Lions Make a Last Stand at the Portland Twilight
Shanahan Sets a School Record in the 1500 meters
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Portland, Ore.- Seven Lions traveled to the Portland Twilight Saturday night in their last opportunity to earn a berth to the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas. Seniors Danielle Shanahan and Lorena Garcia ran the 1500m, while senior Grant Lapovich, juniors Jack Polerecky and Maddi Vorgitch, and sophomores Koby Pederson and Kyla Danforth ran the 10,000 meters. As is typical of the northwest, the Lions had to deal with wet conditions, but they did not expect a 90-minute lightning delay causing the 10,000 meter to finish in darkness as the stadium lights extinguished about 25 minutes into the race. Despite the delay, the Lions performed valiantly.
Jack Polerecky ran the 10,000 meters in a career best of 29:43.22 finishing second (2nd) overall. Polerecky’s time puts him second (2nd) on the LMU top-20 list behind Kevin Joerger who owns the school record at 29:38.26. His time also makes him only the third Lion in history to break the 30-minute barrier. Currently, he is on the bubble to get into the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Polerecky will find out on Thursday if he is one of the top 48 declared runners in the 10,000 meter event who earn a spot in the post-season.
In the same race, senior Grant Lapovich ended his Lion career running 31:31.00, while sophomore Koby Pederson ran 31:29.82. Lapovich ends his career ranked tenth (10th) in the 10,000 meters (31:16.22) and 13th in the 5,000 meters (14:49.93) on the LMU top-20 list. Pederson ends his season with career bests in the 1500 meters (3:52.20; 4th on the top-20 list), 5,000 meters (14:53.47; 17th on the top-20 list) and 10,000 meters (30:43.25; 6th on the top-20 list).
In the women’s 10,000 meters, Maddi Vorgitch and Kyla Danforth finished first (1st) and second (2nd) respectively in their event debuts. Vorgitch exceeded all expectations to run 35:23.53 and ranks eight (8th) on the LMU top-20 list. She ends her season with career bests in the 1,500 meters (4:50.11), 3,000 meters (10:06.67; 16th on the top-20 list) and 5,000 meters (17:09.08, 12th on the top-20 list). Danforth clocked in with a time of 36:12.74 ranking her 11th on the LMU top-20 list. She also had career bests in the 3,000 meters (10:04.59; 12th on top-20 list) and 5,000 meters (17:19.97; 17th on top-20 list).
In the 1500 meters, Danielle Shanahan continues to write history as she set a new School Record with a time of 4:17.83, eclipsing All-American, Olympic Trials qualifier and Hall of Famer Tara Erdmann’s time of 4:20.40 in 2011. For Shanahan, it is her second School Record. The other is in the 3,000 meters where she has the mark of 9:28.52 which she obtained last year. In her final race as a Lion, Lorena Garcia finishes her Lion career with a time of 4:55.18. Garcia ran a career best in the 1500 meters earlier this season with a time of 4:46.76. She also finishes with a best time in the 5,000 meters of 17:35.91.
Shanahan has already punched her ticket into the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round with a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. She has qualified in the 1500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters, but will focus on the 5000m in the post-season. Depending on the outcome of the men’s 10,000 meter declarations, Polerecky may join Shanahan at the regional.
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