Lions Look to Build On Success Of Inaugural Season

Jan. 30, 2007

LOS ANGELES - After strong performances in the first officially sanctioned season of track and field in Loyola Marymount history, the Lions look to continue the momentum in 2007. In just the first year of sponsoring track, Head Coach Scott Guerrero took LMU all the way to the 2006 NCAA National Championship.

The Lions qualified two runners for the NCAA Regionals before then-sophomore Laura Mickelson earned a ticket to the NCAA Championship, capping an incredible run in the sport's inaugural season at LMU. There, Mickelson finished among the top-25 in the nation in the 5000m in 16:43.61.

Though 2006 was the first season that LMU recognized track as a varsity sport, the Lions had been fielding a program for several years. With the sanctioning came an increased level of performance, as the 2006 men's and women's track teams combined to set 15 new school records.

"We had a great debut," Guerrero said. "Getting to the national championships in our very first season was pretty amazing. We'd definitely like to get back there this year, but there are a lot of other areas where we can improve as well. Our track program will continue to have a distance focus for the foreseeable future, but for 2007, we have set some standards and allowed a select few non-distance athletes to join us for the upcoming spring."

The Lion men will look for even more success than their seven school records set last year. LMU returns every school record-breaker from last year, in addition to a few outstanding freshmen and transfers who will also add depth. A big plus for the Lions this spring is the return of redshirt sophomore and 5,000m school record-holder Lino Almeida, who was sidelined last season due to injury. The following school record- holders return for the Lion men:
Drew Haberkorn (senior): 3000m - 8:59.47
Dominic Quiller (senior): 400m hurdles - 65.89
Lino Almeida - (redshirt sophomore): 5000m - 15:21.36
Trevor Wiseman (sophomore): 1500m - 4:03.13
Adam Stebbins (sophomore): 400m - 50.44

The Lions also broke three relay school records last year: the distance medley, the 4x1600m, and the 4x400m.

While the Lion men had an impressive 2006, the women one-upped them, setting eight school records. The women return all but one school record-setter from last year, along with a few outstanding freshmen. The following school record-holders return for the Lion women:
Laura Mickelson (junior): 1500m (4:34.42), 3000m (9:53.57), 5000m (16:30.04)
Claudia Bishop (junior): 800m (2:20.5), 1 Mile (5:18.83)

The women also set a pair of relay school records: the 4x800m and the 4x400m.

With so many athletes returning along with some new faces including several non-distance athletes, the 2007 Lions will look to set new benchmarks en route to a second straight NCAA regional and national appearance.

The Lions will look to get off to a fast start this weekend when they open the season with a dual meet against rival Pepperdine at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, February 3rd.





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