Capellino And Tong Go 1-2 At USC-UCLA Dual Meet

    Erica Capellino and Jenna Tong pose after taking first and second place at the USC-UCLA Cross Country Dual Meet today in Pasadena, Calif.

    Oct. 11, 2013

    Trojans Erica Capellino and Jenna Tong took first and second place respectively to lead USC at the USC-UCLA Cross Country Dual Meet (6K) held at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, Calif. today (Oct. 11). Despite four of the Trojans' top runners being held out due to various injuries, USC was able to keep the meet score close, but fell 25-36.

    Capellino and Tong stayed with UCLA's Sierra Vega for much of the race, content to just keep the pressure on, then in the final quarter of the race took control to give the Trojans the impressive 1-2 finish.

    "I do believe the race went pretty well, we did go 1-2 which is always a good sign to see the shield in the front leading the way," said USC cross country head coach David Freeman. "We are still making some progress as a team. We had some positive things happen. I held out some runners that are a little big banged up, so I believe once we add them into the mix I believe we will be a better balanced team and better as a whole. I believe this was a confidence boost as we will be running a 6K at the conference meet and it gives Jenna and Erica some momentus heading into the conference meet, knowing what to expect and how to work together. They worked well together today and moved up together, so the teamwork aspect of things is coming together."

    The junior Capellino posted a season-best 6K time of 21:47.36, just three seconds off her personal best, set last season at the Stanford Invitational. The victory was the second of her career, as she was the individual champion and led USC to the team title at the 2012 Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. on Oct. 13, 2012. It also marked the ninth race out of 10 career regular season meets in which she has led the USC runners.



    Tong, USC's top finisher last week at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree in Sacramento, Calif., set a 6K PR today in placing a close second with a time of 21:50.58. The sophomore's time last week set a 5K personal best, so she continues to show her steady progress.

    "As a whole I'm pleased with everybody," added Freeman. "Obviously this was a 6K, so it was a little bit longer than what they are used to. I think we are making the correct strides moving forward, we just have to just keep working, see what we have to improve on and move forward."

    The race was the first 6K meet of the season for USC and for some of the Trojan runners, their first career cross country 6K race. USC's other runners and their times were senior Lindsay Enright (24:57.05), redshirt junior Katie DeYoung (25:15.56), junior Austin Lundin (25:26.33), sophomore Alyssa Reardon (26:11.55), sophomore Natasha Strickland (26:15.05), freshman Makenzie Jordan (26:30.86), senior Jackie Dion (26:43.46) and junior Erin Robinson (27:22.78).

    USC's will next compete at the Highlander Invitational in Riverside, Calif. on Oct. 19.

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