Gamecock Cross Country Claims Second At Princeton
Oct. 17, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. - On a cold, rainy and miserable 40 degree day, the South Carolina cross country team raced to a second place finish at the Princeton Invitational led by sophomore Beatrice Biwott's third-place finish. With the finish, the Gamecocks hold a 30-4 record against Division I opponents this season.
Running over the muddy 6,100-meter course with reckless abandon, the Gamecock top three of sophomore Beatrice Biwott, senior Dani Barnes and junior Ashley Evens got off to a clean start with Biwott leading the field of 112 runners. Barnes was also in the lead pack of 10, while Evens was with the second large pack of 25 runners. The rest of the team was in the third group of 35 racers as the race progressed in the early stages.
Racing and sliding around the first two mile loop - made extra muddy by the earlier men's five mile race and the steady downpour in New Jersey - times were very slow. Giving a very tough effort, the team battled with eventual winner Columbia and third place finisher St. Josephs. Fighting the elements and the other racers, the Gamecocks had their best outing of the season in the final race before the SEC Championships.
Biwott led until the final half mile and ended up third overall. Barnes placed 11th while Evens had her best ever college race to move up to 16th place. The team's second pack moved forward the last two miles of the almost four mile race to secure the teams second place finish. Team runners No. 4 through No. 8 were only 25 seconds apart. Freshman Tatum Tyler placed 32 followed by freshman Sara Hartley in 38th. They were followed by sophomore Chelsea Leroux in 40th, junior Laura Pramstaller in 43rd and freshman Laura Beggs in 46th.
"I am very proud of the team effort today," South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal said. "The team went about getting ready for the race as if the sun was out and it was perfect racing conditions. As our final race before SEC's, the team is in a great mindset. Today was very bad for racing. The women really raced hard and kept a positive attitude under very trying conditions."
The Harriers now have almost two full weeks of hard training before the SEC Championships at Ole Miss. That race is scheduled for Oct. 31 in Oxford.