Top-Five Performances Highlight Tornado Classic, Day Two at Duke Invitational

Cullowhee, N.C. — The Western Carolina and field teams divided and conquered today as both the Tornado Classic and the Duke Invitational saw noteworthy Catamount performances.

While WCU was only represented by six Catamounts at the Tornado Classic in Brevard, N.C., the Purple and Gold saw plenty of success as all six took home at least a top-five finish in their event, with three taking top-three placements and Grant Parham claiming an event win in the 1500m. Joshuah Glyn-Williams took a pair of top-three finishes in the long and triple jumps while Bella Hilleary took a second-place finish in the women’s triple jump. Clara Root and Jazmine Smith rounded out the top-three finishes with second and third-place finishes in the 800m with Sydney Gallant taking fifth in the 100m.

Meanwhile, most of the Catamounts competed at the Duke Invitational where Heidi Hudson continued her impressive in the 2024 outdoor season. The freshman Catamount currently stands sixth in the heptathlon but jumped her way even further up the WCU Outdoor Top-Five performance list with a 1.78m clear. That mark surpassed her 1.73m clear at the Tennessee Invite last week and is now tied for the second-best mark by a Catamount. She is tied with Xaveria Bass at second and trails only Virginia LaCombe’s 1.83m clear in 2002.

Closing out the success of the field on the day was Noah Straley, who took a ninth-place finish in the men’s long jump thanks to his clear of 6.90m. The sophomore Catamount finished fourth in the event last week in Knoxville and was one of only nine athletes to clear the 6.85m mark on the day.

The performances were led by standout freshman Catamount Katherine Hopkins in the women’s 5k open. Hopkins took a new personal best with a 17:45.59 finish, taking fifth in the event with a nearly three-second difference between her and sixth-place finisher Hannah Wise. In addition, fellow freshman Catamount Lawson Mecom took a tenth-place finish in the men’s portion of the same event. His time of 14:52.99 was one of only twelve in the field to fall under the 14:55 mark.

The Catamounts will return to action tomorrow morning at the Duke Invitational as the men’s decathlon picks up with the 110m hurdles at 9:30 a.m.

Top Placements: Tornado Classic

Grant Parham – 1st 1500m: 4:21.53s

Sydney Gallant – 5th, 100m: 15.06s

Joshuah Glyn-Williams – 3rd, Long Jump: 6.05m

Joshua Glyn-Williams – 3rd, Triple Jump: 11.93m

Bella Hilleary – 2nd, Triple Jump: 8.78m

Clara Root – 2nd, 800m : 2:36.74

Jazmine Smith – 3rd, 800m : 2:38.01

Top Placements: Duke Invitational

Noah Straley – 9th Long Jump: 6.90m

Heidi Hudson – 6th Heptathlon (through 4 events): 2918 pts

Damon Worley – 7th Decathlon (through 5 events): 3313 pts

Ethan Hibberts – 10th Decathlon (through 5 events): 3030 pts

Katherine Hopkins – 5th Women’s 5K: 17:45.59

Lawson Mecom – 10th Men’s 5k: 14:52.99

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