USC Cross Country Looks To Build Off Last Years Success
Sept. 3, 2009
The USC women's cross country team is coming off a successful 2008 season that saw the team win two consecutive meets. We came very close to upsetting several ranked teams at the Pac-10 Championships in Oregon. We were just 22 points out of fifth place and the girls really over-achieved. The team was led by sophomore Zsofia Erdelyi. The sensational distance runner from Hungary ran a scorching USC 5K-record of 16:51 at CS Bakersfield. She also ran a gutty race at the NCAA Western Regionals to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Christine Greer also ran the race of her life at the Western Regionals. She graduated last May and will be greatly missed. Zsofia comes back from an All-American track season and a tremendous summer in which she ran a USC school record in the 5000m and 10000m races. Her time of 33:39 in the 10000m would have placed her second at the NCAA Championships in Arkansas last Spring.
Shea Wickland and Bridget Helgerson will compete to round out our top three for USC. Shea is a member of the USC marching band. She was discovered last winter and helped USC with a third place finish in the 5000m at the USC-UCLA Dual Meet last May. Bridget is the team captain for the Women of Troy this season. She is ready to take her running to another level and help the team improve.
A blanket of 11 runners will compete for the rest of the spots on the team. There is no clear No. 4 runner for the Women of Troy this season. All 11 runners are close to each other in ability. We will see who works hard and who competes well to earn those other tops slots on this year's team. Christine Cortez, Katherine Ellis, Leah Gaeta, Kelly Owen, Kathleen Moloney, Zara Lukens, Theresa Kurth, Chanel Fischetti, Christy Ambrosini, Abigail Gregg and Jessica Lundin all have the talent to run in USC's top five. The competition should be very helpful as we get ready to compete this season.
Transfer Shelby Buckley is a talented runner and a great addition to USC. She will sit out this cross country season because of NCAA transfer rules. Shelby has great range from 800m all the way up to 6K. She will have three more years of cross country eligibility starting next Fall.
I think this team can really surprise people by the end of the season. We have a mixture of several freshmen and upper class runners who will run their best races at the end of the season. We need to stay healthy and continue to improve from week to week. We have an extra incentive as we will host this year's Pac-10 Cross Country Championships at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach on Oct. 30.