by Benny Benton
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Barton College senior Heather Cuddington broke her own school record in the 3000-meter run on Saturday during a top-10 run at the USC Open, which was hosted by the University of South Carolina.
The Saratoga, N.C., resident posted a mark of 10:51.26 in the event, which shaved a second and a half off her old time of 10:52.55 recorded last year at the Lowcountry Collegiate.
Cuddington was the only NCAA Division II runner to finish in the top 20 of Saturday's race. She placed 10th overall out of 29 competitors.
Junior teammate Sharon Kiptoo also had a strong performance in the meet, placing fourth overall among 35 participants in the 800-meter run. Her time of 2:17.20 was just two-tenths off her season-best and a half-second off her personal record.
Freshman Desiree Whitley collected a PR in the hammer throw with her toss of 29.85 meters, and freshman Meghan Araldi established a benchmark PR of 14:54 flat by competing in the 3000-meter steeplechase for the first time collegiately.
The meet was the final tune-up for the Lady Bulldogs before next weekend's Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships, which will take place for the first time at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C.