Flying through the finish line

Republished. Originally published on May 31, 2014. 

Western Carolina University’s men’s and women’s track and field teams have done it again.

Starting off the year on the right foot, the Cats swept the Southern Conference Indoor Championships in early March for the third time in school history.

Edging out none other than Appalachian State on both sides made the victories even sweeter.

Danny Williamson, who is enjoying his 27th year as head coach of the men and 28th as head coach of the women, earned Coach of the Year Honors for both sides.

Coach Williamson preparing his team for the SoCon Outdoor Championship

Coach Williamson preparing his team for the SoCon Outdoor Championship. Photo by Ryan Keys.

For winning two individual titles during the event, shot put thrower Jared Johnson was named Most Outstanding Field Performer, and was later honored with SoCon Indoor Field Athlete of the Month.

The championship wins were hardly a surprise, as the Catamounts have been dominant in the sport. It was the fifth indoor championship for the men, and their second in the past three years. The women notched their eighth indoor championship, winning it for the second year in a row.

The SoCon Outdoor Championships, held in late April, were a little tougher for the Cats. They finished second to Samford on both sides, with the men only three points away from a tie.

The season officially ended yesterday for the Catamounts, as six athletes competed in the NCAA East Preliminary Track & Field Meet in Jacksonville, Fla.

On the women’s side, sprinters Tayla Carter and Genevieve Emrick and high jumper Xaviera Bass represented Western. Sprinter Earl Rahming, hurdler Abraham Faison, and triple jumper David Johnson competed.

Tayla Carter, March’s Southern Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Month, qualified 14th for the women’s 100-meter dash and 23rd for the 200-meter. She finished 38th in both with times of 11.94 and 24.10 seconds respectively.

Genevieve Emrick qualified 48th for the women’s 400-meter, but jumped up eight positions to 40th with a 54.44-second run. She is featured in a WCJ story that can be read here.

Earl Rahming and Abraham Faison also improved from their qualifying positions. Rahming moved up a spot to finish 38th with a time of 47.40 seconds in the men’s 400-meter, while Faison gained six spots to finish 30th in men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.37 seconds.

All in all, Coach Williamson and his athletes continue to get it done for the Catamounts year after year. The teams will look to add even more hardware to their trophy case next season.