USC Ready For Pac-12 Cross Country Championships|
Oct. 26, 2011
USC's young women's cross country team is set to compete at the 2011 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships (6K) hosted by Arizona State at the Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield, Ariz. on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. The Pac-12 is the top conference for women's cross country in the nation as five of the top 11 and six of the top 16 ranked teams are conference foes.
"This team is excited to compete in the best conference meet in the country and they are really looking forward to building on this year's success," said USC cross country coach Tom Walsh.
Washington is currently ranked No. 2 in the country behind Florida State, but No. 8 Stanford grabbed the conference team title last year and in 13 of the last 15 seasons. The other Pac-12 teams ranked nationally are No. 5 Arizona, No. 10 California, No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Colorado. Among the pre-race favorites according to one preview story are Jordan Hasay (Oregon), Deborah Maier (Cal), Jen Bergman and Elvin Kibet (Arizona), Kathy Kroeger (Stanford), Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp (Colorado).
"Our top two runners Erica Capellino and Shelby Buckley are ready for the challenge of leading this team at the race in Tempe," said Walsh. "I think Erica and Shelby are ready to have a breakout race. Both girls have been impressive in training and are ready for a fast-paced race."
Along with the freshman Capellino and the redshirt junior Buckley, leading the charge for the Trojans in the desert are freshmen Erin Robinson, Kira Soderstrom and Shannon Byrne, redshirt freshman Katie DeYoung and sophomore Jaclyn Walles.
"I'm really pleased that the gap between our first and fifth runners has really closed," added Walsh. "Erin Robinson, Kira Soderstrom, Katie DeYoung and Shannon Byrne will all have to work together on Saturday to make sure our fifth runner is as close as possible to our top finisher. The training and races up to now have gone well and I think everyone is ready to peak and run their fastest race of the year."
Buckley is the only Trojan runner to have competed at a conference championship when she ran as a freshman at UCLA in 2008 and led all Bruins runners, finishing 48th overall with a 6K PR of 21:34.26.
"We are bringing five freshmen (one redshirt) to this meet and I think this will be a really good experience for them to compete at this level," said Walsh.
Fans wishing to get the live results can click on the following link: Live Results