Kosgei Makes History at NCAA Southeast Regional
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Nov. 10, 2023) – History has been made for Gamecock Cross Country at this year’s NCAA Southeast Regional in Spartanburg, S.C.
Freshman phenom Judy Kosgei clocked a new program record for the 6K after running 19:48.9 to best her own previous record by six seconds. More importantly, Kosgei placed fourth overall, the best individual finish by a Gamecock at the regional meet in program history. With her fourth-place finish, the Kenya product became the first ever Gamecock runner to advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championship.
“I am very excited to see all of Judy’s hard work and consistency pay off when it mattered most,” stated distance coach Brock Moreaux. “She ran a really patient race and executed perfectly on the back half.”
Kosgei led the charge for the Gamecocks who finished 11th overall as a team. The 11th-place finish is the best finish for the Garnet & Black at the regional meet since placing 10th in 2012.
“As a team this was another great step in the right direction,” declared Moreaux. “The pieces are starting to come together, and I am very excited about the future of this program.”
Fellow freshman and All-SEC runner Silan Ayyildiz finished 11th overall after running 20:05.1, just missing out on advancing to the NCAA Championship alongside Kosgei. However, both Kosgei and Ayyildiz landed on the All-Region squad, the first Gamecock All-Region runners since 2012 when Kayla Lampe earned the honor. All-Region honors are given to those individuals who finish inside the Top-25 at each of the nine regional sites and must be student-athletes from current USTFCCCA member institutions.
Of the seven runners for Carolina, five are either freshmen or sophomores. Gabriella Gait-Smith ran 21:39.5 for the third fastest time for Carolina, finishing 96th overall. Fellow sophomore Anna Boyd clocked 21:54.9 for the fourth fastest time for the Gamecocks, while Hope Dominique rounded out the top five scorers for South Carolina after running 22:05.9.
Lily Weeks turned in a personal best time at the Southeast Regional when she ran 22:07.1. Rounding out the Gamecock runners was freshman Sofie Kurzawa who made her regional debut in a time of 22:58.0.
N.C. State won the team title with 52 points, led by All-American runner Katelyn Tuohy who won the regional with a time of 19:29.8. Furman finished runner-up with 82 points, followed by Virginia in third with 123 points.
Kosgei will etch her name into Gamecock history in tomorrow’s Cross Country NCAA Championship selection show at 5 p.m. (ET) aired on NCAA.com.
1. N.C. State – 52 points
2. Furman – 82 points
3. Virginia – 123 points
11. South Carolina – 343 points
Individual Gamecock Results
4. Judy Kosgei – 19:48.9*
11. Silan Ayyildiz – 20:05.1
96. Gabriella Gait-Smith – 21:39.5
116. Anna Boyd – 21:54.9
126. Hope Dominique – 22:05.9
128. Lily Weeks – 22:07.1*
167. Sofie Kurzawa – 22:58.0
* – denotes collegiate 6K PR