Fieldhouse Report, 10.16.2018

NYRR 2018 Marathon
The 2018 NYC Marathon will again be preceded by the USATF 5K Championship (photo – NYRR)

NATIONAL

Running – As the 2018 NYC Marathon approaches on Sunday, November 4, the city’s calendar will begin to fill with events leading up to the race. The annual “Dash to the Finish” 5k is staged the day before the marathon and will again serve as the USATF National Championship at the distance. 

Asheville-area running fans can watch the NYC Marathon on WLOS-ABC 13 on November 4 at 9:00 a.m. Check back for the November 3 broadcast start time for the 5K Championship on NBCSN. 

Austin Browns Mars Hill College Football
Asheville’s Austin Brown (11) leads Mars Hill (photo – Mars Hill Athletics)

REGIONAL

College Football – Austin Brown (pictured) is a graduate of Asheville’s Erwin High School and currently directs the NCAA DII Mars Hill Lions from under center in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). The lefty has the Lions leading the conference in overall passing and against Limestone on September 29 threw for 371 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes. 

The Lions (2-5) return to the gridiron on Saturday to face Wingate (4-3) on the road. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. 

WNC Women's College Soccer

Women’s College Soccer – The WCU Catamounts are 3-4 to date in the 10-team Southern Conference and currently in seventh place in the league. In their final two regular-season games they’ll strive to move up a place in the standings as the league’s top six teams earn a spot in the conference quarterfinals, while the bottom four must compete in an additional play-in game. Last year, the Catamounts advanced to the SoCon final before falling to UNCG. (photo  – Ashley Evans, WCU Athletics) 

UNC Asheville Baseball Fall 2018
UNCA’s Chris Troost batting against Georgia (photo – UNCA Athletics)

College Baseball – The UNC Asheville Bulldogs faced the Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC in a special 14-inning fall exhibition in Athens, Georgia on Sunday. Eight of the last ten College World Series champions have come from the SEC (5) or PAC-12 (3). Georgia was the #4 team in the country last year. 

“We told our guys that there were a lot of positive takeaways from today,” said UNCA head coach, Scott Friedholm. “One of the biggest aspects was having our younger guys play in a tough SEC environment and in front of a great crowd for a fall game.”  

College Cross Country – Montreat’s Lydia Wilson continued to prove herself as one of the top cross-country runners in the region as she finished 14th in a field of 413 runners at the Queens Royals Challenge on October 12 in Charlotte. The sophomore set a cross-country PR (17:45) at the 5k distance in the process and also broke the school record. 

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Preps  See last week’s Black Mountain News for an article on the rarest of three-of-a-kinds on the gridiron for the Owen High School Warhorses.

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Fieldhouse Weekender, 10.14.2018

WCU Chattanooga Tennessee Football
Asheville’s Mitchell Chancey (48) leads WCU and the Southern Conference in tackles  (photo – Chattanooga Athletics)

REGIONAL

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (October 14, 2018)  College Football – The WCU Catamounts dropped a Southern Conference meeting with UT-Chattanooga on Saturday, 26-6. Mitchell Chancey, a graduate of Asheville’s Erwin High School, had 10 tackles for the Catamounts (3-3) in the game in a losing effort. Chancey now leads the team and the conference with 69 total tackles. Heading into Saturday’s game he was fifth in the nation in the category.

The Catamounts travel to face the SoCon’s Mercer (3-3) in Macon, Georgia this Saturday.

Furman made it two in a row with a convincing 34-14 win over #4 Wofford (4-2) yesterday. Quarterback Harris Roberts (pictured) threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns and added two more rushing scores for the Paladins. The game was the 93rd

meeting of the two teams and theFurman Football Harris Roberts Paladins now lead the series with a 54-32-7 all-time mark against the Terriers.

Furman (2-3) returns to the field next week at home to face conference rival Samford in Greenville. The Bulldogs (3-4) are hitting their stride offensively this season, scoring 66 and 73 points on consecutive weekends of SoCon play, including a 73-22 win over VMI on Saturday.  (photo – Furman Athletics)

Caroline David Brevard College Soccer
Brevard College’s Caroline David (photo – Brevard Athletics)

College Soccer – The Brevard College women’s soccer team made it two wins in as many days as they defeated LaGrange (Ga.) 2-0 on Friday and Huntingdon (Ala.) by the same score on Saturday. 

In the first game, the area’s leading scorer Ashley Hughes found the back of the net twice and now has 13 goals and 28 points on the season. The Tornados continue to pace WNC in wins and moved to 9-5 on the year with three games remaining in their 2018 campaign. Last year Brevard finished 11-6-1.

The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team captured its second win of the year on Saturday on a goal from senior Kyra Kandel. The score came in double overtime and gave the Bulldogs (2-6-4) the 1-0 victory over visiting Hampton (1-9-1) of the Big South.

