Oct. 11, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina cross country team has a busy weekend ahead with two meets on the schedule. The Gamecock `B' team is set to race in the 5K Queens Royal Challenge on Friday, and the varsity squad will compete in the 6K NCAA Preview Meet on Saturday.
The meets will be South Carolina's final preparation for the 2012 SEC Championship, which will be held on Oct. 26 in Nashville, Tenn.
"We have a very large team of over 30 women, so we are trying to provide as many racing opportunities as we can," South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal said. "There are actually two women that are still fighting for spots to race at the SEC Championship. (The Queens Royal Challenge) will be a good opportunity for our women to get a chance to run on a really fast course and finish the season with some personal records and perhaps give them a chance to make the SEC competition squad."
South Carolina is running at Charlotte for a second straight meet. The Gamecocks ran in the Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Park two weeks ago and finished in 11th place.
The Gamecocks' `B' team lineup for Friday includes seniors Ellyn Quigg and Megan Rother, junior Kelly Newcomb, sophomore Kelsey Rudeck and freshmen Stephanie Berger, Shaina Manuel, Courtney Swink, Alexandra Whitley and Lisa Zimmer.
South Carolina will compete against a mix of 30 Division I and Division II programs at the Queens Royal Challenge, highlighted by regionally ranked Florida State, Duke, Elon and Liberty.
On Saturday the Gamecocks will face their toughest test of the season, as the NCAA Preview Meet will feature 15 nationally ranked teams at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, which is the site of the 2012 NCAA Championship. South Carolina will race in the women's black unseeded race against a field highlighted by regionally ranked Florida State, Florida, Georgetown and West Virginia.
"A lot of the teams that will compete there are nationally ranked. Most of them are regionally ranked," Rosenthal said. "It will be good preparation for us. There will be over 300 runners at this race, and our goal is to put as many people as we can in the top 100."
Freshman Kayla Lampe and senior Chelsea France are expected to lead the way for the Gamecocks on Saturday. Lampe enters the race with the fifth fastest 6K time (21:06.24) in the conference. France has consistently been South Carolina's second fastest runner this season and is 18th in the SEC with a 6K mark of 21:47.03.
Friday's Queens Royal Challenge is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. The Gamecocks will run in the unseeded race on Saturday at the NCAA Preview Meet at 11:30 a.m.
Queens Royal Challenge Field
NCAA Preview Meet Black Unseeded Race Field
Bolded teams will be scored in the unseeded race
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