Gamecock Cross Country Remains Undefeated
Sept. 19, 2009
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Under humid but cloudy conditions, South Carolina's cross country team raced to their second victory in two races this season with the team win at the Asics/Winthrop Invitational. Running against the top Southern Conference teams, the Gamecocks followed the one-two punch of senior Dani Barnes and sophomore Beatrice Biwott to score 46 points to Davidson's 53 and Elon's 56. The victory runs their record to 14-0 against opponents for the 2009 season.
As the starters gun echoed at 10 a.m., 114 racers sprinted down the course. Showing the same patient strategy from the previous race, the Gamecocks were in fourth place as a team at the mile mark. Barnes and Biwott led the field by a few meters, followed by the team pack in 40th to 50th place. After two miles, junior Ashley Evens cracked the top 20 with freshman Tatum Tyler and junior Laura Pramstaller in the top 25. Running calmly, Barnes and Biwott continued to stretch their lead and built it up to almost half a football field in length.
Evens continued to lead the charge from the back, passing 30 runners to claim 10th place at the finish. Closely following Evens was Tyler, who moved from 44th to finish 14th overall, and Pramstaller who moved from 43rd to 19th place overall. However, as a team the Gamecocks were not in first place until one half mile remained in the 5K race.
Winthrop's course is much hillier than South Carolina's home course at Fort Jackson, causing times that were mostly slower this week. Barnes won in 18:11, and Biwott finished next at 18:19, finishing 20 seconds in front of the third place finisher.
South Carolina returns to action next Saturday at the SEC Preview meet in Oxford, Miss. SEC rivals Alabama and Mississippi will be competing along with Memphis, Samford and several others. Alabama (7) and Samford (9) are ranked in their NCAA Region.
1. South Carolina (46)