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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The UNCG men’s and women’s indoor track team opened the 2014 season Saturday, taking part in the Wake Forest Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston Salem in an event with collegiate teams, club teams and professional runners. 

On the women’s side, sophomore Katherine Link (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) led the way with a third place finish in the mile race. Link posted a time of 5:16.87, just off her career-best time of 5:15.20 set last year at the Southern Conference championships. Also, Kate Miller (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) placed 16th (6:12.70) while Meredith Hicks (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) was 17th (6:22.54).

The women’s team also turned in a third place showing in the distance medley relay race with a time of 12:15.06. Seniors Chelsea Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity), Shaina Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and Shannon Hall (Waldorf, Md./North Point) combined with sophomore Lydia Saina (Eldoret, Kenya/Kapkenda Girls School) for the top three showing in the DMR.

Finally, the Spartans had three top 30 finishes in the 800-meter final at the Wake Forest Invitational. Freshman Samiiah Wilson (Apex, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) led the way with a time of 2:29.83 for 15th place while Katlyn Ayers (Strasburg, Va./Strasburg) finished 17th (2:30.30) and Katlyn Adkins (Fayetteville, N.C./Terry Sanford) was 28th (2:42.11.

On the men’s side, junior Dylan Belles (Denver, N.C./East Lincoln) was the Spartans’ top finisher of the day. Belles placed fourth overall in the mile run with a time of 4:24.68, finishing just seven seconds off the top spot (4:17.03). His time was also a career-best, trimming almost nine seconds off his previous time of 4:33.49 set his freshman year at the Kent Taylor Invite. Junior Max Bergstrom (Asheville, N.C./A.C. Reynolds) placed 10th in the event with a time of 4:36.75.

In the 3,000-meter race, freshman Patrick O’Grady (Roswell, Ga./Blessed Trinity) was the top finisher for UNCG with a ninth place showing in a time of 9:19.46. Additionally, freshman Dakarai Shipp (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook) placed 12th (9:31.64) while classmate David Guthrie (Fayetteville, N.C./South View) was 13th (9:39.05).

Rounding out the men’s team in the 800-meter race, senior Abraham Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kipkabus) placed 28th in a time of 2:09.06 while Eric Williams (Chapel Hill, N.C./Northwood) finished in a time of 2:09.48 for a 30th place showing. 

The Spartans return to the track next weekend for the Liberty Open in Lynchburg, Va., Jan. 17-18.

- UNCG -