USC Finishes 20th At NCAA West Regional

Nov. 14, 2009

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USC's women's cross country team placed 20th today (Nov. 14) at the 2009 NCAA West Region Cross Country Championships hosted by Oregon at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ore.

Junior Zsofia Erdelyi was the Trojans' top finisher at No. 28 with a time of 21:47.14. Last season Erdelyi placed eighth at the West Regional to earn an at-large berth. She went out fast with a 4:48.33 first-mile time which placed her 24th and advanced to 17th at the two-mile mark with a time of 13:02.68, before settling for 28th place.

USC's other six runners junior Dina Kitayama, senior Bridget Helgerson, freshman Christy Ambrosini, senior Katherine Ellis, freshman Katheen Moloney and junior Zara Lukens all started slowly with the Trojans' top runner of this group (Helgerson) being in 158th place, but by the end of the race all six girls finished above that mark.

Kitayama was USC's second finisher with time of 23:30.41, good for 128th place. She moved up 36 places over the final two miles, including going from sixth to second among the Trojan runners. The captain Helgerson was USC's third finisher at 135th place with a time of 23:38.17.

The Trojans' alternate Ambrosini, running due to a shin injury to junior Christine Cortez, was the fourth finisher for the Women of Troy, placing 138th with a time of 23:42.92. The final scoring runner for USC was senior Katherine Ellis who took 142nd with a time of 23:45.07.

USC's sixth finisher was Moloney with a time of 23:57.90 (150th) and seventh runner was Lukens with a time of 24:06.72 (154th).

The team race came down to Washington and Oregon like at the Pac-10 Championships and again the No. 1 ranked Huskies prevailed. In fact, the top five teams were from the Pac-10: Washington, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State and Arizona.

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