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Cross Country Returns to Action in Boone, NC on Friday

Cross Country Returns to Action in Boone, NC on Friday

Sept. 17, 2009

CLEMSON, SC – The men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to action on Friday, Sept. 18 at the Mountaineer Open in Boone, NC. The racing gets underway at Don Kennedy Trail with the women’s 5K at 5:00 p.m. The men will follow in a race slightly over 6K at 5:45 p.m. This is only Clemson’s second meet of the season. In addition to Clemson, host Appalachian State will be one of 10 schools competing, including East Tennessee State (women) and Ohio State (men).

“We are looking forward to putting a good group of student-athletes on the course Friday,” said Brad Herbster, Clemson’s distance coach. “We are not yet competing everyone together, as some of our kids are training through this meet and preparing for the October schedule. Our focus is to compete well and get that feeling of racing hard again as a group. The Mountaineer meet will provide us good competition.”

The men’s team, which was ranked No. 10 in the Southeast Region earlier this week in the preseason poll according to the coaches’ association, will travel eight student-athletes to Boone. Leading the way will be junior Jonathan Sunde, who was the team’s top finisher two weeks ago at the season-opening Gamecock Invitational.

Sunde will be joined by Patrick Jagielski, Chris Ostrouchov, Chris Slate, and Jasen Turnbull. Clemson’s No. 2 competitor at the Gamecock Invitational was Slate, who finished sixth overall in the 5K race.

The women’s team is ranked No. 11 in the preseason coaches’ poll. For the second straight meet, Clemson will be without the services of junior Jenna Baker, an All-ACC and All-Region performer in the fall of 2008. However, Herbster’s squad will receive a boost with the return of sophomore Kim Ruck. A walk-on success story a year ago, Ruck emerged as the team’s No. 2 runner at the 2008 ACC Championships after no previous experience in cross country.

Clemson will travel a total of nine females Friday, including Kelsey Armstrong, who earned ACC Performer-of-the-Week honors following her first-ever collegiate race two weeks ago. She won the 5K Gamecock Invitational with an outstanding time of 17:51.03. Armstrong is a former national club champion in cross country.

Four additional harriers will make their respective debuts this weekend for the women’s squad, including junior Taylor Hughes, Candace Sapp. A sophomore from Greenville, SC, Kulik was the team’s No. 3 performer two weeks ago in Columbia.