Women's Cross Country
    Buckley Leads USC To Fourth-Place Finish at Titan Invitational
    Shelby Buckley tuned-up for the Pac-12 XC Championships in style by placing fifth and leading USC to a fourth-place finish at the Titan Invitational on Oct. 21.
    Shelby Buckley tuned-up for the Pac-12 XC Championships in style by placing fifth and leading USC to a fourth-place finish at the Titan Invitational on Oct. 21.

    Oct. 22, 2011

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    Shelby Buckley placed fifth to lead the USC women's cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Titan Invitational 5K cross country meet on the CS Fullerton campus on Friday, Oct. 21.

    All of USC's runners were competing in their final cross country race of the season except for Buckley who wanted to get in one more race before next week's Pac-12 Championships. It certainly was an impressive tune-up for the redshirt junior as Buckley set her collegiate 5K cross country PR with a time of 17:43.8 to place fifth in the scoring.

    "I'm happy with the way Shelby really battled and competed hard," said USC cross country head coach Tom Walsh. "She is starting to get her racing instincts back and finished very strong the last half mile, exactly what I was looking for leading up to the Pac-12 Championships."

    USC junior Kelly Owen continues to impress at the long distance cross country races, despite being considered a middle distance runner as she was the second Trojan to finish with a time of 18:32.3. Her time was good for 24th in the scoring and less than five seconds off her PR set at the 2010 Titan Invitational.

    "Kelly ran a very even-paced race and had a nice little kick the last 200m and beat six people in the last 150m using her middle distance speed," noted Walsh.

    Freshman Austin Lundin was the third Trojan finisher and 27th in the scoring with a big PR of 18:39.2.

    "I was really pleased the way Austin bounced back from her Northridge race and ran a PR in the final race of the season," said Walsh. "I was also happy with the way she finished the race."

    Her sister redshirt junior Jessica Lundin was the next USC runner to finish, taking 36th in the scoring with a time of 19:19.8. Rounding out the scoring for USC were freshman Erin Matranga in 38th with a time of 19:26.9, sophomore Anna Burger in 46th with a time of 20:03.3 and sophomore Francesca Adamski in 55th with a time of 20:51.5.

    The cross country team will be competing at the first Pac-12 Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Tempe, Arizona. Competing for the Trojans in that race will be Buckley, freshmen Erica Capellino, Erin Robinson, Kira Soderstrom and Shannon Byrne, redshirt freshman Katie DeYoung and sophomore Jaclyn Walles. Of that group, only Buckley as a freshman at UCLA in 2008 has competed at a conference championship cross country meet.