SEATTLE – Four Lions made their 2018 track & field season debut at the Husky Classic hosted by the University of Washington over the weekend. Danielle Shanahan, Maddi Vorgitch and Jack Polerecky ran Friday night in the 5000m while Alex Beitia ran the 3000m on Saturday afternoon.
Likely in her final race as a Lion, Shanahan was 13th overall and the fourth collegian in an elite field. Shanahan came into the race looking to improve her ranking on the NCAA Indoor performance list, but came up just short of it, running 15:59.35. Her time from the Boston University Season Opener of 15:54.30 was 13th coming into the weekend and would need to hold up as one of the top-16 declared in the event to race at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
If this is Shanahan’s last race under the burgundy and white of LMU, she is one of the most decorated athletes in LMU history.
“While it wasn’t the way I expected it to end, I am more than grateful for the time I have spent competing for LMU,” Shanahan said. “I am looking forward to taking the lessons I have learned while competing as a Lion with me as I continue my running career.”
She is the three-time NCAA Championship competitor twice in cross country and once on the track. She earned All-American honors in last year’s Track & Field Championships, finishing 11th in the 5000m. This past cross country season she finished 43rd, just shy of All-American honors where she had to be in the top-40. Shanahan holds the LMU school record in the 1500m and 3000m. She has the third fastest times in the 5000m and 10,000m in LMU history.
Vorgitch, in her indoor debut, ran 17:22.46, just 13 seconds shy of her career best. Vorgitch was 13th in her section.
“It wasn’t as fast as I wanted to run, but it was a great experience,” said Vorgitch. “I have only done three track workouts so I have to keep that in perspective.”
Polerecky, who was 17th in his highly competitive section, ran 14:44.16. Also, running for the first time indoors, Polerecky is looking this outdoor season to improve on his 14:17.02 in the 5000m and school record 29:30.69 in the 10,000m.
“It was good to see where I’m at and the work I need to do in the next few weeks,” said Polerecky.
The true freshman, Alex Beitia, made her LMU track & field debut in the 3000m, running a time of 10:07.20.
“It felt good, but I probably should have pushed harder,” said Beitia. “It was an improvement on our time trial a couple weeks ago, but I need to train more.”
Beitia, who is a Footlocker Finalist, ran 10:21.65 in the 3200m last year and was 34th in the NCAA West Region Cross Country Championship this past fall.
“We have not really done any training up to this point. Our focus is April, May and June as far as really running fast,” said Head Coach Scott Guerrero. “We wanted to give Danielle [Shanahan] another opportunity in the 5K and thought it would be an opportunity to bring a few athletes out to see where they were fitness-wise knowing we aren’t doing workouts like most other programs for whom indoor is a priority. Our goal is to get athletes to Regionals in outdoors which for us is the priority.”
The Lions will run those who did not compete this weekend at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers meet on February 17th.
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