Nov. 9, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The South Carolina cross country team wrapped up its season in strong fashion on Friday afternoon as it finished 10th out of 37 teams at the 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C.
The Gamecocks had 309 points for the 6,000-meter race to give the program it’s best finish at the region championship since placing ninth in 1994.
“They did really well today,” South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal said. “We were ranked ninth in the region coming in, but 10th is still really good. It’s the highest finish we’ve had in a really, really long time. (Freshman) Kayla Lampe was awesome. She started out with the front pack and stayed with it when the pack broke down. It was an awesome race. The other girls fought hard, and it was a really great effort.”
Four of South Carolina’s seven runners recorded personal records, with Lampe delivering one of the best performances of her career to lead the way. She claimed eighth place out of 255 runners with a PR of 20:40.43 to earn All-Southeast Region honors. Her finish is the highest ever by a Gamecock freshman at the event. Lampe will now wait for the NCAA Championship at-large bids to be announced to find out if she made the field.
A native of Downingtown, Pa., Lampe got off to a solid start and was in the middle of the lead pack after the first lap. She was in sixth place on the final lap heading down the hill toward the final stretch, but a pair of runners passed her on the hill, leaving her in eighth on the way to the finish line.
“My strategy going into today was to just stay with that top pack and get out fast,” Lampe said. “I just wanted to hold my place and try to stay in the top 12. I think I definitely exceeded those expectations.”
Senior Chelsea France was the second Gamecock to cross the finish line as she placed 32nd with a time of 21:30.75. South Carolina had three more runners finish in the top 100. Junior Penny Boswell turned in a PR of 22:16.22 to finish 89th, while freshman Mary Fouse (22:18.08) and sophomore Meredith Mill (22:25.67, PR) finished 92nd and 98th, respectively.
Freshman Christine Kent also ran a PR for South Carolina as she turned in a time of 22:53.24 to finish 138th. Freshman Anna Todd rounded out the Gamecock contingent with a 240th-place finish in 25:29.29.
Duke placed four runners in the top 20 to claim the team championship with 81 points. William and Mary took second with 123 points, followed by North Carolina State (147), Kentucky (173) and North Carolina (195). Kentucky’s Cally Macumber won the meet with a time of 20:10.98.