USC Has Best Finish At NCAA Regional Since 1997

Nov. 15, 2008

Sophomore Zsofia Erdelyi led USC women's cross country team to its best finish at the NCAA West Regional since 1997 and individually qualified for the NCAA Championships today (Nov. 15) at the 2008 NCAA West Regional hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Trojans placed 13th as a team with a total of 378 points, its best finish since placing eighth at the 1997 NCAA West Regional. Erdelyi placed eighth in the individual competition with a new PR of 20:17.01. The last Trojan to finish higher at the West Regional was Iryna Vashchuk in 2003, when she placed sixth with a time of 20:38. As the top individual runner outside of the competitors from Washington and Oregon which earned the team automatic berths to the NCAAs, Erdelyi will get one of the at-large selections to the NCAA Championships to be held in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 24.

Last season, Sarah Cocco qualified for the NCAA Championships and USC has had an individual runner advance to the finals in six of the last eight seasons. This season, the sophomore Cocco was USC's third finisher with a time of 21:51.71, good for 76th place.

USC's second finisher was senior Christine Greer, believed to be running in her last cross country race for the Trojans. She placed 62nd with a time of 21:35.16, just off her career-best time set earlier this season of 21:24.60 at the Pepperdine Invitational.

Junior Bridget Helgerson was the Trojans' fourth runner and she placed 102nd with a time of 22:12.02. USC's fifth and final scoring runner was junior Katherine Ellis who placed 130th with a time of 22:39.55.

Right behind them were junior Chanel Fischetti who placed 134th with a time of 22:40.35 and freshman Leah Gaeta to finished 161st with a time of 23:14.69.

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