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Aug. 20, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With the 2015 cross country season just over two weeks away, assistant track and field coach for distance/cross country Andrew Allden announced the teams freshman class Thursday afternoon. The group of seven women come from successful track and cross country careers in the high school ranks and will supplement an already young and talented team.

“This is a strong class. Not quite as large as the previous year, but very solid in terms of quality,” Allden said. “The challenge as always in cross country is that they are essentially taking up a new event by moving from the 5K to 6K, so this season will go a long way in showing who is ready to make the jump from high school.”

The Carolina coaching staff drew the 2015 signing class from all over the country, with each of the seven newcomers hailing from seven different states that stretches from Oregon to Florida. The freshmen will join in with a rising sophomore class that played a major role in the team’s success last year.

2015 Cross Country Recruits
Heather Elliott / Greenville, S.C.

  • Plans to major in mathematics, and will be a part of the Honors College
  • Earned four letters in cross country and track, also lettered in basketball
  • All-State in the 4×8, 1600 and 3200 as a senior
  • State champion in the 3200 as a junior
  • Wendy’s High School Heisman recipient
  • Ranked in the top ten of her graduating class and had a perfect score in the math section of her ACT.

Samantha Farmer / Columbia, Mo.

  • Ran a top 5K time of 18:39.14 for Rock Bridge High School in Missouri
  • Finished sixth at the 2013 Eastern Relays with a top two-mile time of 11:03.45
  • Finished third in her district and tenth in her section in the 5K during the 2015 season

Claudia Hammond / Dallas, Texas

  • Won bronze in the 200 and 400 at the 2015 SPC North Zone Meet
  • Earned three wins in the 800 for Hockaday High School during the 2015 season

Alexis Malmberg / Newton Square, Pa.

  • 2015 PAISAA Championship winner in the 1600
  • Ran 2nd at the Inter-AC League Championships with a PR of 20:07

Allison Mueller / Beaverton, Ore.

  • Ran a top 1500 time of 4:43.81 to finish second at the 2014 district championship, a time that would have been Carolina’s fastest this past track season
  • Has a top 5K time of 19:01.97
  • Finished 3rd in the state in the 800 as a senior
  • Member of the Honors College

Julia Nardone / Glenelg, Md.

  • Three-time Maryland Individual State Champion (3200M twice, 1600M once)
  • Holds six different school records, five in track and one in cross country
  • Five-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro honoree, Washington Post All-Met honoree
  • Glenelg High School Female Athlete of the Year as a senior

Colleen Openshaw / St. Johns, Fla.

  • Plans to major in biochemistry and will be in the Honors College
  • Crossed fourth in the FHSAA 2014 Outdoor State 3200m
  • Earned the team’s Mid-Distance Runner of the Year in 2013 and 2014, Most Valuable Runner in 2013, Varsity Team Award in 2014 and Coaches Award in 2015.