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Oct. 22, 2014 10458736.jpeg

Throughout the fall, GamecocksOnline will catch up with members of the women’s cross country team for a feature called The 6K. This edition features freshman Monica York of DeKalb, Ill.

Being from Illinois, what have you had to change to deal with the difference in climate?
Definitely hydrating. I didn’t have to worry about that as much at home, but here I have to constantly worry about that. It took adjusting, getting used to the heat, but now I’m pretty adjusted to it so it’s not as big of a deal.

How did you get started competing in cross country and track?
I joined on a whim during my freshman year, just to join some friends, and then I ended up really liking it. Then I quit volleyball my sophomore year to run cross country and I’ve been running ever since.

What has been your favorite memory as an athlete?
My sophomore year in high school, we weren’t supposed to make it to state and we did, and then made top 10.

Why did you choose to attend and compete for South Carolina and Coach Allden?
Initially, I did not think that I would go here, but I really liked the visit. I fell in love with the campus. I really liked the team because everyone seemed so close. Everything just fell into place the most for this school.

What was it like earning your first collegiate win in the two-mile run at the USC Open #2?
It was exciting. Going into it, I expected to perform well, but I didn’t expect to do that well.

What was it like going from being a miler to running 5Ks?
I always ran the mile in high school and that was by far my best event. I was not that great at the 5K in high school so I like more of the shorter, mid-distance events than the longer races. I just started running the two-mile my senior year and I actually really liked it, I just didn’t get that many opportunities to run it.

The Gamecocks’ next competition will be on Oct. 31 as they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the SEC Championships with the women’s 6K starting at 10 a.m., ET, at the Harry Pritchett Running Course.