Fieldhouse Report, 09.26.2018

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


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.



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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Photos: UNCA Claims Asheville Invite

UNCA Asheville Invitational 2018SWANNANOA, N.C. (September 21, 2018) – The UNCA Bulldogs cross country teams claimed both team first-place finishes in Friday’s Asheville Invitational in Swannanoa. Nine teams competed in each race at Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Freshman Clara Wincheski (pictured) claimed the women’s race with an 18:21.11 time at the 5k distance. She was followed by Milligan’s Jaqcuelyn Crow, with an 18:34.43. The Bulldogs Kelly Coleman (19:18.58) nabbed third place for the Bulldogs.

Combined, Milligan and UNCA captured the top five finishes in the race. The team finishes in order included: UNCA (28), Milligan (41), Tennessee Wesleyan (100), Belmont Abbey (104), Wofford (113), Limestone (144), Gardner-Webb (175), Lees-McRae (209), and Warren Wilson (248)

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The top men’s finisher was Noah Allison of nearby Mars Hill University. Allison, a Marshall, North Carolina product, turned in a 25:58.74 in the 8k distance to win the race. Tennessee Wesleyan’s Romeo Blackburn (26:14.21) took second, with fellow Bulldog Zach Boone (26:27.89) finishing third place.

The men’s team finishes included: UNCA (41), Milligan (51), Tennessee Wesleyan (67), Lees-McRae (79), Wofford (160), Belmont Abbey (169), Limestone (188), Warren Wilson (222), and Gardner-Webb (231). (photos – Tom Flynn)

UNC Asheville Bulldogs001 Lees McRae FinishUNC Invitational 2018WWC007 UNC Asheville Invitational Bulldogs UNC Cross Country001 UNCA UNC Asheville Cross Country Invitational BulldogsUNC Asheville Finish WomenUNC Asheville Invitational Bulldogs Asheville.jpg


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Fieldhouse Report, 09.18.2018

Detrez Newsome Chargers Western Carolina WCU Catamounts
Former Catamount and current Charger, Detrez Newsome (photo – Icon Sports Wire)


Former Western Carolina Catamount Detrez Newsome faced and met what may prove the biggest challenge of his career making an NFL roster as an undrafted rookie free agent. The Los Angeles Chargers kept Newsome on their final 53-man roster earlier this month after he led the team in carries, yards, and touchdowns during the preseason.   

Newsome’s 6,969 all-purpose yards as a Catamount are the most in school history. He also has the most touchdowns in WCU history with 46.


College Football – WCU defeated in-state rival Gardner-Webb on Friday night, 28-10. The road game was moved from a scheduled Saturday start due to the pending arrival of Hurricane Florence. The Catamounts are 2-0 after two non-conference games and received votes in this week’s FCS Top 25 poll.

They open their 2018 Southern Conference schedule when they host VMI on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

WNC College Soccer StandingsCollege Soccer –  A month into the season, the area’s five men’s soccer teams are in their early stages of conference play. UNCA is the region’s sole DI entry (WCU doesn’t sponsor men’s soccer) and travels to Davidson (2-3) tonight to face the Wildcats at 7:00 p.m. Montreat is the only other WNC team in action today as they host Georgia’s undefeated Point University (NAIA) (5-0-1) at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the five WNC teams, Furman is 3-3 on the season and this evening travels to face Clemson at 7:30 p.m. The meeting of the two rivals is the 56th in the series that dates back to February 2, 1934. The Tigers hold a 40-12-3 advantage and captured the last meeting between the two teams in 2015.

Montreat Cavaliers Lydia Wilson
Lydia Wilson (center) captured runner of the week honors (photo –  MC Athletics)

Cross Country –  Montreat sophomore Lydia Wilson earned Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) weekly honors as the conference’s top runner. At last week’s Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational, she finished sixth overall in a field of 66 runners and prevented NCAA Division I Appalachian State from claiming all top seven spots in the race. She was also the top non-NCAA runner in the field. Look for a feature on Wilson in next week’s Black Mountain News.


