Oct. 27, 2017
Cross Country at the 2017 SEC Championships
ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of South Carolina cross country team finished 12th on Friday morning at the 2017 SEC Championships, held at the UGA Golf Course. Sophomore Anna Kathryn Stoddard paced the Gamecocks, leading the team to their best result at the conference meet since 2013.
Stoddard set a personal best for the second consecutive meet. The Greenwood, S.C., native finished the 6K course in 21:56.1, the 14th-best performance in Carolina history.
Junior Allison Mueller also set a personal record and finished in 54th position. Her time of 22:01.1 was more than 10 seconds better than her previous top time.
Rounding out the Carolina podium was senior Kaylee Wessel. Competing in her final SEC Championships, the St. Charles, Ill., native placed 61st, with a time of 22:13.9.
Heather Stone was Carolina's top freshman finisher, coming in 75th with a run of 22:25.8, while Colleen Openshaw passed 28 competitors on the final two loops and posted a time of 22:43.7 that was good for 86th. Rachel Hensler finished 103rd, crossing the line in 23:17.7, and Sarah-Sims McGrath took 111th with a mark of 23:33.9.
Among freshmen, Stone finished 16th on Friday. Stoddard, meanwhile, posted the 11th-best SEC Championships time in Carolina history after passing several competitors as the race went on. The sophomore stood in 80th position after one-third of the race but finished in the top-50 for the first time in her career.
Arkansas won the team title on Friday, while Missouri's Karissa Schweizer claimed the individual title with a time of 19:36.3
FROM THE COACH
"I'm pretty happy with our results today. I would have liked to knock off one or two more teams, but our top five finishers ran really well. Given the difficulty of the course, it was nice to see so many student-athletes in the low 22-minute range. It's good to have Anna Kathryn Stoddard crack the 22-minute mark again, and Heather Stone did really well in her first SEC meet. I was proud to watch our kids move up in the standings over the course of the race; Anna Kathryn and Colleen Openshaw definitely got better as the race went along. That showed real toughness, and I am excited to carry that mentality over to NCAA Regionals." -- Andrew Allden
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The postseason continues for the Gamecocks on Nov. 10, when they run at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Earlysville, Va.
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