Cross Country Travels To Big South Championships
PC returns to Rock Hill, S.C., after competing at the Adidas Invitational on September 15. Since that date, nagging injuries and illnesses have handicapped both teams' depth. However, in recent weeks both teams have returned nearly to full size and strength.
"We have bounced back at the right time in order to run some good times at Conference," said six-year head coach Thad Palmer. "We've practiced well all season, and we ran our best at Upstate on tired legs two weeks ago. With an off-week since then and a few less miles, we have our goals set high for this race."
Sophomore Jessica Hatchell (Darlington, S.C.) will lead the women's team with classmate Gabriele Lesieur (Augusta, Ga.) missing the race to be with the school's ROTC program. Hatchell ran 20:56 at the Gamecock Invitational and was named PC's Female Student-Athlete of the Week (9/4/12) after leading the Blue Hose at the Charlotte Invitational with a 6k time of 26:22.
Juniors Ryan Wasilewski (Easley, S.C.) and Richard Taylor (Spartanburg, S.C.) along with freshman Reid McCandless (Fort Mill, S.C.) have led the men's team this season with junior Seth Warner (Fort Mill, S.C.) consistently in the runner-up spot.
Senior and team co-captain Brian Trail (Marion, S.C.) will be running his final collegiate 8k on the same course he ran his first race four seasons ago.
Both teams were selected 12th in the preseason polls, but received votes for as high as tenth. Liberty's men have won the last seven Big South titles and were a unanimous vote to repeat this year. High Point's women were also voted to repeat as champions, but will be closely challenged by the Flames and Coastal Carolina.
The women's 5k race will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the men's 8k scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Fans are invited to the free event and are encouraged to arrive early and park by the Winthrop Coliseum.