USC To Run At Stanford XC Invitational Saturday

Sept. 24, 2009

The USC women's cross country team will compete for the first time in more than a decade at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. to be held on Sept. 26 at 11:30 a.m. on the Stanford Golf Course. The 6K race will feature a strong 20-team field, including Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Pac-10 foes California and host Stanford.

Trojans expected to run this weekend are Zsofia Erdelyi, Bridget Helgerson, Katherine Ellis, Leah Gaeta, Christine Cortez, Kelly Owen and Kathleen Moloney.

'Basically this is our first test and it really hleps that Zsofia Erdelyi, the heart and soul of our team, is running in her first race of the season after a bout with plantar faciitis,' said USC cross country coach Tom Walsh. 'It will be a good chance for her to see how she measures up against the Stanford, California and Cal Poly-SLO runners. I'm interested to see how that shakes out. It is also very close between our No. 2-7 runners, so I'm interested to see how they all run and to see who steps up in this important race.'

Some of the Trojans will be familiar with the course as Stanford hosted the 2008 NCAA Regionals where USC placed 13th, its highest finish at the Regional since the 1997 season. Erdelyi placed eighth in that race with a PR of 20:17.01. Other Trojans running Saturday which ran on the course last season are: Helgerson (22:12.02), Ellis (22:39.55) and Gaeta (23:14.69).

'We were here for the Regionals last year and it was a good experience with Zsofia taking eighth,' added Walsh. 'It was good for the team and we hope to generate some momentum from this race for the second half of the season. I'm excited to see how Christine Cortez performs since it is the first 6K race of her life and it will be a big test for the freshmen Kelly Owen and Kathleen Moloney running in their first big college meet.'

USC will have next weekend off before sending some runners to the Vanguard Invitational on Oct. 10 in Costa Mesa, an added competition to the Trojans' schedule.

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