Gamecock Cross Country Travels To Commodore Classic|
Sept. 14, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After having two weeks to prepare, the South Carolina cross country team is set to compete in the Commodore Classic on Saturday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.
South Carolina is coming off a dominant performance to open the season as it won the Gamecock Invitational, placing 10 runners in the top 15. Freshman Kayla Lampe led the way with a first-place finish to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors. South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal looks for his team to keep its momentum going in Nashville.
"It will be a very good test for us," Rosenthal said. "The competition there will be much steeper. What we are hoping to get is two runners in the top 10, then get Penny Boswell in the top 25 or 30 and our freshman and sophomore pack in the top 50 or 60. If we can do that, we will be doing very well with our team score."
The Gamecocks will run against 24 teams on Saturday, with 10 being regionally ranked. A total of seven SEC schools - Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Tennessee and Vanderbilt - will join South Carolina at the meet to get a preview of the 2012 SEC Championship, which will be held at Percy Warner Park on Oct. 26.
"We wanted to see if there was something special that we needed to do in training," Rosenthal said of racing on the course prior to the SEC Championship. "The course is not very hilly, and the footing is pretty good. I felt like if it was an advantage to us to get to know the course and become a little more familiar with it, it might move us up a place or two in the SEC and would certainly be worth the effort."
South Carolina has 11 runners penciled in to race on Saturday, with Lampe leading the way. A native of Downingtown, Pa., Lampe currently has the fastest 5K time in the conference by a freshman and third fastest overall. Senior Chelsea France, who finished second at the Gamecock Invitational, will look to improve on her season-opening performance, while Boswell, sophomore Alex Mullin and freshmen Mary Fouse, Annie Grove, Lauren Kahre, Christine Kent, Lannon McCoy, Anna Todd and Brandy Wybersky round out the Gamecock contingent.
The Commodore Classic will begin at 9 a.m. CT with the Men's Gold 8K Race. The Gamecocks will run in the Women's Gold 6K Race at 9:45.
Teams in the meet (regional ranking in parentheses)