Sept. 19, 2004
September 18, 2004 –
Clemson, S.C. —
The University of South Carolina women’s cross country team is no different than any other USC sports team. They have a lot of season goals, and like all teams at USC, one of the top ones is to beat Clemson. And, like every other USC team who has played Clemson so far this season, they beat them. Clemson came out of the gate strong in the Clemson Invitational and lead USC at both the mile and two mile marks, but the Lady Gamecocks put on a strong finish, pulling out a 4-point win over the Lady Tigers, picking up a net total of more than 30 places over the final half of the race. USC placed 5 runners in the top 20 and two runners in the top 5 in the field of more than 90 runners from 10 schools. This marks the third straight year USC has beaten Clemson and the fourth time overall in that span.
The Lady Gamecock’s top runner and team captain, senior Jenny Lake took second (18:16) after putting up an excellent effort, running neck and neck with Clemson’s top runner and the eventual race winner, Casey Philips (18:03) for more than two miles. She was followed in fourth place by freshman Amy Wike(18:41), who was one of three Gamecocks to set a new personal record (PR) at the meet; despite the unusually slow course that resulted from the heavy rains Thursday night and Friday morning left over from Hurricane Ivan. Also setting PR’s were junior Shay Shelton (18th, 19:47) and freshman Rebecca Chain (16th, 19:24), while sophomore Tristan Rackow (14th, 19:17) finished just two seconds off her PR.
However, Chain’s effort was the huge story and surprise of the day. The freshman from Ridgefield, Connecticut, who came into the season nursing a summer hip injury and missed the entire first month of training, just began running with the team this week and not only broke her PR, but placed in the top 20 in her first ever collegiate meet. Chain started off very conservatively and made up a lot of ground, passing more than 20 runners over the final 2 miles. Likewise, freshman Wike put up an impressive performance, passing a dozen or so runners in the final half of the race, posting a top 5 finish in only her second collegiate meet, and the rest of the freshman who ran the meet also turned in outstanding efforts. “I am very pleased with how our freshmen responded to competing at our in-state rival’s home course for the first time,” said head cross country coach Stan Rosenthal. “Going up there and coming away with a victory over [Clemson] was important to them.”
1. Emory – 39 points
2. USC – 54 pts
3. Clemson – 58 pts
4. Western Carolina – 115 pts
5. UNC-Greensboro – 154 pts
1. Casey Philips (Clemson) – 18:03.90
2. Jenny Lake (USC) – 18:16.70
3. Angela Davie (Emory) – 18:31.50
4. Amy Wike (USC) – 18:41.10
5 .Brittney Swick (Georgia So.) – 18:46.60