Lions Dominate West Coast Challenge
LMU tops the field in inaugural track test against conference foes.
Feb. 25, 2007
Malibu, CA - The Loyola Marymount men's and women's track teams took down competition from around the conference Saturday at the inaugural West Coast Challenge in Malibu, Calif. The competition featured teams from around the West Coast Conference including host Pepperdine (women only), Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, and Santa Clara. San Diego also participated, although it did not field a complete team.
The West Coast Conference does not officially sponsor a conference championship in the sport of track and field, so the meet was billed as an "unofficial" conference championship and bragging rights were on the line.
Scoring as a double dual format, the Lion men easily defeated both San Francisco (56-27) and Santa Clara (65-13). The women were equally impressive, defeating San Francisco (49-27), Santa Clara (61-20) and Pepperdine (48-38).
In overall tri-meet scoring, the men easily took the title, scoring 57 points to San Francisco's 30 and Santa Clara's 13. In quad-meet scoring, the women narrowly defeated Pepperdine 44-41, but easily outdistanced San Francisco's 24 and Santa Clara 8.
In addition to sweeping the team titles, the Lion men and women re-wrote the record books again, combining for 10 school records and 13 event winners.
Junior Laura Mickelson got the Lions started in the right direction in the women's 3000m when she led wire-to-wire in a time of 10:21.08.
In the men's 3000m, junior Jonathan Macneil and senior Drew Haberkorn finished 1-2, scoring eight huge team points. MacNeil's time of 8:49.12 was a personal best by 11 seconds and only three seconds off the school record. Haberkorn was right on MacNeil's heels, running a very respectable time of 8:51.7.
Next on the track was the women's 4x100m relay. Freshmen Gabrielle Hybki, Celsa Tonelli, and Kassie Wright and sophomore Lindsay Vitort ran a gutsy race, finishing third and establishing a new school record time of 56.96.
The women's 1500m was the next event for the Lions. Senior Kristen Gonzalez ran an aggressive race, challenging the leader. Her efforts paid off when she clocked a personal best time of 4:44.82 to take second. Junior Claudia Bishop finished third in a time of 4:53.08.
The men were next in the 1500m. Sophomore Trevor Wiseman hung with the leaders the entire race but came up just short, finishing in third. However, his time of 4:02.38 beat the school record he set at the end of last year by .75 seconds.
Next up for the Lions was the men's 110m high hurdles. Senior Dominic Quiller showed a lot of heart when he took the victory while running an event in which he does not normally compete. For his efforts, he scored five points for the team and established a new school record time of 19.2.
In the men's 400m, sophomore Adam Stebbins continued his great season with a dominating win. Stebbins time of 50.23 was over three seconds faster than the second place finisher.
The women were next up in the 400m. Melani Hom and Bishop stole the show, finishing 1-2 and scoring big points for the team. Their times of 1:01.43 and 1:01.83 both broke the school record of 1:01.94 set by Lori Sims last year.
Hybki followed up her school record performance in the 4x100m relay with another school record in the women's 100m. Her time of 14.13 was good for fourth place. Hybki also finished fourth in the 200m, running 29.02 and breaking her own school record set just last week.
The Lion men dominated the 100m and 200m, finishing 1-2 in both races. In the 100m, freshman Jon Hornberger narrowly missed breaking his school record when he crossed the line in 11.38. Freshman Keyon Mitchell finished a close second in 11.87. In the 200m, Stebbins secured his second individual title of the meet with his time of 22.94, just missing his school record by .01. Hornberger followed up his victory in the 100m with a solid second place finish in the 200m (23.29).
Next on the track for the Lions were the women's 400m hurdles. Hom dominated the field while taking her second individual title of the competition. Her time of 1:08.39 also bettered her school record by 1.6 seconds. Sophomore Caitlin Jennings also ran a strong race, finishing third in a personal best time of 1:15.4.
In the men's hurdles, the Lions finished 1-2-3. Quiller ran a stellar race, cutting over two seconds off of his school record which was set last year. His time of 1:03.62 was well ahead of the other Lions, freshman Andrew Hirning (1:10.73) and MacNeil (1:12.63).
The Lions really showed their dominance in the last two events of meet, the first being the distance medley relay (1200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m), the premiere distance showcase event. The women's team consisting of Gonzalez, Hom, Bishop and Mickelson easily out-distanced the competition, winning in a time of 12:37.54, over 20 seconds faster than runner-up Pepperdine.
The men took the race in come-from-behind fashion when freshman Paul Beckwith took the lead in the 800m, while Wiseman brought the Lions home in a new school record time of 10:41.85. Making up the rest of the team was Haberkorn, who led off in the 1200m and junior Mo Elmi, who ran the 400m leg.
In the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay, the Lions continued their winning ways. Going into the women's race, the Lions were beating Pepperdine in the team scoring by only five points. If Pepperdine won the race, the meet would finish in a tie. After falling behind Pepperdine on the first two legs, the Lions stormed back for the race and meet victory. The team consisting of Jennings, Holden, Hom and Bishop finished with a time of 4:14.96, less than a second off the school record. For Hom, the victory was her fourth on the day: two individual (both school records) and two relay.
With the team titles already wrapped up, the men were looking for a moral victory after being disqualified in the 4x100m relay. The team consisting of Stebbins, Mitchell, freshman Jordan Legan and Barrera led from start to finish, crossing the line in a new school record time of 3:31.34.
On the women's side, the Lions competed in 10 events and tallied five first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, and three third place finishes. The Lion women set or broke five school records along the way.
The Lion men were equally impressive, competing in 11 events and tallying eight first-place finishes, four second-place finishes and two third-place finishes. The only events not won by Lion men were the 800m, the 1500m, and the 4x100m, where the men's team of Hornberger, Quiller, Stebbins, and Mitchell actually crossed the line first, but was disqualified for a zone violation.
Next up for the Lion track team will be the UCLA Invitational March 3rd.
West Coast Challenge Dual Meet Scores
LMU 56, USF 27
LMU 65, SCU 13
LMU 48, PEP 38
LMU 49, USF 27
LMU 61, SCU 20
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