Aug. 26, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2015 South Carolina cross country schedule was announced Wednesday afternoon. The team will hold two home meets at a new venue this season, and will take a young, but talented, squad out to a number of high-profile meets.
Carolina Challenge | Sept. 5 | Columbia, S.C.
The season begins with a meet at the team’s newest course, Weston Lake Recreation Area. The course is found on the grounds of Fort Jackson and promises a new challenge this season for the Gamecocks.
“We’re looking forward to getting on a new course, it’s a beautiful and scenic recreation area with some great trails and rolling ground,” Allden said. “I think it will be an interesting course and we’ve tried to make it as spectator-friendly as possible. We added a high school race beforehand this year to bring in local schools and really engage the community. Coastal Carolina is a solid regional team coming in for our ladies to run against and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Winthrop Invitational | Sept. 9 | Rock Hill, S.C.
The season begins with a meet at the team’s newest course, Weston Lake Recreation
“This is typically a pretty big meet so it’ll be good to see where we are as we get into the meat of our schedule,” Allden said. “As much as anything it will be an opportunity to set our lineup for Paul Short in two weeks.”
USC Open | Sept. 23 | Columbia, S.C.
For the team’s final home race, it will give the entire roster a chance to compete. The USC Open will be a two-mile event.
“The folks that won’t be going to Paul Short will be a part of this, probably 11 on back into our depth chart,” Allden said. “It’s a two-mile race so it will be a lot of fun to run.”
Paul Short Invite | Oct. 2 | Bethlehem, Pa.
The team will face a major early-season test when it travels again to the Paul Short Invite. Many members of the team set new personal bests in the meet last season, and it will be the team’s first 6K of the season.
“It was a great opportunity last year to see how we stacked up, it’s a fair course but it is an opportunity to run your career best,” Allden said. “We’re looking at this to try and see how our younger women run the 6K, this will be the freshmen’s first opportunity at that distance.”
South Carolina State Invite | Oct. 3 | Orangeburg, S.C.
With its `A’ team competing up north, the team’s reserves will race in the South Carolina State Invite.
Pre-Nationals Meet | Oct. 17 | Louisville, Ky.
Carolina gets a sneak preview of the NCAA championship’s course as it sends its starters to Louisville for the pre-nationals meet. There will be two races, open and seeded, and it will close out the regular season.
“We’ll take a large crew to this meet and run some in the open competition and others in the seeded race,” Allden said. “This meet is the national preview, so there will be a lot of top 20 and top 30 teams. It will be a good way to see how we’ve progressed as a team and it prepares us for the level of competition we’ll face at the conference and regional meets.”
SEC Championship | Oct. 30 | College Station, Texas
A brand new course will pose a challenge for conference foes as Texas A&M hosts this season’s SEC Championship race. The Gamecocks are confident that they can move up the ranks after finishing 13th last season.
“This is a new course for everybody, they will be christening this course this year,” Allden said. “From what I hear and from the general typography of the area, I’m assuming it will be fairly flat and fast. We’ll be looking to move up in the conference, we’re shooting to move up in to the top 10.”
Southeast Regional Meet | Nov. 13 | Charlottesville, Va.
NCAA berths will be on the line as Carolina heads to Virginia for the regional race. The team finished 18th overall in last season’s race, but with a healthy lineup, Coach Allden is optimistic about moving up in 2015.
“We are looking to get back into the top 15 here,” Allden said. “We were on the cusp of that last season but were 14 two years ago. Ideally we’d like to be knocking on the top 10 and send some individuals to the NCAA meet.”
NCAA Championship | Nov. 21 | Louisville, Ky.
The Gamecocks are hoping to send individuals back to Louisville for the NCAA Championship meet. Michigan State took home the team title in 2014.