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April 8, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - USC Upstate head cross country and track and field coach, Jimmy Stephens, announced the Spartans will host two home meets this fall in the 26th Annual Eye Opener on Saturday, Sept. 5, and the First Annual Upstate Cross Country Invite on Saturday, Oct. 17. Both meets will be hosted at the Roger Milliken Center in Spartanburg, S.C.
The women's 5k for the 2009 Eye Opener on Sept. 5 is scheduled to start at 8 a.m., followed by the men's 8k at 8:30 a.m. The cost per team for the event is $75, with women's and men's teams entering separately. Entries can be done online at www.directathletics.com.
The women's 5k for the 2009 Upstate Cross Country Invite on Oct. 17 is slated to begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men's 8k at 10:30 a.m. The cost per team for the event is $75, with women's and men's teams entering separately. Entries can be done online at www.directathletics.com.
"We are very lucky to have such a great venue to host cross country events," Stephens said. "Milliken is one of the best cross country venues in the nation. Coach Schlichter and I are excited to add an additional home meet to the schedule and hope to make the Upstate Cross Country Invitational a premier cross country race in the future."
In conjunction with the South Carolina School for the Deaf & the Blind, Upstate co-hosted a successful 25th Annual Eye Opener last September, which has become the largest cross country meet in the state of South Carolina, welcoming over 70 collegiate teams, hundreds of high school teams and 3,100 runners in 2008. Also a part of last year's meet was Billy Mills, a 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist, who gave words of encouragement to the runners in a pre-meet pasta dinner on USC Upstate's campus on Friday night and then signed autographs throughout the day on Saturday.
Last year, sophomore Emily Tangwar became Upstate's first female runner to win the collegiate title, finishing first among 311 runners and posting the fifth-fastest time in the 5k women's race history in 18:26. She also helped lead the women's team to a Division I school-record sixth-place finish as the Spartans placed three runners in the top-20.
Other accomplishments from last year's Eye Opener meet included a new 8k men's record, set by Furman's Patrick Morgan in 25:31. The Mars Hill men also won their fourth small college title in the seven years of the collegiate event, while the Mooresville High School boys' won their third straight title.
For more information, entry deadlines, directions and much more, please contact head coach Jimmy Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 503-5845, or assistant coach Ed Schlichter at email@example.com or (864) 503-9583.