SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete in the Charlotte Invitational tomorrow, hosted by UNC Charlotte.
This will be the third meet of the 2011 season for the Spartan cross country teams with the women's race set for 4 p.m. and men's at 4:45 p.m. Upstate will compete against runners from three ACC schools in Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The Spartans will also run against two SEC programs, including South Carolina and Georgia as well as athletes from numerous other teams ranked in the South and Southeastern Regions.
"The team is ready to race," said Upstate's interim-head cross country coach Carson Blackwelder. "Traditionally this is a fast course and a great place to record some fast times. The team has had some great workouts over the past couple weeks and we are looking forward to the competition that will be at the meet."
In the Spartans' last outing, senior Jemeli Sang posted a school record in the women's 6K with a time of 20:42.88, taking top honors at the Clemson Invitational Sept. 16. She was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Runner of the Week for her performance. Sang's teammate and fellow senior Joan Tangwar finished third at the Clemson meet with a time of 20:49.08. Carolyne Chelulei took 30th, crossing the line in 21:55.32 as the senior trio helped the Spartans to a sixth-place finish out of 12 teams.
In the Clemson Invitational men's 8K, junior Christian Ritacco was the top finisher for Upstate, coming in 52nd with a career-best time of 25:33.55. Sophomore Ross Oden claimed the 64th slot with a time of 25:55.90, while classmate Andrew Kipchumba registered a time of 26:02.70 for 66thplace. Ritacco, Oden and Kipchumba helped the Spartans to an eighth-place finish out of 12 teams with 11 of Upstate's 14 men's runners recording personal-best times.