Sept. 6, 2008
Spartanburg, SC – Clemson’s cross country teams ran strategically in groups Saturday at the 25th annual Eye Opener, and won both men’s and women’s team competitions as a result of their tight splits between the top five finishers. The women’s team cruised to a first-place showing over in-state rival South Carolina, while the men edged Elon by one point to take home the title.
The women’s team won its 5000m team competition after the Tigers’ top five finishers placed sixth through 10th. The split amongst the top five for Clemson was just three seconds on the women’s side.
Jenna Baker saw her first action of the season and the sophomore certainly did not disappoint. The Bellevue, OH native placed sixth with a time of 18:51, holding off Stephanie Buffo (7th) and Sunday Ford (8th) at the finish line. Joanie Castagno was ninth with a time of 18:52, while Laura Laughlin was the team’s final scorer in 10th place (18:54). Alyssa Kulik, a freshman from Simpsonville, SC, also ran an 18:54 and finished 11th overall.
The men’s team followed suit by winning the 8000m team race, holding off the Phoenix of Elon by a meager one point. Clemson totaled 45 points, while Elon had 46. The Tigers’ scorers finished eighth through 12th and had a split of just four seconds between the top five finishers.
Sam Bryfczynski, a graduate student from Marietta, GA, competed in his first cross country race of the season as well. He finished eighth place with a time of 26:26. He held off teammates Chad Holt (9th) and Chris Slate (10th) at the line. Jonathan Sunde from Charlotte, NC was 11th after crossing at 26:28. Rounding out the team’s scoring was sophomore Tyler Morey, who was 12th at 26:30.
Both teams return to action in two weeks for the Delaware Invitational.
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