USC Opens 2013 Cross Country Season By Taking 3rd At Mark Covert Classic

    Junior Erica Capellino sprints towards the finish line to place third at the Mark Covert Classic today in Brea, Calif.

    Aug 31, 2013

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    Junior Erica Capellino placed third to lead the USC women's cross country team to a third-place finish at the season-opening Mark Covert Classic hosted by CS Fullerton at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea, Calif. today (Aug. 31).

    "Overall the goal was to see the team fight and compete and represent USC well. I think they did that," said USC's new head cross country coach David Freeman. "We are new together with two weeks of preparation, so I think we did well. We need to grow as a team and work on changing the mindset and learn how to live up to the status of this program. I want them to wear the USC shield with pride and represent the Trojan Family."

    Capellino had another strong race, battling with two LMU runners over final third of the course and finishing third with a time of 17:54.9, 11 seconds off her PR set last season at the UC Irvine Invitational. Capellino has finished as USC's top runner in all seven career regular season meets.

    "Erica is a person who can really excel," said Freeman. "She showed that she can be a contender in our league."

    Redshirt freshman Lauren Grego in her first collegiate race placed fifth with a PR of 18:31.9 and sophomore Jenna Tong took sixth with a time of 18:33.0. Tong continued her streak of being one of USC's top three finishers in every meet she has competed since arriving on campus last season.

    "The surprise for me was the job Lauren Grego did in her first college meet, first cross country meet," said Freeman. "She could have a good USC career ahead of her."

    USC's fourth finisher was sophomore Nicole Davies who placed 24th with a time of 19:26.1.

    "Nicole Davies also did a great job, coming back from an injury and stepping up and really represented USC the way we want to be represented" added Freeman.

    USC's final scorer was junior Erin Matranga who took 42nd with a time of 20:06, followed by junior Kira Soderstrom in 44th place with a time of 20:07.0.

    Junior Austin Lundin placed 57th with a time of 20:29.0, transfer Lindsay Enright was 63rd with a time of 20:46.4 and junior Erin Robinson was 76th with a time of 21:39.3.

    The Women of Troy will now have three solid weeks of training before the next meet, the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. on Sept. 21.

    Top Team Scores: 1.) LMU - 34, 2.) Pepperdine - 66, 3.) USC - 73.