Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate cross country teams will travel to Sam Smith Park in Cartersville, Ga. on Saturday for the 2017 ASUN Cross Country Championships. The men's 8k race begins at 8:30 a.m. while the women's 5K race starts at 9:30 a.m. Kennesaw State is the host school for the event.
"We have had a great season so far," head coach Carson Blackwelder said. "The teams as a whole have gotten better each meet. We have watched them progress in fitness and overall racing. Our athletes are ready to run season bests and personal bests on Saturday. At this point it's just about preparing and doing the little things to be successful."
Freshman Marcy Bradshaw has been the top runner for the women's team in all four meets this season. Bradshaw opened the year with a time of 20:13.50 at the Eye Opener on Sept. 1 and recorded sub-20 minute times in her next two races at the 5K distance. At the ECU Invitational on Oct. 13, Bradshaw ran the eighth-fastest time at the 6K distance with a mark of 23:18.79 while the team recorded four new personal bests.
Dorian Jones has been the top men's runner at all four meets thus far and is coming off of a personal best 25:19.50 8K run at the ECU Invitational. Jones' time is the fifth-fastest 8K time in program history and he is the only Upstate runner to finish under the 26 minute mark this season. Sophomore Jacob Coccia has been Upstate's number two finisher at every meet this year and ran a personal best 26:59.10 in his last race. The men's team recorded seven personal bests at the ECU Invitational.
"The top five has switched around from meet to meet," Blackwelder said. "I expect we will be similar at the conference championship, it will really come down to who dedicated themselves to giving it everything they have."
In 2016, Upstate hosted the ASUN Championships with the men's team scoring a fourth place finish and the women finishing in seventh. Jones earned Second Team All-Conference honors as he led Upstate with an eighth place finish.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats.
Upstate wraps up the 2017 season at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 10 in Earlysville, Va.
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