Besieged CofC Classic Forced Into 2nd Change of Venue
CHARLESTON, S.C. – For the College of Charleston cross country program, the most daunting foe this year has been Mother Nature herself, who has struck again and caused the much-maligned CofC Classic to undergo yet-another venue change due to unfavorable conditions.
The meet, originally scheduled to take place at Trophy Lakes and then later at Mullet Hall, will be shifting out of Charleston County altogether. Head coach Amy Seago now has her sights set northward, and will host next weekend’s CofC Classic from the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
“Due to the uncertainty of the conditions and for the safety of everybody involved, we’ve made the decision to move the race,” Seago said. “Between the tornado and the flood, our options have been exhausted for a suitable cross country course to accommodate a collegiate level meet in the Charleston area.”
The Winthrop Farm course is one the Cougars have not traveled to since the 2012 campaign. Senior Kornelia Kostka, then a freshman, is the only active member of the roster to have raced at that meet. She finished fourth among her teammates and 68th overall with a time of 19:44.83 in the 5K meet. The team finished 12th overall.
Serendipitously, Kostka is not the only member of the team who has seen the course during her career. Sophomore teammate Hannah Lopez transferred from Winthrop University to come to The College in the offseason. While competing for the Eagles last season, Lopez competed in the Winthrop Adidas Invitational, held at the same course, where she finished second among her teammates with a time of 19:56.22 on the 5K track, going 28th overall.
The meet was moved originally due to a tornado on John’s Island tearing up large portions of the track surface at Trophy Lakes. The solution at the time was to move the meet to Mullet Hall on the opposite end of Johns Island, but the recent cataclysmic rainfall in the Lowcountry flooded the entrance to the new course, making the track inaccessible for inspection. With even more rain in the forecast this coming weekend, the Mullet Hall course was abandoned as a suitable location.
The CofC Classic hasn’t been the only instance of the Cougars’ schedule being cast into bedlam this year. The team was scheduled to travel to last weekend’s USC Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C., but the flooding all across the state forced them to withdraw. They will make up that missing meet at this weekend’s Royals Cross Country Challenge at McAlpine in Charlotte, N.C.
The meet is still scheduled to take place on Friday, Oct. 16, with the women starting at 4:45 p.m. and the men following suit at 5:15 p.m.