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Oct. 11, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Behind a historic and winning performance from junior Meredith Mill, South Carolina won the Royal Cross Country Challenge on Friday afternoon at McAlpine Creek Park.

Mill, the top runner all fall for the Gamecocks, defeated all collegiate runners from 35 different universities and broke the school’s 5,000-meter record set last year with a 17:03.6 time on the flat course. Mill’s time stands fourth in the SEC in a 5K this year. Freshman Mary Reiser finished second in the Division I field and fifth overall with a 17:39.0 time, the sixth-best time in South Carolina history. Sophomore Anna Todd broke through with a 17:59.8 clocking, finishing fourth in her division. The three top Gamecock finishers all bested their top time by over a minute, with Mill dropping over 1:45 from her previous best this year.

“I was really pleased how the team ran from top to bottom,” said assistant track coach for distance and cross country Andrew Allden. “We knew it was going to be a fast course with great weather, so we talked about taking advantage of the opportunity to run fast. I was very pleased to have three break 18 minutes. Meredith was so impressive and Mary continued to run the way she’s run all year. Anna dipping under 18 was great as well.”

Sophomore Stephanie Berger finished sixth, crossing the line in 18:04.5, while senior Penny Boswell clocked in at 18:14.4, ranking eighth. Sophomore Christine Kent (18:19.2) and freshman Martha McCoy (18:21.9) closed out the Gamecock scorers in 10th and 11th, respectively. Three sophomores and a freshman finished in a pack starting at 15th, as Alex Mullin led the group at 18:43.8. Freshman Sarah Falta (18:47.9) came in next, while Allie Whitley (18:50.6) and Brandy Wybersky (18:52.1) closing the pack. Eleven of the top 18 Division I runners hailed from South Carolina’s team.

Freshmen Brittany Day (19:23.5) and Melanie Ng (19:29.3) finished around sophomore Ashley Miller (19:25.9) in 24th-26th. Sophomore Courtney Swink came in 31st (19:52.1), while junior Sarah Pelligrini (33rd, 19:53.6) and freshman Haley Saxby (44th, 22:27.1) closed out the Gamecock finishers.

South Carolina topped Duke 20-44 to take the Division I title while also beating Palmetto State schools Charleston Southern and Presbyterian.

The Gamecocks head to Terra Haute, Ind., to race in the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational next Saturday for the final tune-up before the championship season begins.

Royal Cross Country Challenge
McAlpine Creek Park (5K) – Charlotte, N.C.
Oct. 11, 2013

Division I Team Results
1. South Carolina, 20

2. Duke, 44
3. Charleston Southern, 74
4. Presbyterian, 113

Division I Individual Results (South Carolina only)
1. Meredith Mill, Jr., 17:03.6
2. Mary Reiser, Fr., 17:39.0
4. Anna Todd, So., 17:59.8
6. Stephanie Berger, So., 18:04.5
8. Penny Boswell, Sr., 18:14.4
10. Christine Kent, So. 18:19.2
11. Martha McCoy, Fr., 18:21.9
15. Alex Mullin, So., 18:43.8
16. Sarah Falta, Fr., 18:47.9
17. Allie Whitley, So., 18:50.6
18. Brandy Wybersky, So., 18:52.1
24. Brittany Day, Fr., 19:23.5
25. Ashley Miller, So., 19:25.9
26. Melanie Ng, Fr., 19:29.3
31. Courtney Swink, So., 19:52.1
33. Sarah Pellegrini, Jr., 19:53.6
44. Haley Saxby, Fr., 22:27.1