May 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
With a stellar fifth place overall finish at the NCAA West Regional Prelims, Tara Erdmann advances to the NCAA Track and Field Championships. In the heat and humidity of Austin Texas, Tara Erdmann ran through the conditions and any pressure delivering a very smart race to secure a ticket to NCAA's. Lady Lion Cassandra Salazar also competed in the 10k to close out her season. Later this weekend LMU will see freshman Sheree Shea in the 5k to wrap up LMU's competition at the NCAA West Regional Championships.
The top twelve finishers from the East and West region qualify for NCAA Championships, which will take place from June 7th-10th in Eugene, Oregon. Erdmann's fifth place finish in the 10k last night is her second straight NCAA qualification in Track and Field making her one of the top runners in the nation, as well as one of LMU's most decorated athletes. LMU has only had Track and Field as an official NCAA sanctioned sport for five years, however within that short period of time, LMU has built a strong distance program with three NCAA Championships appearances (Laura Mickelson - 2006 in the 5000m & Tara in both '09 & '10 in the 10k). For the first time in school history LMU has three athletes competing in NCAA West Regionals and also is the only WCC school to have three women competing.
Erdmann finished the 10k distance in 34:31, while not her fastest time of the season, Erdmann ran a very smart race with a focus on placing in the top 12 in order to earn a spot at Nationals. In general the times were considered relatively conservative because of the humid weather and the fact that the runners are just trying to advance to Eugene. Coach Scott Guerrero said, "It was a very tactical race since the only goal is to qualify for the next round. Everyone wants to run as slow as possible and still finish in the top-12. In a race of this type, 12th place is as good as 1st place. Tara raced very smart and put herself in a great position for Eugene."
Sophomore Cassandra Salazar
also competed in the 10k race. She had a great season making huge improvements to where she was competing in her first-ever post-season championship. After not making the varsity seven in cross country last year as a freshman she has had a stellar sophomore year to running a 34:59.56 for the 10k which is #3 all-time at LMU and qualified her for the NCAA West Region Championship.
Still to come from Austin, Texas freshman Sheree Shea will compete in the 5000m on Saturday night. Shea is only the second freshman in school history to qualify for the Regional Championships. In Cross Country Shea finished 23rd at the West Region meet in Cross Country which was the highest-ever finish by an LMU freshman earning All-West Region honors in the process. This season she ran a 16:50.66 for the 5000m which puts her #3 all-time on the LMU list and earned her a trip to the West Region meet.
For full results go to Texassports.com
Check out Tara Erdmann's interview on Flotrack:
Track and Field Videos on Flotrack
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