Cross Country – UNCA’s freshman standout Clara Wincheski finished sixth overall at East Carolina’s Pirate Invitational on Friday. With the effort, Wincheski helped the Bulldogs to a fifth-place finish in the nine-team field. 

Check back later this week for national running and area football, cross country, and soccer updates. Check Asheville-area newsstands this month for the  full-color print version of Fieldhouse.

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Head to Black Mountain’s Vertical Runner for all your running needs in WNC

Fieldhouse Report, 10.09.2018

Bell Furman Football Furman Paladins 2018 Football
Furman faces Wofford for the 93rd time on Saturday (photo – Furman Athletics)

REGIONAL   

College Football – Furman (1-3) will host Wofford (4-1) this Saturday after an open date last week. The game will be the 93rd meeting of the two teams, making it the oldest football rivalry in the Deep South. The two first met in 1892, and the Paladins lead the series, 53-32-7. Wofford has won the last four meetings, including a victory in the second round of the FCS playoffs last season.

UNC Asheville Soccer Big South Soccer Southern Conference Soccer

Men’s College Soccer – The men’s soccer season is moving into its final stages before the postseason. After a slow start, the Lees-McRae Bobcats have won three of their last four and along with Furman lead the region in wins. The Bobcats are 2-3-1 in Conference Carolinas. Their conference playoffs begin in early November with eight of the 12 teams qualifying. The Bobcats are currently tied for sixth place. Furman went 3-0-1 in its last four games and begins its Southern Conference schedule tonight at Belmont (2-6-2) at 7:30 p.m.

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UNCA’s Clara Wincheski (photo – UNCA Athletics)

Cross Country – The UNCA Asheville Bulldogs cross country teams head east to Greenville, North Carolina on Friday for the Pirate Invitational. Leading the way for the women’s side is Clara Wincheski.

The freshman paced the team at Appalachian State’s Covered Bridge Open on August 31 when she placed seventh overall in a field of 95 and kept a combination of Appalachian State and Florida State runners from taking the race’s top 15 spots. She followed that up by winning the Asheville Invitational on September 21. Following each race, Wincheski was honored with Big South Runner of the Week honors.

On the men’s side, Zach Boone and Thomas Little are the front-runners for the Bulldogs to date. Little was the top finisher among the UNCA men at Appalachian State and won Big South Runner of the Week honors for the effort. Boone took third at the Asheville invite, with Little finishing fourth.

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More college football from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (New York Times)

Fieldhouse Weekender, 10.07.2018

Furman Templeton
Furman’s Aaron Templeton (photo – Furman Athletics)

REGIONAL

College Cross Country – Furman’s Aaron Templeton was named the Southern Conference men’s cross country runner of the week on October 3. Templeton finished fourth overall out of 142 runners at Notre Dame’s Joe Paine Invitational to earn the honor.

In his first race of the season, Templeton helped the Paladins to finish fourth overall in the 17-team field. Furman races this upcoming weekend at the Queen City Royals Challenge in Charlotte on October 12 and at the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin on October 13.

College Football – Western Carolina (3-2) had a long game on Saturday, dropping a 66-28 decision on the road to Samford. Furman (1-3) had an open week, while at the NCAA DII level Mars Hill (2-4) fell to Tusculum (3-2), 31-28.

Brevard (1-3) picked up the region’s sole win on the gridiron on Saturday, with a 41-36 victory over Methodist (1-3) Check back for details on the games.

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WWC celebrates a goal at home earlier this season (photo – WWC) 

College Soccer  This week’s Black Mountain News includes an article on Lydia Vandenbergh, a former Clemson standout and current player-owner of the Asheville City Blues women’s soccer team. She’s also the head coach of the Warren Wilson College Owls, and has the team off to its best start in recent years. Click here for the full story

LASTING IMAGE

Owen High School Football
Black Mountain’s Owen High School football field (photo – Tom Flynn)

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Photos: Brevard has Area’s Top Record, Top Scorer

Brevard Soccer Ashley Hughes
WNC’s leading scorer, Ashley Hughes (photo – BC Athletics)

BREVARD, N.C. (October 4, 2018) – Despite a setback to Piedmont University on Wednesday night, the Brevard Tornados have the best record of any team in western North Carolina this fall on the soccer field. They also feature the region’s leading scorer in senior Ashley Hughes

Through ten games, the Tornados are 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the NCAA DIII USA South. They rattled off a five-game winning streak beginning on September 18 and outscored their opponents 17-2 during that run. The Western Carolina Catamounts boast the area’s next best record with a 5-4-2 mark, including a 1-0 win over UNC Asheville on August 19. To the south and just across the state line, Furman is 6-5 overall and 1-3 in the Southern Conference.

