USC to compete in invitational
After two weeks off from racing, the USC cross country team will take on five other schools at this weekendâs Northridge Invitational. This race will be the first time this season the Women of Troy run a 6-kilometer distance.
In addition to meet host Cal State Northridge, USC will compete alongside UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Bakersfield. The course, recently moved from a local park in Northridge, Calif., to the Cal State Northridge campus, is a flat, fast course that will play to many of USCâs strengths. Eleven of the teamâs runners will compete this weekend.
âAll of the girls have made big improvements in the last four weeks, so itâs hard to single out one person that I expect to run fast,â USC coach Tom Walsh said. âMy main goal is to win the team title, but we will have to run fast and be aggressive if we want to win that team trophy.â
The few extra weeks of training bode well for USC, particularly in a distance many runners are not accustomed to. The team has been running well during its rigorous training, and Walsh is optimistic about its performance.
âThe team dynamic has changed some,â Walsh said. âThe freshmen know that they are expected to contribute right now, and the older girls know that I expect them to step up and lead. The good news about the freshmen is that all six girls keep improving each week.â
This meet carries extra significance as well â it will help Walsh select his runners for the Pac-12 championships on Oct. 29, another 6-kilometer race. The pressure of this selection process will affect how the runners race.
âOnly two spots [of seven] are secured, and we have 10 people battling for those final five spots,â Walsh said. âThe race on Saturday will carry a lot of weight in determining those remaining five spots because the race is 6-kilometer, and also because I want to see who can run fast under pressure.â
The meet begins Saturday.