Nov. 10, 2017
Cross Country at the NCAA Southeast Regional
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- South Carolina's 2017 cross country season came to an end on Friday as the Gamecocks finished 19th out of 41 squads at the NCAA Southeast Regional. Sophomore Anna Kathryn Stoddard was once again Carolina's top finisher, pacing the Gamecocks at Panorama Farms.
Stoddard came home in 22:15.4 to finish 79th individually. The Greenwood, S.C., native got stronger as the race went on, passing 17 competitors after checking in 96th at the first split. She paced the Gamecocks in each of her five appearances this year.
Second among Gamecocks was Allison Mueller, who finished 113th with a time of 22:40.5. Kaylee Wessel rounded out the Carolina podium; in her final collegiate cross country race, the senior ran 22:43.5.
The top freshman to represent Carolina on Friday, Heather Stone placed 136th with a mark of 22:57.1. Her time was 22nd-best among rookies at Panorama Farms.
Colleen Openshaw took 139th with a time of 22:59.3, while Sarah-Sims McGrath placed 193rd with an effort of 23:58.8. Rachel Hensler was right on McGrath's heels, rounding out the Carolina contingent by placing 194th in 23:59.8.
NC State and Furman finished first and second on Friday to earn the Southeast Region's two automatic bids to the NCAA Championships next weekend in Louisville, Ky. Charlotte's Caroline Sang was the individual medalist, with a time of 20:05.8.
Friday's meet caps a strong 2017 campaign for Andrew Allden and the Gamecocks. Carolina won team titles at the Carolina Challenge and Koala Classic, earned its first USTFCCCA regional ranking since 2014 and grabbed its highest finish at the SEC Championships since 2013.
FROM THE COACH
"This is the end of a good season for us, one where we performed up to expectations almost every time we competed. Today wasn't our best day, but I feel like the effort was there, and I am proud of that. It was a challenging course, we didn't get off to a great start and unfortunately our times weren't as good as we liked, but we still gutted it out and finished in the top half of the field. I'm excited to see our returners build off of this performance." -- Andrew Allden
The Gamecocks ended the day as the second-highest finisher from the state of South Carolina, ahead of Charleston, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, USC Upstate, Winthrop, Charleston Southern and The Citadel.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Though the cross country season is complete, the Carolina squad will represent the Gamecocks in distance events during the 2018 track & field season, which begins with indoor action in January.
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