Erdmann Races into Nationals, Shea Sets New Personal Best
Erdmann reaches third straight 10K final, Shea places 13th at NCAA West Regional
May 26, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - LMU redshirt junior Tara Erdmann qualified for her third consecutive NCAA Outdoor Track National Championships in the 10,000m, placing seventh in Thursday night's West Regional meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. With the top 12 runners advancing to the national finals, Erdmann cruised through but sophomore Sheree Shea, despite setting a personal best, narrowly missed out on joining her teammate, placing 13th.
Erdmann (Tucson, Ariz.), who placed sixth in last year's NCAA Championships and owns the fastest time in the nation this season at the 10,000m, moved on to the national final for the third straight season with a time of 33:33.63. Running in the middle of the lead pack for most of the race, Erdmann finished amongst a group of five runners who were within three seconds of each other.
Attempting to join Erdmann and give LMU two runners at nationals for the first time in school history was Shea, who dropped nine seconds off her previous personal best. Shea (San Diego, Calif.) was able to stay with the front-runners for much of the race but she could not vault herself into the top 12, crossing in 3:53.54, a mere four seconds behind the final qualifier. Her previous personal best of 34:02.85 had been set at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 14.
Erdmann will race again on Saturday in the 5,000m in an attempt to become the first Lion to qualify for the national meet in two events. She will race at 3:05 p.m. after posting a qualifying time of 15:50.20 on May 1 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Her time is a school record and ranks fifth in the region.
A three-time All-American, Erdmann owns the fastest 10,000m time in the world this year, 33:10.15 at the Stanford Invitational on March 26, which still stands as the top time in NCAA Division I. Her qualification for the Outdoor Track National Championships means that she will be making her third nationals appearance this academic year in three different sports. She previously ran in the Cross Country and Indoor Track nationals in 2010-11. She will aim to become LMU's first national champion when she races the NCAA National Championships June 8-11 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.