Sept. 29, 2017
Cross Country at the Joe Piane Invitational
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of South Carolina cross country team was back in action Friday, finishing 13th out of 25 teams in the Gold Division of the Joe Piane Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame. Junior Allison Mueller led the way, posting the seventh-best individual 5K effort in Carolina history.
Four of Carolina's nine competitors in the Gold Division 5K set collegiate bests on Friday. Mueller led the way, finishing 23rd out of 204 runners with a time of 17:56.0, more than 38 seconds better than her previous 5K top effort. Heather Stone ran 18:26.1 to take 59th, while Colleen Openshaw finished 70th at 18:37.0. Kaylee Wessel crossed the line 76th, running 18:41.5, while Sarah-Sims McGrath finished in 18:45.2 to check in 84th. Brooke Wilson stopped the clock in 19:07.5 to finish 119th, and Allie Sprague rounded out the Carolina scorers with a 122nd-place finish, in 19:08.0.
Two additional Gamecocks ran in the Open 5K potion of the women's race. Morgan Lee placed 21st out of 56 runners, with a time of 19:13.4, while Sarah Riser took 30th in a time of 19:38.3. Both Gamecocks set collegiate bests on Friday.
Mueller, Wessel and McGrath each improved their finishes significantly from their 2016 appearances at the Joe Piane Invitational. Mueller moved up 77 positions, from 100th place last season to 23rd on Friday. Wessel improved from 158th to 76th while McGrath, who ran in the Open 5K last season, dropped over 32 seconds off her time.
FROM THE COACH
"We had a solid day, moving up two positions from our finish last season and posting six collegiate personal bests. We had some people post breakthrough days, including Allison running the seventh-best time in school history. Heather, Colleen and Sarah-Sims all had their best days as Gamecocks, and I am proud of how we competed, especially with our top finisher from the first two meets, Anna Kathryn Stoddard, out due to illness. I am looking forward to seeing how we run when we get her back." -- Andrew Allden
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks are back in the Soda City on Saturday, Oct. 7, for the Koala Classic, hosted by Columbia College.
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