Nov. 14, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The South Carolina cross country team had its best finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships since 1995 in the final race of the season Saturday on the campus of the University of Louisville. Showing that their season-long ranking in the top 15 was deserved, the women placed 14th out of 35 teams competing, an improvement of nine spots from last season’s 23rd place finish.
At E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park, the Gamecocks raced under great conditions for the first time since their October 2 race in Charlotte. In their third 6K race of the season, the Gamecocks had a great finish to a great season. Among the teams they defeated were ACC powers Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Sophomore Beatrice Biwott overcame having to cross train for two weeks, due to a calf strain, to lead the team with a 57th place finish out of 237 racers, an individual improvement of over 20 spots from her freshman season. Freshman Tatum Tyler had her best race of the season and finished as South Carolina’s second scorer in 79th. Tyler and junior captain Ashley Evens worked together moving through the massive field of racers the entire race. Evens placed 90th her highest ever placing in the NCAA race.
Senior Dani Barnes, who also missed the past several weeks of running due to sore shins, went out with the second pack. At halfway, her time away from running caught up with her and she slowly faded back in the tough field of racers at 123rd. Freshman Sara Hartley raced well from the back passing over 30 runners the last half of the race to finish just behind Barnes at 126th.
“I am so proud of how well the women raced today,” South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal said. “It is testament to their effort over the summer months and this fall that the team once again placed well, even with our top two not in top form. It was a terrific finish for our season.”
During the regular season, the Gamecock cross country team had a 30-4 record against NCAA Division I teams. They won two invitational meets, earning the team titles at South Carolina and at Winthrop. They also placed second at the Princeton Invitational and fourth at the Charlotte Invitational.