Trojans Finish Tops Among Division I Schools At The UC Irvine Invitational|
Sept. 5, 2015
The USC cross country team opened the season at the UC Irvine Invitational (5K) today (Sept. 5) and senior Katerina Berdousi placed fifth to lead the Trojans to the top finish among Division I schools.
“Overall I was pleased that we performed well for our first meet of the season,” said USC cross country coach David Freeman. “We were just trying to get some of the jitters out of the way, getting the routine down as to warming up and getting focused for the first race of the season.”
Berdousi ran with the lead group the whole way and finished fifth with a time of 18:11.02. The winner of the race was Aminat Olowora of Southwestern who broke away in the final mile of the race to post a time of 17:14.82.
Redshirt freshman Madison Ricks was the next Trojan to cross the finish line with a time of 19:31.21 to finish 44th and freshman Taylor Seamans was right behind her in 46th place as USC’s final scorer with a time of 19:38.67.
“Kat (Berdousi) ran well, ran tough,” added Freeman. “Our freshmen stepped up. Obviously we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so they stepped up pretty well. Amber (Gore) was the number two girl on our team. She ran tough. Jenna was number three and she ran tough, too. She is bouncing back this year. Fourth was Madison Ricks, she is a redshirt freshman, and our fifth runner was freshman Taylor Seamans. So overall, we had three freshmen in our top five, so we are excited, we are moving in the right direction. We have to go back on Monday and look at the times, look at the splits and see how to improve practice to get better. We will tweak a couple of things practice-wise, pacing-wise so we get used to it and execute again on the 18th when we go to San Diego.”
Also running today for USC were senior Natasha Strickland (20:23.18, 79th) and freshman Lauren Maurer (22:45.24, 141st). Despite being overcome by the heat late in the race, Maurer showed her heart and toughness by finishing the race by walking the final stretch and through the chute with a trainer by her side, still defeating nearly 20 runners.
USC finished with 140 points, the lowest among all the Division I schools.