USC Takes Second At UC San Diego Triton Invitational Behind Erdelyi's Win

Oct. 6, 2007

SAN DIEGO - USC freshman Zsofia Erdelyi set a course record in winning the UC San Diego Triton Invitational today (Sept. 6) in San Diego, Calif., leading the Trojans to a season-best second-place finish. Following Sarah Cocco's wins at the Aztec Invitational and the Pepperdine Invitational earlier this season, USC has now had an individual win in three consecutive meets for the first time since the 1997 season.

Erdelyi won on the difficult course with a time of 21:50.4, breaking UC San Diego's Mimi Hodgins record of 21:53.5 set in 2005. Erdelyi defeated CS Los Angeles' Karla Alburez by nearly eight seconds, passing her near the 500m mark and cruising to victory. It was the fifth time that a USC runner has won the UC San Diego Triton Invitational since the 1996 season. (Grazyna Penc in 1996 and 1998, Anna Lupacuich in 1997, Iryna Vashchuk in 2003 and Erdelyi).

Erdelyi, who came to USC from her native Hungary at the end of the summer, has made steady progress throughout the season, placing 13th in her first meet, third in her second and then winning today.

'Zsofia stepped up and competed well today,' said USC cross country head coach Tom Walsh. 'She is starting to round into top form and she's really starting to get it together at the right time of the season.'

The Trojans as a team have also made steady progress, finishing sixth at the CS Fullerton Season Opener on Sept. 1, fourth at the Aztec Invitational on Sept. 15, third at the Pepperdine Invitational on Sept. 22 and second today. USC finished with 70 points, second to CS Los Angeles which had 34 points. Fresno State, whose late arrival delayed the start of the race, placed third with 88 points.

'As a team, I think we are moving in the right direction as we approach the end of the season,' said Walsh. 'And without two of our top six runners today, we really competed well as a team.'

Freshman Sarah Cocco, who won the Aztec Invitational and the Pepperdine Invitational in her last two starts, sat out the race due to a cold and junior Taylor Carroll did not run to rest an IT band injury.

USC's second-place finisher and ninth overall was senior captain Laura Meyers who had a time of 23:07.0. Meyers showed a strong kick down the stretch over-taking several runners and holding off UC Irvine's Lauren Chramosta by 0.5 seconds.

Bridget Helgerson continued her steady sophomore season by finishing 16th, third among Trojans, with a time of 23:36.5. Fellow sophomore Chanel Fischetti also had an impressive race, placing 19th with a time of 23:49.9.

USC's final scoring runner was sophomore Katherine Ellis who placed 25th with a time of 24:03.5. She was competing in her first race of the season after sitting out the first three races with a hamstring injury.

'I was pleased with Kat's first race of the season after being out with a hamstring injury,' added Walsh. 'She really ran well and will help us the rest of the season.'

Also running today for USC were freshmen Zara Lukens who placed 28th with a time of 24:10.9, Kristin Byrne who finished 43rd with a time of 25:03.1 and Brianna Bentley who did not figure in the scoring, but had a time of 26:17.0

The Women of Troy will next be in action on Oct. 19 at the CSUF Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. which is the last regular season meet.

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