Shanahan and Wohlenberg lead Lions at Aztec Invitational

March 24, 2017

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San Diego, Calif. - The Lions had a dominant performance at the 39th Annual Aztec Invitational Distance Carnival. The Lion Men and Women had a total of ten personal best times, and eight of those ten came from those who ran the 3000m. The Lion runners who achieved personal best times improved their time by an average of nine seconds. In the five events contested, four of the five events saw Lion runners place in the top three.

Senior Danielle Shanahan started the phenomenal evening for the women off in heat one of the 1500m with a come-from-behind victory, out-sprinting her competition and finishing the 1500m distance in a personal best time of 4:20.54. Her time was just 0.14 seconds shy of a school record held by seven-time All-American Tara Erdmann. Her time also puts her fourth in the nation. In the race, Shanahan ran near the front of the pack the entire race until the last 300m, where she put herself in position behind the leader. Both runners kicked in the last 100m but Shanahan eventually overtook the leader for the win.

In the third heat of the Women’s 1500m, Sophomore Emily Hubert raced her way to a personal best of 4:45.01, eclipsing her previous mark by less than a second. Like Shanahan, Hubert ran a very controlled pace and finished strong placing fifth in her heat.

In the Women’s 3000m, five of the six Lions who competed set personal bests. Most impressive was Freshman Hannah Wohlenberg, who broke the 10-minute barrier, running 9:56.31. Her time puts her second only behind the aforementioned Shanahan on the LMU Freshmen All-Time list for the 3000m distance. Additionally, she has the 21st fastest time in the nation in Division I and is the eighth best freshmen in the country over the 3000m distance. Wohlenberg ran a savvy race moving up through the field throughout. With 250m left, she was about seven meters from second place when she found another gear and nipped the runner in front of her by a hundredth of a second. She finished second overall, but was the lead collegiate runner of the day. Wohlenberg’s time was a personal best by over 23 seconds.

Wohlenberg kicks her way to a second place finish.
Wohlenberg kicks her way to a second place finish.

In the same heat, Kyla Danforth improved her personal best by an astounding 29 seconds finishing in a time of 10:04.59. Danforth finished sixth overall in the event. Danforth and Wohlenberg worked together to stay in the lead pack until the field spread out to the finish. She finished with a strong last 200m to propel herself to a fast time. Her time ranks her 45th in NCAA Division I in the 3000m.

In the second heat of the Women’s 3000m, Sophomore Madelyn Vorgitch had a break-out performance, not only running a personal best time of 10:06.67, but also winning her heat. Vorgitch currently ranks 48th in Division I in the country. She stayed behind the leaders for much of the race until the last 150m where she took over the lead and never gave it up. Vorgitch won her heat and her time put her eight overall in the event.

Sophomore Johanna Apelryd ran a new personal best time of 11:10.53 improving by four seconds from her previous mark. Apelryd ran aggressively to earn her personal best time.

In the Men’s 3000m, Sophomore Brian Joerger finished third overall and ran a personal best of 8:37.23, which ranks him top-50 in Division I in the event. Joerger went out aggressively setting a quick early pace. He eventually settled in the front of the pack, running even splits. In the last lap, Joerger raced his way to a third place finish just ahead of his nearest competitor by a hundredth of a second. His time was a five second personal best and puts him 13th all-time in LMU history. It puts him in company just behind John Pickhaver, who just ran 2:23:24 in the Los Angeles Marathon and was the top American, and Daniel Gibson. Both Pickhaver and Gibson ran 8:37.

Joerger finishes third in Men's 3000m
Joerger finishes third in Men's 3000m

Freshman Ben Davis was third in his heat and sixth overall in the event. Davis ran a personal best of 8:43.72 and 13 seconds better than he had run before. He ran a strategically sound race moving up through the race running even splits throughout until the last 200m where he ran a stellar 31.2 seconds.

Senior Grant Lapovich ran a seven second personal best with a time of 8:44.82 in likely the last 3000m race of his career in a Lion jersey. His time put him eighth overall in the event. Lapovich ran a strong, even race finishing in a 1:39 last 600m.

Sophomore Joey Rodgers improved by a little over a second, running a personal best of 9:05.82. Rodgers was consistent with his splits, but was able to finish strong in the last 200m.

The Lions race next at the Bob Larson Distance Carnival at UCLA on Friday, March 31st. In addition, Danielle Shanahan will be racing in the 5000m at the Stanford Invitational on Friday.



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