Buckley Leads USC To Seventh-Place Finish At UC Irvine Invitational|
Sept. 10, 2011
Redshirt junior Shelby Buckley placed 19th to lead the USC women's cross country team to a seventh-place finish at the 5K UC Irvine Invitational today (Sept. 10) in Irvine, Calif. despite eight of the 10 Trojans runners competing in their first official cross country race for Troy.
"It was a good first race for the girls," said USC cross country coach Tom Walsh. "I was happy with the way they finished. All 10 runners seemed to finish the last 400m strong. I know in the first race of the season you don't always race to the shape you are in, and I know all these girls will run faster."
Buckley did not let the rain and slippery course get in the way as she placed 19th overall with a time of 18:17.4, making it two straight seasons that USC's top finisher placed 19th at the UCI Invitational as Christine Cortez led the Trojans with a time of 18:26.6 last year. It was a solid USC cross country debut for Buckley who competed for UCLA in cross country in 2008, transferred to USC and had to sit out the 2009 cross country season and then missed the 2010 season due to injury.
I'm please with the way Shelby ran her first cross country race in two years," said Walsh. "It is a good starting point for her and she should build from here."
"I'm also happy with the way all the freshmen competed," added Walsh. "I was pleased with the way Erin Robinson, Shannon (Byrne) and Jaclyn (Walles) passed people at the end of the race."
Finishing second for USC and 40th overall was freshman Erin Robinson. Robinson held off four runners, including teammates Shannon Byrne and Jaclyn Walles, to finish with a time of 18.54.3. Right behind her in scoring were the freshman Byrne in 43rd with a time of 18:55.2 and the sophomore Walles in 44th, also with a time of 18:55.2. Walles made her USC debut on this course a year ago and dropped her time on the course 26 seconds (19:21.2 in 2010).
USC's fifth scoring runner and 57th overall was freshman Kira Soderstrom who finished the race with a time of 19:08.0. USC's final two runners to figure in the scoring were freshman Erin Matranga in 69th place with a time of 19:19.2 and redshirt freshman Katie DeYoung in 75th place with a time of 19:24.0.