking a 18:14.6 in the first race. The time proved to be her best 5K, beating her personal best set back at the 2015 Conference USA Championships by 21 seconds.

With a field of 32 runners, freshman Katie Tomasi came in just two spots behind Sang with a 18:16.6 time. With Tomasi’s help, Charlotte captured their most recent first-place finish since the Virginia Duals at Panorama Farms exactly one year ago on Sept. 2, 2015.

The men’s team held the first two spots in the race, with Nobles leading the charge with a time of 15:18.5, and Aaron Gebhart crossing at 15:24.7.

At the William & Mary Invitational, held on Sept. 16 in Williamsburg, Va, the 49ers women’s team finished second, while the men’s team followed right behind them, finishing third.

Redshirt sophomore Sang continued to impress, crossing the finish line fourth with a 18:49.1. Carolina Casin-Silva finished fifth with a 18:49.3, while sophomore Erin Nelson followed right behind her with a sixth place finish at 18:49.4.

For the men’s, Charlotte had only two runners in the 6K, finishing 15th and 35th. Redshirt freshman Bobby Gonzalez finished first with a time of 18:18.5 and then Alex Sumida finished with a 18:19.4

The 49ers had another strong showing in their latest and largest race at Panorama Farms in the University of Virginia’s Lou Onesty Invitational, with the men’s team finishing in seventh and the women’s team finishing in ninth.

Sang led the women’s team again, coming in 17th-place, running a 17:43.4 to lead all Charlotte runners in the 5K, while also setting her personal record. Casin-Silva earned a 30th-place finish with a time of 18:03.3, her personal best as well.

For the men, Nobles broke into the top-25, with a 24th-placed finish, recording a 24:41.1 in their first 8K race of the season. Out of 113 participants, Gebhart ran a 25:07.4 to place 32nd overall, while Alex Cornwell, Mihret Coulter and Zach Marchinko finished in the top-50 as well.

The 49ers head to the Penn State Open on Oct. 15, before the Conference USA Championships come to Concord, N.C., to round off the season.

Trevor Wilt is the co-sports editor for the Niner Times from Concord, North Carolina. He is a communications major with a journalism minor. Trevor also works with the campus radio station, Radio Free Charlotte, where he host his own sports show and also does play-by-play commentating for the men's and women's basketball teams.