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Cross Country Heads to Spartanburg for 2023 Southeast Regional
Women's Cross Country  . 

Cross Country Heads to Spartanburg for 2023 Southeast Regional

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Nov. 9, 2023) – Everything this season has built up to this race, the 2023 Southeast Regional in Spartanburg, S.C. Two automatic team bids are up for grabs tomorrow as the Gamecocks run against the best of the best in this year’s regional meet at 11 a.m.

Fans can follow along with live stats by clicking on the following link.

Parking at Milliken Research Center is $5 per car for fans who are looking to attend the event in Spartanburg. Please click the link here for a map to the parking lot. Admission to the event is free of charge.

The only way to advance to the NCAA Championship meet on Nov. 18 is to perform well at the regional meet tomorrow morning. The top two finishing teams will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship held in Virginia. Meanwhile, the first four individual regional finishers not on an automatically qualifying team or an at-large team will earn the right to compete for the individual national title as well. All four individual finishers must finish inside the Top 25 within their region as well.

The last time Carolina competed, they made historic strides at the SEC Championship meet. The Gamecocks are ranked 11th in the Southeast Region, the highest ranking since 2013. South Carolina finished eighth at the SEC Championship meet, the first Top-10 finish since 2012 and earned the program’s highest finish since taking home seventh in 2001. Silan Ayyildiz and Judy Kosgei led the charge with both runners earning All-SEC nods and landing on the SEC All-Freshman squad.

Ayyildiz, First Team All-SEC, clocked the second fastest 6K in program history after running 19:56.2 to finish seventh overall. She is just the fourth Gamecock to ever finish Top-10 at the SEC meet and was the highest individual finish since Jenny Lake finished seventh in 2003. Kosgei, Second Team All-SEC, ran 20:03.6 to finish 11th overall. Ayyildiz and Kosgei mark the first pair of Gamecock runners since 1999 to land on the All-SEC team in the same season.

The Gamecocks will be running on familiar territory, having competed at the Milliken Research Center twice already this season. As a team, the Gamecocks last finished inside the Top-10 at the Regional meet in 2012 when Carolina finished 10th in Charlotte, N.C. The Garnet & Black have found themselves inside the Top-10 at the regional meet three times in program history with the highest finish being seventh in 1991.

Individually, no Gamecock has ever advanced out of the regional meet to the NCAA Championship. Only four times has a Gamecock runner finished inside the Top-10 on the individual leaderboard, just proving how difficult this regional meet can be.

The Gamecocks will send a total of eight student-athletes to compete on Friday: Silan Ayyildiz, Anna Boyd, Sylvia Chelangat, Hope Dominique, Gabriella Gait-Smith, Judy Kosgei, Sofie Kurzawa, Lily Weeks.