Pederson Leads Lions with Standout Performance
UC Irvine Spring Break Collegiate Classic Saw 7 LMU Runners
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Irvine, Calif. - The Lions took a small group of seven runners to the UC Irvine Spring Break Collegiate Classic on Saturday. The highlight of the day was Sophomore Koby Pederson in heat one of the 1500m. Pederson ran 3:52.20, which is an 11 second personal best. He went out in the middle of the pack, and slowly moved up to the fourth position going into the last lap. Down the final stretch, he was able to hold off two Army runners finishing in fourth overall. Pederson's result puts him third all-time on the LMU 1500m list behind Weston Strum (3:42.67) and Daniel LaCava (3:50.94). Also, his time currently puts him in the top 30 in the nation.
In heat two, Sophomore Ben Davis also had a personal best of 4:07:59 eclipsing his previous mark of 4:09.02. Davis went out of the gate in the middle of pack, and moved his way up to third. He was able to hold on to fourth place in his record-setting time.
Redshirt Freshman Kyla Danforth finished seventh in the women's 1500m, running a time of 4:50.17. Her race went out at a quick early pace. Danforth had good positioning despite the quick early pace. As the race progressed, the runners had strung out going in to the last lap. Danforth was able to hold on to her seventh place finish.
In the men's 800m, Sophomore Branden Estrada ran 1:54.34, finishing third in his heat and seventh overall. Estrada came up just 0.18 seconds short of a personal best, which he had run late in the season last year. In his heat, he went out to the early lead, setting a quick early pace through 400m. Two runners has passed him in the next 200m, but eventually he was able to push hard to the finish and maintained his position.
In the final heat of the 800m, the Freshman duo of Marcus Avila and Matthew Stein finished first and second respectively. Avila ran wire-to-wire for the victory in a time of 1:58.66. Although it was not a personal best for Avila, it was a solid performance and a confidence-building effort he can carry through the rest of the season. Stein ran a personal best 2:01.82 which was over a two second improvement. For Stein, this was the third week in a row that he had run a personal best. The previous two marks were in the 1500m, where he had ultimately improved to a 4:04.63.
Next weekend, the Lions will run a full squad at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego. It will be run in a distance carnival format on Friday (March 24th) evening.
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