USC Cross Country Team Ready To Run

Sept. 2, 2005

The USC women's cross country team will begin their season tomorrow (Sept. 3) at the Cal State Fullerton Jammin Invitational at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton, Calif. at 9:15 a.m.

The team will be using the invitational as a preliminary meet and only several members of the team will be competing. Next Saturday (Sept. 10), the Trojans will be sending a full squad to the UC Irvine Invitational in Irvine, Calif.

The USC women's cross country team is focused on becoming the first Trojan team to place in the top five at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships. Coach Tom Walsh will look to his top two runners, senior captain Kate Neeper and junior Kristen Berglas, to lead the way. Neeper was out all last year with injuries, but in her sophomore year, she finished fifth in the 10,000m run at the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships. Berglas, whose best distances are 1500m and up, has improved each year.

The third through seventh slots for the Women of Troy will be a battle between sophomore Kristin Kovacich, juniors Victoria Carter, Christina Eads and Treani Swain, freshman Megan Kelly and senior Laura Strachan. It will be these slots that will be crucial spots to support Neeper and Berglas to add depth to the Trojan's cross country squad.

Kovacich was a big surprise in her first season. She is an 800m runner with a wide range and she came through last year as a freshman. Eads made steady improvement in her first two years for USC, and with continued improvement, has a chance to crack the top five. Strachan, Swain and Carter all have the ability to be among the top five runners on any given race day. The Trojans' only true freshman Kelly should also contribute to the team strength.

This year USC will rely on 'pack running' in order to be successful. 'In running together, they can really push each other to achieve greater heights,' said coach Walsh. 'The runners need to be consistent from week to week and close the gap between the first and fifth runners.'

The Pac-10 overall is one of the top conferences in the country. This year the league could have as many as five schools in the top 25 in the nation. The competition will be strong, but USC's runners appear ready to challenge themselves and grow as a team.

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