On Friday, Apr. 17, the Catamounts hosted their annual WCU Track and Field Invitational where they had track and field athletes from all over North and South Carolina come to Cullowhee.
The Catamounts had a strong showing on the day, especially in the field events, having three individual first place finishes and three second place podium honors. Western Carolina swept all three podium spots in the men’s javelin throw, with Matt Evans winning the event with a toss of 61.6 meters and was followed closely by Darron Dotson and Wayne Parker who had throws of 56.52 and 48.90 meters, respectively. Mike O’steen won the pole vault event and Rylan Pless won the shot out. Catamounts also finished third in the pole vault, and second in the hammer throw and shot put. The Catamount runners were not completely outshined, as Junior Stephen Hammond won his first event of the season in one of the most grueling running events, the 1500 meter run. The Javelin Throw event was also not the only sweep Western had on the afternoon as they also swept the men’s 110 meter hurdles with Jordan Blazer taking home top honors with a time of 15.12 seconds. The battle for second and third was intense as teammates David Gift and Sean Readon posted the same time, down to the hundredth of a second. Both men posted 16.17 second times with Gift having the slightest of advantages. Manteo Mitchell had a landmark event, individually qualifying for the NCAA regional by running a 10.50 second 100 meter dash. Mitchell’s time was .05 seconds ahead of the requirement; but the time was only good enough for a third place finish. The Catamount 4×100 relay team grabbed another first place finish in the invitational. The Lady Catamounts also were impressive, grabbing several podium finishes. They swept the javelin throw event and, like the men, swept a field event. The Lady Catamounts placed first second and third in the hammer throw competition. They continued their impressive showing by sweeping the 200 meter dash. Felicia Paulding, like Manteo Mitchell, qualified for the NCAA regional by running a 23.88 second first place finish. Janet Caothers and Aneesha Lane ran second and third behind Pauliding with times of 24.22 and 24.57 seconds respectively.