Trojans To Run At Pepperdine Invitational On Saturday

Sept. 20, 2007

LOS ANGELES - The USC women's cross country team will be in action on Saturday (Sept. 22) at the Pepperdine Invitational with the 15-team, 6K race set to begin at 8:30 a.m. The Pepperdine Invitational is being billed this year as the largest cross country meet in the nation as 91 high schools are also participating in a later race.

Among the teams joining USC at Pepperdine on Saturday will be favored UCLA (No. 8 in the West Region), Loyola Marymount (No. 15 in the West Region), San Jose State and CS Los Angeles.

'Our goal is to be in the top three in the team scoring,' said USC head coach Tom Walsh. 'We hope to build off last week's success at San Diego. This will be a great test for us to see how we match up with a ranked team like UCLA. This will be our first 6K race of the season, but it should help us that we ran this course last season.'

Expected to run this Saturday at Pepperdine for USC are senior Laura Meyers, freshman Zsofia Erdelyi, freshman Sarah Cocco (winner of the 2007 Aztec Invitational), sophomore Bridget Helgerson (USC's top finisher at the Fullerton Season Opener), sophomore Chanel Fischetti, junior Taylor Carroll, freshman Brianna Bentley, sophomore Jennifer Wells and freshman Kristin Byrne. Byrne will be competing in her first race as a Trojan.

'This will be an important race for Laura Meyers and Zsofia Erdelyi,' added Walsh. 'We are still training hard this time of the year, but we are looking to peak at the end of the season. This will be a good mental and physical test for us having run last week and with tough competition like UCLA, San Jose State, Loyola Marymount and CS Los Angeles.'

For Carroll, this will be a return to where she began her collegiate career. Carroll was one of Pepperdine's top runners as a freshman, leading them at the 2004 NCAA West Regional in Fresno, Calif. She also posted her best 5K time of 18:51 while running for the Waves at the UC Riverside Invitational in 2004. Carroll ran for Arizona State as a sophomore in 2005, before transferring to USC and redshirting in 2006.

'This is a good chance for her (Taylor) to step it up in front of her old team and help her new team.' said coach Walsh.

Junior Christine Greer has elected to redshirt this season due to a shin injury and sophomore Katherine Ellis is still out with an achilles strain.

Last week USC placed fourth at the Aztec Invitational (5K) in San Diego, Calif., as Cocco won the race with a time of 17:43. Cocco's time was the best by a Trojan since 1998 and she becames USC's first cross country runner to win a meet since 2003.

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