Trojan Cross Country Opens Season at USC Upstate's Eye OpenerSeptember 5, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson men’s and women’s cross country teams open their 2013 campaigns by competing in USC Upstate’s 30th annual Eye Opener Invitational Friday night at Milliken Research Park adjacent to the Spartans’ campus.
The women’s 5K race starts at 6:30 p.m., while the men’s 8K event is slated for 7 p.m.
Led by second-team preseason all-conference selection Parks Edwards, the Trojan men’s team was tabbed seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll and will look to a balance of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers to challenge for the upper echelon of the league this season.
While predicted to finish third in the SAC this season, the women’s team will be looking to first-team all-conference selection Sydney Hazel to help lift the young squad, which includes five true freshmen with just two seniors on the roster, to its third conference title in the last four years.
Last season saw the AU men’s squad capture 12th in Spartanburg, with junior Joshua Visi-Clark leading the way in a time of 25:58.79, which placed the Lake Worth, Fla. native 50th. Edwards (31:20.91) finished 100th and fellow returner Tucker Huellmantel (31:35.25) crossed the line in 104th.
The Trojan women’s team claimed eighth a year ago, as former standout Emily Eckroth paced AU in a time of 20:55.65 and finished 30th overall. Four returners for Coach Randy Greer’s squad competed in last season’s event, with Sydney Hazel (21:48.35) crossing the line in 50th, while Hannah Robles (21:57.60) finished in 54th. Madison Guest crossed the line in 79th with a time of 22:50.93 and Devan Fisher (24:36.63) rounded out the Trojan effort in 111th.