Approximately 1,500 runners from 60 high schools and 19 colleges will gather in Spartanburg for the 19th Annual Eye Opener Cross Country meet on Sept. 7. Converse College and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) are coordinating the event, which will be held on the corporate campus of Milliken and Company. Sponsored by Waste Management of South Carolina, the event is also supported by Team Spartanburg, the sports council of the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is backed by its corporate partners SunCom and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
The schedules for the high school runners’ 5K races are as follows: junior varsity boys, 9 a.m.; junior varsity and varsity girls, 9:30 a.m.; and varsity boys, 10:15 a.m. The 8K men’s college race begins at 11 a.m.; and 5K women’s college race starts at 11:45 a.m.
This marks the first year that college teams are participating in the Eye Opener, and according to Niles Yantchook, head coach for cross-country and soccer at Converse, the event represents an exciting opportunity for athletes at both the high school and collegiate level. “The high school runners will be able to experience the intense level of competition at the collegiate level, while the college coaches will be able to evaluate the talent of the high school runners,” he says.
The Eye Opener has grown steadily since its inception. “With the majority of South Carolina high schools participating with the colleges, and with more teams from outside the state increasingly joining in, the Eye Opener is one of the largest cross-country meets in the Southeast,” says Jack Todd of SCSDB. “And through the generosity of Milliken, we have one of the finest cross-country venues in the Southeast.”
Teams have until Sept. 3 to register to participate in the Eye Opener. The teams below are currently registered:
Men’s Collegiate Teams
Anderson College, Coker College, Erskine College, Francis Marion University, Gardner-Webb University, Limestone College, Mars Hill College, Newberry College, Presbyterian College, Spartanburg Methodist College, USCS, and Wofford College.
Women’s Collegiate Teams
Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Ga.), Anderson College, Clemson University, Coker College, Columbia College, Converse College, Erskine College, Francis Marion University, Gardner-Webb University, Lander University, Limestone College, Mars Hill College, Newberry College, Peace College (Raleigh, N.C.), Presbyterian College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Ind.), USCS, and Wofford College.
High School Teams
Landrum, Asheville (N.C), Northwestern, Charlotte Christian (N.C.), Spartanburg, Travelers Rest, Daniel, Union, Byrnes, Riverside, Palmetto, Swansea, York, Ben Lippen, Chapman, Bishop England, Greenville, Andrew Jackson, Ninety Six, Dorman, Boiling Springs, James Island, Roberson, Wade Hampton, Woodruff, Stratford, Westminster-Catawba, Rock Hill, Providence, Irmo, Emerald, Crescent, Summerville, Liberty, Christ Church, Fort Mill, Wren, Broome, Gaston Christian, Eastside, AC Flora, Chapin, Blue Ridge, Myers Park, Beaufort, and First Baptist.