Books from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn



Fieldhouse Report, 09.10.2018

Jenny Simpson 5th Avenue Mile
Jenny Simpson won her seventh 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday (photo – T. Flynn)


NEW YORK, N.Y. (September 10, 2018) – Jenny Simpson won her seventh New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday in New York City. Crews were busy pushing away water from near the finish line just prior to the race as a steady rain fell throughout. Despite the elements, Simpson posted a fast 4:18.8 to win.

The field was loaded with Olympians, including Simpson, Emma Coburn, Kim Conley, Kate Grace, and Colleen Quigley. Simpson outkicked Quigley for first place, while Melissa Courtney of Great Britain captured third.


ASHEVILLE, NC– Western Carolina (1-0) football had a bye this past Saturday and returns to the gridiron on September 15 to face Gardner-Webb (1-0). To the south, Furman (0-2) dropped a 45-7 decision to Elon (1-1).

Brevard (0-1) also had a bye week and will face Allen (0-1) of the NAIA at home on September 15. Mars Hill (0-2) fell on Saturday to Shaw University (1-1), 27-9.

UNC Asheville Thomas Little
UNC Asheville’s Thomas Little (left) – (photo – UNCA)

On Wednesday, it was announced that two UNC Asheville runners captured the first Big South weekly cross-country awards of the season. They were Clara Wincheski and Thomas Little (pictured). 

The Bulldogs will continue their 2018 campaign on Friday, Sept. 21, when they host the Asheville Invitational. The Bulldogs’ men’s cross country team hosted and won last year’s Asheville Cross Country Invitational at Asheville Christian Academy. 



Fieldhouse Report, 09.05.2018

Western Carolina Football College Football Western Carolina 2018 Catamounts
WCU’s Connell Young (photo – Mark Haskett, WCU Public Relations)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (September 5, 2018)Western Carolina held on to defeat an upset-minded Newberry College team, 33-26, at home on Saturday. As late as the fourth quarter, the Catamounts (1-0) trailed the Wolves after Newberry (1-0) rattled off 19 unanswered points. 

WCU ultimately responded with two fourth-quarter touchdowns from the junior signal-caller, Tyrie Adams. Running back Connell Young had 102 yards on the ground to lead WCU. 

After a bye week, Western Carolina travels to face Gardner-Webb (1-0) of the Big South on September 15.  

In other regional college football action, Mars Hill (0-1) opened against the SoCon’s ETSU (1-0) and fell, 28-7. The Brevard Tornados (0-1) of the NCAA’s DIII dropped their opener to DI Davidson (1-0), 34-13, on Saturday.


The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team upset a 4-1 Citadel team on Sunday to earn its first victory of the year. The Bulldogs defeated their namesakes from Charleston by a 3-2 decision to move to 1-3-1 on the year. 


Furman’s men and women’s cross country teams finished first among Division I teams in the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg, South Carolina. 

In a matchup of local cross country programs, Montreat handled Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa on Friday. The Cavaliers captured the top seven spots on the men’s side and had three of the top four finishers among the women.


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Fieldhouse Report, 08.27.2018

UNCA XC Cross Country UNCA Bulldogs UNCA Track


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 27, 2018) – UNC Asheville’s cross-country teams get underway this Friday at the Appalachian State Covered Bridge Open. Last year at the event, the Bulldogs finished seventh out of 11 teams on the men’s side, while UNCA finished ninth of twelve teams among the women. 

The Bulldogs host the Asheville Invitational on September 21. (photo – UNCA Athletics).

Two of the area’s neighboring programs open the cross-country season with a dual meet on Friday when Montreat heads west to face Warren Wilson College at 5:00 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Western Carolina at North Carolina

The WCU Catamounts open their 2018 football season on Saturday at home against the Newberry College Wolves. Newberry plays in the NCAA’s Division II and went 5-6 last year, including a 31-14 season-opening loss to the Southern Conference’s Citadel.

