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Sept. 27, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s cross country team travels the 28th-annual Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota, facing a variety of teams from around the country for the first time in 2013.

The Gamecocks finished fourth in the 25th Mountain Dew Invitational, downing a number of Florida-based schools in the process during the team’s initial race at the championship distance. Strong performances from a pair of Maryland natives led South Carolina, as junior Meredith Mill finished seventh and freshman Mary Reiser came in 12th. Assistant track coach in charge of distance and cross country Andrew Allden hopes to see the improvements continue from the 13 competitors he has in Minnesota, as the top three racers that were returning from 2012, including Mill and sophomores Anna Todd and Stephanie Berger, all improved their times by 40 seconds or more.

On the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn., the Gamecocks will line up against seven teams in the latest USTFCCCA Division I national rankings out of the 24 Division I in the field. Also, the two top-ranked Division II teams will be a part of the race. Regionally, 16 of the 24 are ranked, representing eight of the nine regions. Three other SEC teams have made the trek to the Twin Cities, as Georgia, Missouri and Vanderbilt join South Carolina as team participants.

The Jack Johnson Women’s Gold 6K race is slated to begin at 2:10 p.m. EDT, with streaming the race live for its subscribers.