Nov. 13, 2010
LOUISVILLE, KY – Kim Ruck became the first female at Clemson in 17 years to earn a trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships after finishing sixth at the NCAA Southeast Regional at “Tom” Sawyer Park on Saturday. She was one of two all-region performers for the women’s team, which earned its highest finish in 12 years with an eighth-place showing.
Clemson’s women totaled 249 points, finishing well ahead of William & Mary for eighth place. It was Clemson’s best finish since the 1998 team also finished eighth. The Tigers came into the race ranked eighth in the latest regional poll, thus they held their position strong through the finish of the 6K competition.
Ruck led for much of the race and stayed in the front four overall until approximately the last 200 meters. Her sixth-place finish was the best by a Clemson female since Mareike Ressing was fifth in 1993. She did so with an impressive personal best time of 20:20.7, breaking her previous best of 20:26.1 at last season’s ACC Championships. Ruck has now made three straight NCAA competitions, having competed at the indoor national meet in March and the outdoor meet in June.
It was a gratifying moment for Ruck, an original walk-on from Greer, SC who never competed in cross country until she came out for the team in the fall of 2008.
“I felt good coming into the race, so I wanted to leave all I had out there and get a result,” Ruck said. “It’s crazy that I was given this talent, and I feel like I’m learning more and more about this sport each time I race. I prayed so hard about this race. I felt a little robbed after last year, when I was one spot out of making it to nationals. It’s an awesome feeling to be representing Clemson at nationals, especially after making it in track during indoor and outdoor season. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the other girls on the team and Coach (Brad) Herbster.”
For the first time since the 1993 meet, Clemson produced two all-region performers. Kulik continued her rapid ascension as one of the most improved runners in the nation by finishing 25th overall, also with a 6K personal best time of 21:08.5. Kulik finished 114th overall at this same meet and same course just one year ago.
Clemson’s final three scorers were Stephanie Buffo (63rd, 21:53.1), Elyse Borisko (75th, 22:10.6) and Sarah Turman (81st, 22:17.3). Buffo and Borisko both provided personal bests Saturday as well.
In the men’s 10K race, Ty McCormack was once again the Tigers’ top finisher. The freshman put together a time of 31:39.6 and was 35th overall. McCormack was Clemson’s No. 1 runner in every men’s race during the 2010 cross country season.
He led the Tigers to a 20th-place finish. There was a wide disparity between McCormack and the rest of his teammates. Chris Slate finished 104th, while the other three scorers on Saturday for the Tiger men’s team were Nic Tones, Blake Kennedy and Nathan Hendershot.
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