By Carey Phillips


Smoky Mountain’s men’s and women’s indoor track teams will open their seasons Wednesday, Dec. 4, with a 3 p.m. meet at Murphy.

Libby McRae, a history professor at Western Carolina who has previously coached middle school track, has been named coach.

“I’m honored to take over the program,” she said. “I coached middle school for Jackson County a couple of years ago. A lot of those kids kept running in high school, and some of them are still there.”

She noted that seniors Anna Morgan and Lindsey Stack have experience competing in the State Indoor Track Meet.

The women’s roster also includes senior Becky Pechmann, junior Willow Messer, sophomores Hadley Huffman and Emma Jutte and freshmen Lily Buenting, Addison Cowan and Lydia Norman.

The men’s roster includes senior Manuel Herevia, sophomore Ben Saunooke and freshmen Tyler Bailey, Gabriel Caldwell, Henry Hanks, Charlie McKee and Caleb Phillips.

“I hope we will get a few more out,” McRae said. “A lot of them ran cross country, and others are trying to get ready for their spring season. It’s a good chance for them to stay in shape. Hopefully we will do well.”

The schedule is as follows:

Dec. 4 – at Murphy; 10 – at West Henderson.

Jan. 8 at Polk or 11 – at West Henderson; 23 – at West Henderson.

Feb. 1 – at Polk; 15 – State Meet at Winston-Salem.