Spartan Cross Country Set to Host Upstate Invitational

Spartan Cross Country Set to Host Upstate Invitational

Contact: Katie Parker,

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's and women's cross country teams return home Saturday, hosting the Upstate Invitational at Milliken Research Park.

The women's 5k race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. with the men's 8K beginning at 10:45 a.m. This meet will be smaller than the Spartans' last outing at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh Sept. 28. The Upstate Invite will feature four teams including the Spartans, Piedmont, Erskine and cross-town Wofford. The meet will serve as a final tune-up for Upstate before heading to the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Championships Oct. 27 in Fort Myers, Fla.  

In Upstate's last outing at the Paul Short Invitational, the Spartans turned in strong times against stiff competition as senior Gilbert Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) claimed an impressive second-place finish in the men's 8K. Kemboi clocked in at 23:59, edging Duquesne's Jim Spisak, who crossed the line third in 24:00. The Upstate senior went on to collect A-Sun Runner of the Week honors after his performance at the Paul Short Invite. In the 37 team field there were 332 runners, who participated in Lehigh's meet.

The Spartans have continued to improve their individual times in each meet this season. Six Upstate men registered season-best times Sept. 28, including Kemboi, who has recorded the best time in the A-Sun this year. Senior Davey Dennison (Carlisle, Pa.) posted a time of 25:51, while classmate Cameron Thomas (Niceville, Fla.) finished in 26:06. Upstate junior Ross Oden (Salisbury, N.C.) crossed the line with a time of 26:11, while junior Andrew Kipchumba (Eldoret, Kenya) and senior Christian Ritacco (Niceville, Fla.) recorded times of 26:30 and 26:44, respectively.

In the women's 6K race, 40 teams and 360 athletes competed in the Paul Short Invite. The Spartan women were paced by sophomore Jasmine Polite (Goose Creek, S.C.), posting a personal-best time in the 6K of 22:54, beating her previous mark of 23:23.90. Senior Hannah Chaney (Brunswick, Ohio) was the second Upstate finisher, crossing the line in 23:59, while freshman Anastasia Kolesnitchenko (Boiling Springs, S.C.) followed with a time of 24:13. Sophomore Erin Gethin (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) also recorded an individual-record in the 6K with a time of 24:44, surpassing her pervious time of 25:47.35. 

Results for the Upstate Invitational will be posted on following both men's and women's races.

Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.