Offensively, Hughes has 11 goals and 2 assists, good for 24 points and the conference lead. The Charlotte native is having a breakout season for Brevard, nearly doubling her output of six goals last season with seven games still remaining in the 2018 season.

Brevard Soccer Hannah Weatherall
Brevard keeper Hannah Weatherall (photo – Brevard Athletics)

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Weatherall’s first start corresponded with the start of the Tornados five-game run. She earned consecutive USA South defensive player of the week nods during the streak. 

The Tornados return to the pitch on Saturday, October 6 at home against conference rival Covenant College (4-6-1, 1-2). (photos – BC Athletics)

Megan Shina 2Caroline David 2.JPGTeam Celebrate

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More soccer from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (Wall Street Journal)

Fieldhouse Report, 10.02.2018

Furman Paladins WCU Catamounts 2018
Furman’s Jonah Tibbs sheds a block as WCU’s Tyrie Adams looks upfield (photo – Furman Athletics)

REGIONAL

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (October 2, 2018) – The Furman Paladins pulled off a week four Southern Conference upset on Saturday when they defeated Western Carolina, 44-38.

Catamounts’ quarterback Tyrie Adams threw for five touchdowns and 424 yards but Furman more than countered with four rushing touchdowns, an aerial TD from quarterback Harris Roberts, and a 97-yard touchdown return from Dejuan Bell

The key score for the Paladins (1-3, 1-1) came from Devin Wynn who broke free for a touchdown from midfield with 5:27 in the game to give Furman a 44-31 lead. 

Adams’ fifth TD pass was to Connell Young with just 1:41 remaining and closed the gap to six points. The ensuing onside kick attempt from the Catamounts (3-1, 1-1) failed and the Paladins were able to run out the clock for their first win of the year. For WCU, it was their first loss of 2018. Both teams are now 1-1 in the Southern Conference.

Warren Wilson College Soccer Asheville City
Asheville City’s Lydia Vandenbergh at Memorial Stadium (photo – ACSC)

College Soccer – Check the Black Mountain News later this week for an article on the Warren Wilson Owls and their head coach, Lydia Vandenbergh. Vandenbergh, a Clemson graduate and veteran of multiple professional leagues, is also a player-owner of the Asheville City Blues’ women’s soccer team that debuted this summer. The Owls are off to one of their best starts in recent years within the USCAA.

Furman Cross Country
Furman is  currently #2 in the Southeast (photo – Danielle Meersman)

Women’s Cross Country – The Furman Paladins’ women’s cross country team was ranked #2 in the Southeast in Monday’s USTFCCCA poll. It’s the third consecutive week that Furman has held to the second spot. On Friday, the Paladins captured second place at the Notre Dame Joe Plane Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

UNC Asheville freshman Clara Wincheski captured Big South Runner of the Week honors for the second time this season on September 26. The honor was earned in large part by Wincheski’s first-place finish at the Asheville Invitational.

Montreat sophomore Lydia Wilson captured 10th place in the Greater Louisville XC Classic on Saturday. Wilson competed in the women’s 5k ‘blue’ race, the middle competitive tier of three races. She was the top NAIA runner in the overall field of 287 competitors and her time would have placed her 58/226 in the all-NCAA Division I ‘gold’ race.

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More running articles from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (WSJ, ASN)

PREVIEW: WCU Vs. Furman

WCU Furman Football 2018
Nate Link makes the tackle in last year’s WCU-Furman game (photo – Mark Haskett)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (September 29, 2018) – Western Carolina faces regional and conference rival Furman tomorrow in Greenville. The Catamounts come in with an unblemished 3-0 record while the Paladins will seek their first win of 2018 in their fourth outing. The 3-0 start is the best for WCU since 1976. 

Catamounts’ junior quarterback Tyrie Adams and junior running back Connell Young hold the top two rushing spots in the Southern Conference this year. Trying to stop them Saturday will be sophomore linebacker Elijah McKoy who has 22 tackles and a sack to date for the Paladins. 

Furman dropped a season-opening game to Clemson of the FBS followed by a loss to a nationally-ranked FCS opponent in Elon (2-1). They dropped a 29-27 decision to ETSU (3-1, 2-0) on the road last week in Johnson City. 

The two teams faced last year, with the Paladins winning 28-6 over a ranked Catamounts team. Furman has a commanding lead in the overall series with a 31-13-2 record against WCU. 

The game airs on ESPN+ at 2:00 p.m.

