USC Finishes 9th At Pac-10s; Earn 5 Lexus Gauntlet Points

Oct. 31, 2008

USC placed ninth at the 2008 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships today (Oct. 31) hosted by Oregon at the Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ore. in cool and overcast conditions. The Pac-10 Conference features nine of the top 12 schools in the NCAA West Region, including No. 12 USC.

Sophomore Zsofia Erdelyi was the top Trojan finisher, placing 17th. She was the top finisher in the conference outside of the Washington (15 points), Oregon (55 points), Stanford (99 points) and Arizona State (105 points) teams which dominated the meet finishing 1-4 in the team competition respectively. USC scored 212 points and battled with Washington State (5th 188 points), Oregon State (6th - 192 points), Arizona (7th - 199 points) and California (8th - 209) points. UCLA placed 10th with 271 points. There was only a 10 second average differential per runner separating teams 5-9. USC's runners averaged 1.5 seconds more than California's team and missed eighth place by three points.

'I'm really pleased with the way we competed, especially our top four runners,' said USC cross country coach Tom Walsh. 'I was especially pleased with Christine Greer who really fought the second half of the race and inspired the rest of the team.'

Edelyi, coming off wins at the Pepperdine Invitaional and Roadrunner Invitational, had a time of 20:42.38 to lead USC. Sophomore Sarah Cocco, USC's top finisher at the 2007 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships, was the next Trojan, finishing 32nd with a time of 21:15.10.

Junior Bridget Helgerson placed 47th with a time of 21:43.15, while the redshirt junior Greer placed 54th with a time of 21:55.72. USC's fifth runner that figured in the scoring was junior Katherine Ellis, who finished strong with a time of 22:14.75 to place 62nd.

The Trojans' final two runners were sophomore Zara Lukens (68th - 22:58.76) and junior Chanel Fischetti (70th - 23:11.86).

For the second consecutive season, the Women of Troy defeated crosstown rival UCLA at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships to secure the five valuable Lexus Gauntlet points in the year-long athletic competition between the two schools. USC took home the Gauntlet Trophy for the 2007-08 season.

'I am pleased anytime we can beat UCLA in cross country because of the Gauntlet points,' added Walsh.

USC will next be in action at the 2008 NCAA West Regional to be hosted by Stanford on Nov. 15.

'The girls are really excited about Regionals because we know we can run with a lot of teams in the Pac-10, so this is a good boost for the team,' said Walsh. 'We are getting better each race. We are going in the right direction, closing the gap with every race and are really battling well. This is going to help us for Regionals in two weeks and the girls are excited for that meet too.

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