The Catamounts went 7-5 overall in 2017 and 5-3 in the SoCon, good for fourth place in the league. (photo – Icon Sportswire)

On Saturday, Mars Hill travels north to face the SoCon’s ETSU in Johnson City. The Bucs went 2-6 in conference last year and 4-7 overall. MHU finished 3-6 overall.

At the Division III level, the Brevard College Tornados have a tough draw as they travel to face Davidson of the FCS at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Brevard is led by Duke graduate, Bill Khayat.


As reported last week, former UNCA Bulldog Mike Shildt has the St. Louis Cardinals surging.

That trend continued through the week. The Redbirds moved into second place in the NL Central, trailing only the Chicago Cubs. They now have a half-game lead over Milwaukee as the top wildcard team, and a game lead over the remaining chase pack for the two wildcard spots.

The team is 26-12 under Shildt, good for a .684 winning percentage. 

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Photos: A Visit to an Olympian

UC Davis Kim Conley Runner Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (August 14, 2018) – Earlier this summer, on the far end of a cross-country road trip, I visited the Sacramento and Davis areas of Northern California. There I spent time with Olympian Kim Conley, and her husband/coach Drew Wartenburg.

The first stop in joining the tandem was at Sacramento’s 23-mile American River Parkway (below). The Parkway is comprised of multiple segments, including the paved Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail, which winds from Folsom to Old Sacramento, and is a leg regularly frequented by Conley in her training. It cuts a green, often-shaded swath through the capital city, and on the morning we visited hosted runners and cyclists taking advantage of a rare traffic-free respite in a major urban center.

American River Parkway Kim Conley Olympic Runner ConleyAmerican River Parkway Kim Conley Olympic Runner Conley Green

Later we traveled to  UC-Davis (below) some twenty miles west of Sacramento. The University is the alma mater of Conley, and also where Wartenburg got his head coaching start in the college ranks, after a stint as an assistant at Oregon State, and before moving on to the professional ranks.

Conley became one the program’s first standouts at the DI level in both cross country and track & field, while offering only the smallest of glimpses into the success that awaited her on the professional level including two USATF national championships and spots on consecutive USA Olympic teams (2012, 2016).

Wartenburg played a key role in continuing the Aggies’ transition from a highly-successful NCAA Division II program to its current place in the Division I Big West Conference.

Conley makes an appearance on the East Coast this weekend, when she travels to compete in the 46th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod on Sunday. (photos T. Flynn)

UC Davis Campus Beautiful Shot 2.jpgUC Davis Aggies UC Davis Campus Kim Conley Aggies UC DavisUC Davis Aggies UC Davis Conley UC Davis Football UC Davis TrackDSC_0718

Check back here, and at @tomflynn51 (twitter) and @tom_flynn_writing (Instagram) next month for an exciting announcement on the two-time Olympian.

Kim Conley UC Davis Olympics Rio 2016 London 2012 Olympian
Conley as a UC-Davis undergraduate  (photo – K.Conley/UC-Davis)

UNCA’s Nichols Garners Big South Honor

Kayli Nichols UNC Asheville Bulldogs Running Asheville Big South Woman of the Year

UNCA’s Kayli Nichols (photo – UNCA Athletics)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 6, 2018) – UNC Asheville graduate Kayli Nichols has been selected as the Big South Conference’s Woman of the Year. She shares the honor with Winthrop lacrosse player, Katherine Judge.

There were nine candidates for the award within the Big South, based on service & leadership, academic achievement, athletics excellence, and a personal statement from each candidate.

Nichols double-majored in German and Political Science, and minored in Spanish. She graduated with a 3.974 GPA and is the UNCA record holder in the outdoor 100-meter hurdles, indoor 60-meter hurdles, and indoor 500 meters. She was a member of a 4X400-meter relay team that holds school records for the event both indoors and outdoors. Nichols is also second-ranked in Bulldogs’ history in the 400-meter hurdles.  

