Oct. 1, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – The men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel up the road Friday to take part in the Charlotte Invitational. The meet will be held at McAlpine Creek Park, with the women’s 5K race scheduled for 4:15 p.m. and the men’s 8K competition set for 4:45. This will be Clemson’s first 8K race of the young season.
A total of 23 teams will compete in the women’s race, while 22 are scheduled on the men’s side. The meet will also feature a host of unattached runners on both sides. Clemson will face a pair of regionally-ranked teams in both races. In the women’s race, USC Upstate is No. 12 in the latest USTFCCCA Southeast Region rankings, while South Carolina is listed 13th. The Charlotte men’s team is No. 12, while Davidson is No. 14 in the latest regional rankings.
“As we progress through the season the student-athletes are really getting in good shape,” said Brad Herbster, Clemson’s distance coach. “We have had some setbacks with the flu among our top runners, but it is that time of the year that we push through and race and race hard. This is the first time all year we are racing most of our best men and women together and we are looking forward to competing at McAlpine.”
The women’s team continues to be without the services of Jenna Baker, who is coming off an injury. Baker was All-ACC and All-Region a year ago for the Tigers. In her place, Kim Ruck has stepped to the forefront for the women’s team. She was runner-up two weeks ago at the Mountaineer Open with a time of 17:53.86 in her first event of the season.
Kelsey Armstrong will compete in her third straight meet for Clemson. She was ACC Performer-of-the-Week on Sept. 7 following an individual victory at the season-opening Gamecock Invitational. Armstrong was third at the Mountaineer Open as well. Lauren Reen, a freshman on the women’s team, will compete for the second time this season. The native of Orlando, FL was a sixth-place finisher at the Gamecock Invitational, with a 5K time of 18:32.31.
Others of note who will compete this weekend for the women’s team will be Stephanie Buffo, a junior from Spartanburg, SC who was 23rd two weeks ago at Boone, and Alyssa Kulik, a sophomore who scored in both of the previous two meets for the team this season.
On the men’s side, Jonathan Sunde and Chris Slate have been the two most consistent runners for the team this season. Sunde was runner-up at the Gamecock Invitational, while Slate was the team’s top finisher with a 15th-place effort at the Mountaineer Open on Sept. 18. Blake Kennedy, a freshman and scorer for Clemson in his first two meets, is also slated to run Friday.
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