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Cross Country

Gamecocks Back in Columbia for Koala Classic
Oct. 6, 2017

Cross Country at the Koala Classic

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina cross country squad runs in Columbia for the final time this season when it participates in the Koala Classic on Saturday morning. Hosted by Columbia College, the meet begins at 9:40 a.m. ET at the SOAR Fields, located at 5637 Bush River Road in Columbia.

A large field with a distinctly local flavor will join the Gamecocks Saturday. Carolina will face off against squads from Benedict, Bob Jones, Brenau, Claflin, Columbia International, Francis Marion, Lander, Morris, Paine, St. Andrews and Tusculum.


"We're running a big group this week, including the only meet of the season for our 800m track student-athletes, Maddie Beaubien and Kelsey Larkin. Many of the runners competing for us this weekend didn't make the trip to Notre Dame, so I am eager to see them perform. I'd like to see us run aggressively and stick together at the front of the pack, and hopefully at the end of the day we can celebrate a victory. I'd love to see a lot of fans out there Saturday to support our team and a new collegiate meet in the Columbia area." -- Andrew Allden


The Gamecocks finished 13th in the Gold Division at the Joe Piane Invitational, hosted Sept. 29 by Notre Dame. Carolina improved its finish at the meet by two positions over last season, when they came in 15th.

Junior Allison Mueller paced the Gamecocks at Notre Dame with the best performance of her career. Mueller's time of 17:56.0 was good for 23rd individually in the Gold Division and the seventh-fastest 5K time in Carolina history. Mueller beat her previous PR by more than 38 seconds.

Mueller was one of six Gamecocks to set a collegiate best at Notre Dame. Heather Stone ran 18:26.1 to finish 59th, while Colleen Openshaw took 70th in 18:37.0. Sarah-Sims McGrath (18:45.2), Morgan Lee (19:13.4) and Sarah Riser (19:38.3) also ran their best 5K races as Gamecocks at the meet.


South Carolina finished fourth at the Bulldog SEC Preview, hosted Sept. 9 by the University of Georgia. Sophomore Anna Kathryn Stoddard led the Gamecocks with a 6K time of 22:44.9, good for 16th overall at the meet. Allison Mueller (23:11.7), Kaylee Wessel (23.14.5), Heather Stone (23:17.6) and Brooke Wilson (23.18.8) rounded out Carolina's top five performers.

Five Gamecocks made their 6K debuts at the meet: Stone, Wilson, Rachel Hensler, Sarah Riser and Kylee Yturralde. Each ran a personal best, as did sophomore Sarah-Sims McGrath, the sixth-highest Gamecock finisher in 23:45.5.

South Carolina will return to Athens Oct. 27 for the 2017 SEC Championships.


The Gamecocks defended their team championship at the Carolina Challenge on Sept. 2, opening the season by dominating the seven-team field. Anna Kathryn Stoddard posted a 5K time of 18:32.1 to lead Carolina and place third overall, while Kaylee Wessel, Brooke Wilson, Allison Mueller and Heather Stone also finished in the top-10.

Wessel ran a 5K personal best of 18:36.2, one of 11 collegiate PRs achieved by the Gamecocks at the meet. Veterans Colleen Openshaw (19:08.6), Sarah-Sims McGrath (19:13.5), Morgan Lee (19:39.6), Megan Buechler (19:54.2) and Julia Nardone (20:10.7) also ran their collegiate bests at the Sandhills REC.


Carolina wraps up the regular season on Friday, Oct. 13 when it runs at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala.




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