Women of Troy To Run At The Pac-10 Championships This Saturday At Stanford

Oct. 26, 2006

The USC women's cross country team will compete in the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships on Saturday (Oct. 28) in Palo Alto, Calif. Number one-ranked Stanford will host the 6K event on the Stanford Golf Course with a field that features four of the top 25 teams in the country.

'The Fullerton meet (last week) was a good one for us and we need to build upon that,' said USC cross country coach Tom Walsh. 'I'm looking for us to keep improving as we have all season.'

'If we are going to be successful on Saturday, our pack running will have to be outstanding,' added Walsh. 'We will have to work together as a team. That will be the key to our success now and in the future. It is more empowering when you run as a pack and pass other runners in a group.'

Senior Ashley Jensen leads a contingent of seven Trojan runners to the Pac-10s, all who will be making their first appearance at the championship, as two are transfers and five are freshmen. The other runners traveling to the Bay Area are sophomore Christine Greer and freshmen Bridget Helgerson, Katherine Ellis, Chanel Fischetti, Daniela Gergley and Natalie Jarvey.

Jensen, who transferred to USC from Providence College where she was part of three teams that placed at the NCAA Championships, has led USC in each of their last two meets. She is just starting to hit her stride after battling a virus for much of her first month and brings much-needed championship experience to the young squad.

Greer, who transferred from NYU before the season, missed USC's last meet at Fullerton as head coach Tom Walsh held her our due to shin splints. Greer has had a strong first campaign as a Trojan, finishing among Troy's top three runners in every meet in which she ran and leading USC at the Pepperdine Invitational, where she placed eighth overall.

Leading the freshmen five for USC is Helgerson. She led all USC runners at the Cal State Fullerton Season Opener, showing immediately that she was going to be a big part of the cross country program.

'Bridget Helgerson and Christine Greer made the biggest improvements from when they entered school,' said Walsh.

Another freshman that made steady progress is Ellis. She demonstrated that in the last meet by running a season-best 19:10 to finish as the third Trojan across the finish line.

Fischetti has been a consistent scorer for USC throughout the season and was the Trojans' third and fourth-place finisher in the two 6K races this season.

Gergley showed her grit by finishing as USC's fourth-place runner at Fullerton last week, battling dizziness down the stretch and still finishing with a new PR of 19:19. Gergley, who grew up in San Ramon, Calif. not far from Stanford, led all USC runners at the Aztec Invitational on Sept. 16.

Jarvey is the final Trojan entered in the meet. She has continued to improve throughout the season and was USC's sixth-place finisher with a time of 19:51 last week at Fullerton.

'This is the start of something here at USC in cross country,' said Walsh. 'With the good recruiting class we have coming in next year added onto this class, things are pointing towards next year as a breakout season for the program.'

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