Western Carolina Football WCU Furman Football 2018
Tyrie Adams escapes the Furman rush last year in Cullowhee (photo – Mark Haskett)

Fieldhouse Report, 09.26.2018

Western Carolina Football 2018 Catamounts Football WCU
WCU’s Michael Murphy (photo – WCU/Mark Haskett)

REGIONAL

Cullowhee, N.C. (September 26, 2018) – Despite yielding 50, the WCU Catamounts came away with a victory in their Southern Conference opener against VMI on Saturday. The Catamounts withstood two Keydet touchdowns in the final four minutes to capture the 52-50 win and move to 3-0 on the season. WCU churned out 324 yards on the ground, including 117 yards from quarterback Tyrie Adams.  Adams threw for three scores and added one rushing for the Catamounts.

Redshirt sophomore Michael Murphy returned his first career interception 46 yards for a touchdown to put WCU up by 15 points in the fourth quarter prior to the late Keydet surge.

Earlier this week, WCU again received votes in the FCS Top 25 poll. 

The Catamounts face Furman in Greenville, South Carolina this upcoming Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Paladins (0-3) dropped their Southern Conference opener to ETSU (3-1, 2-0) this past weekend, 29-27.

College Soccer – On the women’s side, the Brevard Tornados (5-1) and WCU Catamounts (5-3-2) share the region’s lead with five wins apiece. The Tornados play back-to-back games against Agnes Scott and Wesleyan (Ga.) this weekend.

For the men, Mars Hill owns the area’s best mark with a 4-3 record, despite dropping a 1-0 decision to Anderson this weekend. Montreat drew to 3-4-2 after defeating Milligan (4-3), 3-1, on Saturday night. Lees-McRae has won two straight games to move to 3-3-1. They host #24 Limestone (5-1-0) tonight in Banner Elk. 

UNC Asheville Invitational Cross Country

Cross Country – At Friday’s Asheville Invitational, the Bulldogs’ squad won both the men’s and women’s meets in a race held at Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa (pictured).  

As reported in yesterday’s Black Mountain News, Montreat’s Lydia Wilson was last week’s NAIA national runner of the week.

PREPS

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As reported in the Citizen-Times, Asheville School opened its new multi-sport football facility on Friday night in Asheville. The Blues celebrated the opening with a resounding 54-0 win over Statesville Christian. (photo – Asheville School)

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Books from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn

 

WNC Women’s Soccer Update

College Soccer North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (September 25, 2018) – Women’s college soccer boasts one of the broadest lineups of teams competing in the area each year, with seven squads active in metro-Asheville.  This fall, WCU and Brevard are pacing the group with five wins apiece.

The Catamounts (5-3-2) compete in the Southern Conference and are tied with ETSU with a 2-0 mark in the conference. The two teams face each other this Friday at WCU at 7:00 p.m.

Freshman Reily Nelson’s three scores lead Western Carolina. 

At the DIII level, Brevard (5-2) is led by senior Ashley Hughes’s nine goals, tops in the WNC region. Her nine scores and 20 points also lead the USA South Conference. The Tornados are currently on a roll, outscoring their last three opponents by a combined score of 11-1. They travel to face Georgia’s Agnes Scott (3-4-1) on Saturday.

The area’s full lineup of teams, with records, are listed below.

WNC Women's College Soccer

(photo – (top) Mike Keating/LMC Athletics / (bottom) T. Flynn)

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More soccer from Fieldhouse

Photos: Blues Open New Field With Win

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Asheville, N.C. (September 23, 2018) – On Friday night, the Asheville School Blues opened their new football facility with a convincing win over Statesville Christian, 54-0. With the victory, the Blues moved to a 4-1 record while the Lions dropped to 0-3. The outcome was a dramatic reversal of last year’s result when the Blues dropped a 53-7 decision to the Lions.

“My hat really goes off to our assistant coaches,” said Blues’ head coach Gus Schill after the game. “They all just helped put together a wonderful game plan.”

Senior Uchenna Ikwuakor led Asheville School with 163 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. On the year, Ikwuakor has 457 yards rushing and averages 7.1 yards per carry. Junior quarterbacks Chris Hemphill and Connor Davis each threw for a touchdown for the Blues, while Hemphill also returned a punt for a touchdown late in the game.

“The kids played so hard. They played with joy and excitement,” added Schill. 

The larger story of the night was the opening of the $3 million multi-sport facility at Asheville School. Construction of the venue began in May of this year and continued through a late spring and summer that were marked by historically heavy rains, including those resulting from this month’s Hurricane Florence. 

“It’s obviously exciting to see it all come together, and to see our students, faculty, and families all out here enjoying the atmosphere on a Friday night,” said athletic director and head basketball coach, Carl Boland.

Asheville School hosts Charlotte’s Hickory Grove Christian (1-4) next Friday at 7 p.m. The Lions are fellow members of the NCISAA Western Football Conference.

(photos Asheville School (aerial) / Blake Madden (field-level)) / Asheville Citizen-Times article by T. Flynn)

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College football by Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn: (NYT, WSJ)