Women’s Cross Country | September 01, 2023
The USC women’s cross country team got the 2023 season off to a strong start by placing second at the LMU South Bay Twilight Meet held at Charles H. Wilson Park in Torrance, Calif. tonight (Sept. 1). Freshman Marjourie Lopez placed fourth individually to lead the Trojans to their best team finish since winning the 2016 Pepperdine Invitational. USC had a big contingent of staff, track and field teammates, friends and family in attendance for the rare twilight meet.
Six of USC’s eight runners were competing as Trojans for the first time. Four Trojans ran their first cross country 6K race and three other runners posted a personal best at the distance. USC’s previous best finish since winning the 2016 Pepperdine Invitational was a pair of third-place results at the 2021 and 2022 Mark Covert Classic.
“I think it was a good start for us to learn each other,” said Associate Head Coach of Cross Country/Assistant Track & Field Coach Jebreh Harris. “I do wish we could have run together a bit more, especially at the beginning, but it is good to have these first meets to learn more about each other and to see what we need to work on.
“I love how Marjourie (Lopez) took initiative to go out and challenge herself. It shows her will to win.”
Lopez was especially impressive in her first collegiate race and 6K by placing fourth with a time of 21:14.5. Lopez pushed the pace for the entire field for most of the race until surrendering the lead late.
Junior Gigi Maccagnini was USC’s second finisher and she had a time of 21:52.9 to place 12th overall. Graduate transfer Marina Soares was the Trojans’ third finisher with a 6K PR of 21:58.5, to finish 15th overall. Freshman Angelina Vasquez was the fourth Trojan to cross the line, finishing 17th overall with a time 22:13.2 in her first 6K race.
USC’s fifth and sixth-place finishers, graduate transfer Marne Sullivan and sophomore transfer Lucia Rabolli, clinched second for the Trojans by edging out a pair of San Diego runners. UCLA won the meet and the Trojans beat out San Diego for second by a 67-69 score. Sullivan finished 21st overall in her first 6K with a time of 22:41.3, followed closely by Rabolli who took 22nd with a PR of 22:41.4.
Freshman Haley Spoden, in her first 6K race, ran a time of 22:57.3 to place 25th…