Trojans Finish First Pac-12 Cross Country Championships in 12th place|
Oct. 30, 2011
The young USC women's cross country team finished the 2011 season with a 12th-place finish at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championship hosted by Arizona State at Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield, Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 29. Newcomer Colorado said hello to the other conference members by winning both the men's and women's titles, while Katie Flood of Washington won the individual women's crown.
"The Pac-12 race didn't go as well as we wanted it to," said USC cross country head coach Tom Walsh. "It was a very difficult challenge for our five freshmen walk-on athletes to mix it up with several NCAA and Footlocker All Americans. The Pac-12 is the toughest cross country conference in the country. We lacked the big race experience that you need to do well in a meet like this. But I am confident that we will learn from this experience and get better in the future."
Redshirt junior Shelby Buckley led The Women of Troy with a time of 22:01 and a 77th-place finish.
"Overall, individually I feel pretty good," said Buckley. "I've been injured for two years with stress fractures. I was in the back of the pack, not what I'm used to, but I went out and stayed calm. Team-wise, we struggled. A lot of our team is really young, but I think it's really good experience for the future. I really liked the course. I would say staying positive was my biggest challenge."
Freshman Erica Capellino was USC's second finisher in 92nd place with a time of 22:41. Redshirt freshman Katie DeYoung was just off her PR with a time of 22:43 to place 93rd and was the Trojans' third finisher.
Three more freshmen were next for USC as Kira Soderstrom finished 97th with a time of 22:54, followed by Shannon Byrne in 105th place with a time of 23:18 and Erin Robinson in 109th place with a time of 24:07.
Sophomore Jaclyn Walles was unable to complete the course.
"I am happy with the progress that this team made throughout the season," said Walsh. "Most of the girls on the team improved by 30-40 seconds from a year ago, and that is very impressive. I hope that the improvement continues as we move forward to track season in the spring, and into cross country next year."