25th Roy Griak Invitational On Tap For Gamecock Cross Country
Sept. 24, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - As part of the season long process to get ready to compete at the SEC and NCAA cross country championships, the South Carolina cross country team heads to Falcon Heights, Minn., this weekend to compete at the 25th annual Roy Griak Invitational.
The harriers will be able to race the championship distance of 6,000 meters (3.75 miles) against 400 runners from teams that accumulate nearly a third of last year's NCAA Championship. Due to the special anniversary, it has become one of the most difficult fields that will assemble during the 2010 cross country season anywhere. Of the 28 teams racing the Gamecocks, there will be nine nationally-ranked teams from around the country, including No. 6 Duke, No. 14 Providence and No. 18 New Mexico in addition to nationally-ranked Arizona, Penn State, Minnesota, Rice, Iowa and Iowa State. There are also 10 NCAA regionally ranked teams competing, a list that includes Arizona State, Connecticut, Oregon State, NC State and Boston College.
The Gamecocks are coming off their win at the Winthrop Invitational where they defeated the No. 12 team in the NCAA Southeast Region.
"This will be an extreme test for the team," South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal says. "There will be almost 300 racers. Not getting buried at the start will be crucial. At the same time, they can't go crazy and race up front. There are 30 women in the race who have already raced 5k in the high 16:00's or low 17:00's this fall. Beatrice Biwott, our No. 1, has gone 17:58. There are 150 runners who have run faster than 19:00 for 5K. Our top five are in this group, with our other varsity runners getting very close to 19:00. If we crack the top 20 Saturday, it will be a good result given the strength of the field."
The Women's Gold Race starts Saturday 1:15 pm central time.