Allden returns to Gamecock cross country
Lampe looks to complete comback from injury in new season
Andrew Allden, USC’s new distances and cross country assistant coach, believes the cross country team has the potential to be a top-ranked program nationally.
Allden, who has 27 years of coaching experience, coached at South Carolina from 1996 to 2001. During his stint in Columbia, Allden led the Gamecock cross country team to their best Southeastern Conference Championship finish in program history — No. 5 — in 1999.
Head coach Curtis Frye and Allden previously worked together at the University of North Carolina as assistant coaches before they found themselves back together at South Carolina.
“I really enjoyed my time in North Carolina with coach Frye, and I enjoyed my time here before,” Allden said.
The Gamecock cross country team performed well last season, reaching many goals the team had set out to accomplish. This year, the team will look to build on last season’s wins.
“The program has continued to be very competitive on the national level and the SEC level,” Allden said.
The SEC has traditionally been a strong conference for cross country. Generally, three or four conference teams are ranked in the top 20 from a pool of 300 teams.
It will fall on Frye and Allden to prepare their runners for their tough competition this year. Part of that has to do with keeping them from getting hurt.
“We are taking the time to go to places where they can run off softer surfaces, which will prevent injuries,” Allden said. “Training on the particular surfaces, working out in the morning and doing the specific type of exercises is what we can do to prepare our runners.”
Sophomore Kayla Lampe is returning from a harsh injury she suffered at the NCAA Championships last season following a remarkable year in which she ran the fastest 5K logged by a South Carolina freshman.
“A lot of our success this year is going to depend upon how quickly some of our top returnees can return to full strength in addition to keeping our current runners healthy throughout the entire season,” Allden said.
Lampe was making a name for herself in the conference and in national competition before she suffered a stress reaction in her back.
“We hope she will be returning to competition by the time we reach our SEC schedule, but we are not rushing anything,” Allen said. “Her health is our priority.”