Mickelson Provisionally Qualifies For NCAA National Championships

May 1, 2007

Palo Alto, Calif. - The Loyola Marymount women's track team sent junior Laura Mickelson to compete against the nation's elite at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Mickelson competed in the highly-competitive heat of women's 10,000-meter run Sunday evening, where she was looking to go under the NCAA Championship provisional qualifying standard of 35 minutes.

Mickelson was the first Lion female or male to ever attempt the 10,000m event on the track, which includes a total of 25 grueling laps.

The race began beneath the lights and under perfect weather conditions for running: lower 50's with no wind. The race consisted mostly of professional athletes, with only a handful of collegiate runners.

After a brisk first lap, Mickelson settled in to running her predetermined split times. She was running ahead of pace at the 5000m mark, clocking 17:03, which in itself is a great time for that distance.

After falling slightly off pace in the second half, Mickelson closed with a 79-second lap to finish with a time of 34:53.16. Her time was well under the 35 minute standard, which provisionally qualifies her the NCAA championships in June.

Mickelson's time currently places her in the top-40 nationally in the women's 10,000m.

"The goal was just to get her under the NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 35 minutes," LMU Head Coach Scott Guerrero said. "We were pretty confident she could do that, but the 10,000m is a tough race and it was her first time in the event and she was going up against some very stiff competition. There were only five other collegians out there, including multiple current NCAA Champions and All-Americans. The rest of the field was made up of former champions and All-Americans now running at the professional level. Laura ran 5K splits of 17:03 and 17:50 for a final time of 34:53, easily meeting the standard. I think she ran pretty conservatively, and her final lap split of 79 seconds indicates that she still had a lot left in the tank. It was a great experience for Laura, and I think she definitely learned a lot out there, so we were happy that we achieved our goals."



Next up for the Lion track team is the Occidental Invitational on May 12th.



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