Southern Conference Cross Country Championships will be held Oct. 28 in Spartanburg

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For first time since 2008, the Southern Conference's Cross Country Championships will be held in Spartanburg County on Oct. 28. Photo courtesy of Mark Olencki, Wofford College.

For the first time since 2008, and only the second time in 90 years, Spartanburg County will host the Southern Conference’s Cross Country Championships on Oct. 28.

The event, hosted by Wofford College, will be held at the corporate headquarters for Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co.

SoCon spokeswoman Haley Shotwell said 20 teams – 10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams – will compete in the championships.

Each team will include nine athletes. With coaches and fans added to the mix, the event could bring several hundred visitors to Spartanburg.

“We’re looking forward to having our championships here in Spartanburg and know that the Wofford staff will do a great job of hosting,” said SoCon’s Commissioner John Iamarino, in a statement.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with the women’s race, followed by the men’s race at 10:45 a.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. An awards ceremony will be held after the men’s race.

The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) said it will partner with SoCon and Wofford to run the event and will give away free items to attendees.

“We are excited about this partnership with Wofford College and the Southern Conference to bring the Southern Conference cross-country championship to Spartanburg,” said Chris Jennings, executive vice president of the SCVB, in a statement.

“This is a great addition to the exciting and growing lineup of sports events that bring thousands of people to our community every year. We look forward to welcoming all the athletes, coaches, support personnel, family members, friends, and other supporters who will come to Spartanburg for this event.”

Furman University has won the past four championships. The Paladins were selected as the preseason favorites by the league’s coaches, according to SoCon.

The SoCon championship is the second large sports tourism event to be announced for Spartanburg during the past week.

During the past week, local officials announced Spartan Race will stomp through the county during the Carolina Beast and Sprint weekend Nov. 4 and 5.

That event will be held on more than 700 acres of land adjacent to the University of South Carolina Upstate and Milliken & Co.’s headquarters.

It promises to bring 10,000 competitors to the Upstate, netting Spartanburg and the surrounding counties millions of dollars in economic impact.

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