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Cross Country

Gamecocks Claim Season Opener, Defend Carolina Challenge Crown

Sept. 2, 2017

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A strong showing starts the 2017 season for South Carolina, as the Gamecocks claimed the team title at the 2017 Carolina Challenge, held at the Sandhill REC 5K course.

The Gamecocks had five of the top nine in the women's 5K field, tallying 25 points to take the team title over Clemson and five other in-state Division I schools. Eleven Gamecocks posted new collegiate best times, including three of the top-five team finishers.

Sophomore Anna Kathryn Stoddard led the pack with a third-place finish with 18:32.1, while senior Kaylee Wessel (18:36.2) and freshman Brooke Wilson (18:43.0) came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Wessel improved her previous-best 5K time in the Garnet and Black by 30 seconds. Junior Allison Mueller (18:46.9) and freshman Heather Stone (18:47.3) finished within a step of each other, with Mueller taking eighth and Stone ninth. Sophomore Emily Crounse led a quartet of Gamecocks that finished 13-16 at 18:59.8. Redshirt sophomore Colleen Openshaw finished in 19:08.6, topping her previous college best by over 40 seconds, while freshman Rachel Hensler clocked in at 19:10.4. Sophomore Sarah-Sims McGrath closed that group with a time of 19:13.5.

Freshman Sarah Riser topped the next group of Gamecocks that had seven finish in the next nine positions. Riser's time of 19:38.8 stood good for 24th, while sophomore Morgan Lee (19:39.6) and senior Allie Sprague (19.49.9) were on Riser's heels. Lee shaved over 45 seconds off last year's 5K top time. Freshman Kylee Yturralde crossed the line in 19:51.6 in 28th, while sophomore Megan Buechler coming in next at 29th in 19:54.2. Sophomore Leah Ford (31st, 20:07.6), senior Julia Nardone (20:10.7) and sophomore Morgan Adams (21:40.8) rounded out the Gamecock runners.

Clemson junior Elizabeth Dawson took the women's individual title, clocking in at 18:24.7.

The Gamecocks take on a 6K course next weekend in Athens, Ga., as they take part in the Bulldog SEC Preview, held on the UGA Golf Course on Sat., Sept. 9.

Carolina Challenge • Women's 5K • Sept. 2, 2017
Sandhill REC • Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina's Place/Times
3. Anna Kathryn Stoddard 18:32.1
5. Kaylee Wessel 18:36.2*
6. Brooke Wilson 18:43.0*
8. Allison Mueller 18:46.9
9. Heather Stone 18:47.3*
13. Emily Crounse 18:59.8
14. Colleen Openshaw 19:08.6*
15. Rachel Hensler 19:10.4*
16. Sarah-Sims McGrath 19:13.5*
24. Sarah Riser 19:38.8*
25. Morgan Lee 19:39.6*
26. Allie Sprague 19:49.9
28. Kylee Yturralde 19:51.6*
29. Megan Buechler 19:54.2*
31. Leah Ford 20:07.6
32. Julia Nardone 20:10.7*
45. Morgan Adams 21:40.8
* - collegiate best time




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