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Lions King of WCC

May 31, 2006

Los Angeles, CA (May 31) -- The Lions of Loyola Marymount University were officially named kings of the West Coast Conference as they claimed the fifth-annual Commissioner's Cup - an all-sports award presented at the end of each academic year to the league's top performing school in conference play. The Lions compete in 12 of the 13 sports sponsored by the WCC and in the 2005-06 year LMU went on to finish in the top half of the conference in nine of those 12, winning the conference title in women's rowing and men's golf.

"This is a great honor and speaks volumes about the student-athletes, coaches, staff and University administrators we have here at Loyola Marymount," said Athletics Director Dr. William Husak. "Winning the Commissioner's Cup is a goal that this department aims for each year. I am very proud of each individual associated with this University."

The recipient of the Commissioner's Cup is based on a point system reflecting the place finish of each team in conference play. A Men's and Women's All-Sports Award, recognizing athletic achievement within each gender, is also presented. The Men's and Women's All-Sports Awards are given to the schools that accumulate the most points within each particular gender. The institution with the highest point total after combining the men's and women's point totals will be honored with the Commissioner's Cup.

LMU finished the year earning 67.5 points overall, finishing second in the men's category with 34.5 and third in the women's sports with 33.0 points. San Francisco won the Men's All-Sports Award while Santa Clara won the Women's All-Sports Award.

"We did great things, this year and we will celebrate this accomplishment," said Husak. "With that said, this is not the end all. We have a lot we want to accomplish here and winning the Commissioner's Cup is a valuable mile marker on our overall journey."

Men's golf and women's rowing went on to propel the Lions to the top of the Commissioner's Cup, winning the respective programs their first-ever WCC title. Both Alex Galvan, head coach of the men's golf program, and Patrick Kelly, head coach of women's rowing, went on to lead their alma mater to the conference crown and earn Coach of the Year honors in the WCC. The magical season of the men's golf season continues as they compete for the national championship this week at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships.

"The West Coast Conference is proud to present Loyola Marymount University with the 2006 Commissioner's Cup," said WCC Commissioner Michael Gilleran. "Earning this award is a direct result of Loyola Marymount's dedication to building a successful broad-based intercollegiate athletics program. Loyola Marymount's student-athletes, alumni, staff and administration should take great pride in winning this award."

The 2005-06 season was filled with highlights for the Lions, here are a few:

• Women's volleyball finished the season 19-11 and advanced to their third straight NCAA appearance, 10th overall in program history.

• Women's cross country earned the program's best finish ever, claiming second in the WCC Championships. The first of nine programs to earn a finish in the top half of the conference standings.

• On the same day, the men's cross country team also equaled their best finish, taking third place at the WCC Championships. The second program to finish in the top half

• Men's soccer continued its run among the top-half of the WCC, defeating fourth-ranked Santa Clara twice and earning third in the WCC. The third program to finish in the top half.

• The women's basketball team advanced to the WCC Tournament semifinals for the fourth straight year and finished the WCC 10-4 and in third place. The fourth program to finish in top half.

• The men's basketball team equalled its best conference finish since 1992 and 1996 at second place and advanced to its first WCC tournament championship game in 17 year under first-year head coach Rodney Tention. Top-half finish No. 5.

• Men's golf got the spring championship week to a great start with its first WCC title. Three Lions earn All-WCC, a program first. Freshman Brian Locke wins the WCC individual title, another first, claiming WCC Player of the Year and WCC Freshman of the Year honors. The Player of the Year is the program's first. Top-half finish No. 6.

• Women's tennis topped 56th-ranked San Diego in the WCC Tournament Semifinals as they went on to finish second in the WCC. Top-half finish No. 7.

• Women's rowing needed a win in the final event, the Varsity 8 race, of the 2006 WCC Championships to earn its first-ever WCC title. They came through in the clutch with a convincing win over nine-time WCC Champ Gonzaga. Top-half finish No. 8.

• Baseball needed just one win on the final series of the weekend to clinch the Commissioner's Cup for the Lions. They came through big as well, earning a series sweep to finish fourth in the WCC. Top-half finish No. 9.

• The Lions' non-WCC programs also came through big. In its first year of competition, the women's track team saw Laura Mickelson advance to the NCAA Championships in the 5000-meter. Men's Water Polo earned their third straight conference crown and fourth in five years as they finished third in the NCAA Championship. Women's swimming set a program record for wins, going 9-5 in dual competition.



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