July 23, 2024

Cullowhee, N.C. — With the 2024 Cross Country season just around the corner, let’s look back at the 2024 Outdoor Track and Field season, which saw the Catamounts claim nine event wins to go along with 71 top-five placements across the nine-meet season.

The Montreat College Open started the 2024 Catamount campaign for the first time, as the Purple and Gold looked to ease into the season. WCU posted seven top five finishes competing with 32 other teams across the two days of the meet, with a trio of pole vaulters paving the way for the Catamounts. Freshman Colby Capps picked up a top-five finish in the men’s portion of the event on the first day of competition, with a steady rain pushing Bella Hilleary and Jennifer Wagner’s attempts to day two. The longer wait did not hamper the duo’s attempts as the pair posted a 1-2 finish in the event with 3.40m clears. Wagner took the win in the event thanks to an attempts tiebreaker.

The second meet of the outdoor season saw the Catamounts pick up their second event win of the season as the Purple and Gold battle against elite competition at the Tennessee Invite in Knoxville. For the second meet in a row, it was the women’s team who claimed the event win as Heidi Hudson took a first place finish in the high jump as the only athlete to clear the 1.73m mark. The top finish on the men’s team also came in one of the jump events as Noah Straley posted a 7.03m mark in the long jump. Straley was one of only five athletes to surpass the 7.00m distance.
Top 5’s: 3 | Top 3’s: 1 | Wins: 1

Freshmen led the way at the Duke Invitational as Katherine Hopkins fought to the sole top-five finish for the Catamounts at the meet. Hopkins claimed fifth in the 5k with a time of 17:45.59 and was one of only two freshmen to finish in the top five of the event. Additionally, fellow freshman Heidi Hudson leapt her way up the WCU all-time top five list, taking the fourth spot in the heptathlon with 4692 points and tying for second in the high jump with a 1.78m clear. That jump would earn her a spot at the NCAA East First round.
Top 5’s – 1Runner Winning the Mile with Fans on the Track at Night Editorial Stock  Image - Image of running, fitness: 211694809

A contingent of six Catamounts opted to take on the Brevard-hosted Tornado Classic as opposed to the Duke Invitational and were rewarded with seven top-five finishes and an event win for their efforts. Grant Parham claimed the first-place finish on the day for the Catamounts, topping the podium in the 1500m while Joshuah Glynn-Williams took third-place finishes in both the long and triple jumps. Clara Root and Bella Hilleary took second in the 800m and triple jump respectively while Jasmine Smith finished third in the 800m.
ed the top spot on the day.

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