Aug. 31, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- For the second straight year, the South Carolina cross country team opened its season in dominating fashion as it placed 10 runners in the top 15, including the first three to cross the finish line, on its way to winning the Gamecock Invitational on Friday night at Hilton Field in Fort Jackson.
The Gamecocks finished the meet with 21 points to claim the top spot. College of Charleston took second with 51 points, and The Citadel placed third with 85 points.
South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal, whose team has now won the Gamecock Invitational four out of the last five years, couldn't have been more pleased with his squad's season-opening effort.
"We were hoping the weather would cooperate. It was in the mid 80s all week and then it shot up into the 90s for the race," Rosenthal said. "It was hot, so what we did was really good. Our goal was to get seven or more in the top 10, and we did that. It was a really good start."
Freshman Kayla Lampe had an impressive performance to lead the way for the Gamecocks, turning in a meet record of 17:10.20 to win the race by nearly a minute.
"Her running in the low 17s and setting a meet record was phenomenal, particularly in the weather," Rosenthal said.
Transfer Chelsea France had a strong debut for Carolina as well, crossing the finish line in second with a time of 18:04.70. France battled with Lampe during the first lap before Lampe pulled away on the second lap to build a comfortable lead. Junior Penny Boswell claimed third place with a mark of 18:46.50 after finishing second at last year's meet.
A pack of Gamecock runners weren't far behind Boswell, as freshmen Lauren Kahre (seventh, 19:00.60), Mary Fouse (eighth, 19:01.40), Anna Todd (ninth, 19:04.40), Brandy Wybersky (10th, 19:06.90), Alex Mullin (11th, 19:08.10) and Christine Kent (12th, 19:15.80) all finished in the top 15 to ensure a Gamecock win.
"It is always good to win our home meet," Rosenthal said. "We don't always win it. It will help us stay focused and work hard and stay positive as we move on with the season."
The Gamecocks will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Vanderbilt Pre-SEC Invitational at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.
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