Ashley experienced great improvement last season and is expected to be a contender for one of the top seven spots on the team this year. Ashley's best cross country performance took place during USC Gamecock Invitational, the only home and first competition of the season, finishing 19th overall. Her best 5k time is 19:21.
During her freshman season, Ashley ran a career-best and finished 23rd as USC's seventh runner at the Gamecocks' home meet in 2003. In high school, Cruse was a member of a cross-country team that won a state championship and was state runner-up consecutive years. She was named to the All-Ohio team, was a four-time cross country/track letterwinner and also was a three-time letterman in swimming for the Turpin Spartans. Academically, Ashley won the Principal's Award, was a member of National Honor Society and was named the Outstanding Female of the Class of 2003. Ashley was born Sept.15, 1985 to Laurie and Mark Cruse.