Tong Leads USC To A Fifth-Place Finish At Highlander Invitational

    Kira Soderstrom appears to have returned to health as she was USC's third finisher today with a slight PR.

    Oct. 19, 2013

    Sophomore Jenna Tong placed third and junior Erica Capellino seventh to lead the Trojans to a fifth place finish at the 5K Highlander Invitational held at the UCR Ag/Ops Course in Riverside, Calif. today (Oct. 19). Tong, Capellino and USC's third finisher Kira Soderstrom all set 5K PRs at the meet.

    "We are making progress," said USC cross country coach David Freeman. "Jenna and Erica PR'd so it shows that they are sharpening up at the right time. We are rounding into championship season and are ready to go for the Pac-12s and see how we stack up."

    Tong placed third with a time of 17:33.2, 15 seconds faster than her previous 5K best set at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboreer two weeks ago. She was USC's top finisher for the second time in three weeks and edged out fourth-place finisher Katie Bathgate of CS Fullerton by 0.5 seconds.

    Capellino ticked three seconds off her previous 5K PR by finishing seventh with a time of 17:40.8. Her previous best time was set at the 2012 UC Irvine Invitational.

    The junior Soderstrom placed 30th (27th in the scoring) with a PR of 18:34.4. Her time was a second faster than her previous 5K best.

    "Kira also had a heck of a run, especially coming back from having some health issues," said Freeman. "She stepped up to finish among our top five and hopefully she can continue the improvement into the Pac-12 Championships."

    The rest of the Trojans and their place were: senior Lindsay Enright (60th, 19:25.5), junior Erin Matranga (64th, 19:33.3), sophomore Nicole Davies (67th, 19:40.1), junior Austin Lundin (69th, 19:52.0), freshman Makenzie Jordan (76th, 20:22.9), sophomore Alyssa Reardon (81st, 21:05.7), sophomore Natasha Strickland (82nd, 21:11.9), junior Erin Robinson (84th, 21:29.5) and senior Jackie Dion (89th, 21:52.5).



    Wyoming, the No. 7 ranked team in the Mountain Region, won the meet with 54 points, while USC took fifth with 130 points.

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