Nichols is now one of 581 nominees among all three divisions for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year, to be selected in late October in Indianapolis.

Photos: A Visit to Jayhawk Country


001 Allen Fieldhouse Lobby
Inside the entrance to the Allen Fieldhouse (photo – T.Flynn)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (June 27, 2018)  The home of the University of Kansas Jayhawks looks the part, as KU venues and colors run throughout the small city of Lawrence, Kansas (pop. 87,643 – 2010).

Most famous among its athletic venues is the 1955 Allen Fieldhouse, home to the Jayhawks’ basketball program. The men’s basketball team at KU has won or shared the regular season Big-XII title for 14 consecutive seasons and 16 of the last 17 years. The Jayhawks also captured the national championship in 2008, the third time they’ve done so since the NCAA tournament began in 1939.

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Rim Rock Farm is just over 10 miles north of downtown Lawrence and is home to the Kansas cross country program. Former head track and field and cross country coach Bob Timmons donated the property to the University in 2004.

The 1965 and 1966 NCAA Division I National Championships were held at Rim Rock. The only Kansas national championship in men’s cross country came in 1953, when National Track and Field Hall of Famer Wes Santee was a member of the Jayhawks’ squad. Santee was also the individual winner that year.

Rim Rock hosted both the women’s and men’s national championships in 1998. 

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Although the KU football program has struggled in the last decade, Kansas Memorial Stadium has hosted its fair share of football history since it opened in 1921. To date, the Jayhawks have 12 bowl games on their resumé, with an even 6-6 record. Their biggest win was a 2008 Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. That year they also achieved their highest national ranking ever (#2) and finished the season at #7, the same spot that they finished in 1968.

KU has yet to win a Big-XII title and posted six Big-Eight titles between 1908-1968. The most famous player to come out of a Jayhawks’ huddle is Gale Sayers, who earned All-American honors in 1963 and 1964 and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Sayers played seven seasons for the Chicago Bears and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 at age 34. He is the youngest inductee in its history. 

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Furman Five in NCAA Championships

Steeple Jennings and Gear
Gabbi Jennings (15) and Kristlin Gear (14) earned honorable mention All-American accolades on Thursday. (photo / Furman Athletics)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 7, 2018) – The Furman Paladins’ track & field teams sent a total of five representatives to the 2018 NCAA Track & Field Championships currently underway in Eugene, Oregon.

Senior Frank Lara competed in the men’s 10,000m finals on Wednesday night after finishing 11th with a semifinal time of 29:33.95 in late May. He closed out the year with a 29:42.87 in the finals, good for 15th in the country and second team All-American honors.

Freshman Kristlin Gear and sophomore Gabrielle Jennings garnered honorable mention All-American honors in the 3,000m Steeplechase tonight. Gear entered the race with the school record time of 9:52.71 and posted a 10:35.42 in Eugene. Jennings had a personal-best of 10:02.67 and posted a 10:18.10 on Thursday night.

Buchalski Carnahan Furman Track
Allie Buchalski (1) and Savannah Carnahan (2) will represent Furman in the 5000 meters. (photo / Furman Athletics)

On Saturday, senior Allie Buchalski and sophomore Savannah Carnahan will run in the 5,000m finals at 8:25 p.m.

Buchalski’s best time this season is a 15:39.17 that she recorded at the Virginia Challenge. In 2017, she earned All-American recognition as the sixth-place finisher in the event. 

Carnahan, posted the ninth-best time in the semis to advance to the finals. Last year, she finished 20th in the event at the NCAA East Preliminaries. Her best mark this season is a 15:49.89 time that she posted at the Raleigh Relays.  

The first eight finishers in each event at the NCAA Championships earn All-American honors, while the nine-through 16 finishers earn a spot as second team All-Americans. The 17-24 place finishers garner honorable mention All-American citations.