Oct. 30, 2009
ACC Championship Notes
CLEMSON, SC – The men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete Saturday at the ACC Championships. The meet will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. The men’s race, which will span 8000 meters, gets underway at 9:30 a.m. The women’s 6K will follow at 10:30 a.m. The women’s team is ranked No. 11 in the latest Southeast Region poll, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Both teams will travel 10 student-athletes apiece in hopes of improving on their finishes from the 2008 conference meet. Last year, the women’s team finished in eighth place and the men were ninth. The women’s team will be without the services of 2008 All-ACC performer Jenna Baker, who has been injured.
Clemson does have a standout leader on the women’s team in sophomore Kim Ruck. After a surprise 20th-place showing at last year’s league meet in Chapel Hill, Ruck has put together an outstanding 2009 season thus far. She debuted with a runner-up showing at the Mountaineer Open on Sept. 18 and followed with an individual championship at the Charlotte Invitational two weeks later. Ruck holds the team’s top 5K time (17:02.4) this season.
Kelsey Armstrong and Lauren Reen have been valuable contributors as first-year athletes for Clemson. Armstrong, a sophomore who joined the team this fall after competing with the university club team, has been among the team’s top two finishers in each meet this season. Her best finish was an individual championship at the season-opening Gamecock Invitational. Reen, a native of Orlando, FL, was Clemson’s top competitor at the Blue Ridge Open on Oct. 16.
Stephanie Buffo and Alyssa Kulik, both consistent scorers for the women’s team, will compete as well on Saturday. Buffo was the team’s No. 5 scorer at ACCs a year ago, and her best finish this season was 18th at the Charlotte Invitational. Kulik was eighth at the Mountaineer Open in Boone, NC earlier this season.
The men’s team has endured a number of injuries this season, most notably to seniors Bryce Iverson and Will Noble. Iverson has been nursing an injured hip, while Noble has been sidelined with a foot injury. However, both are expected to compete for the first time this season on Saturday. Iverson was an All-ACC harrier in 2006 as a sophomore, while Noble was the Tigers’ No. 1 performer last season at ACCs.
The most consistent runners for the men’s team have been Jonathan Sunde and Chris Slate. Both juniors have finished among Clemson’s top three individuals in each meet this season. Sunde holds the top 8K time this season among the Tigers, with a 25:23.3 at Charlotte on Oct. 2. Slate was the team’s No. 1 performer in both Boone meets, the Mountaineer Open and Blue Ridge Open.
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