Lions to Compete at Ben Brown Invitational

March 7, 2007

This Week on the Track - The Loyola Marymount men's and women's track teams will compete at the Ben Brown Invitational in Walnut, Calif. this Friday night and Saturday.

The meet will be hosted by Cal State Fullerton, but will take place at Mt. San Antonio College. For anyone wishing to come out and support the Lions, the meet takes place on March 9-10 and gets underway at 6 p.m. on Friday with the distance carnival (3000m Steeplechase, 5000m, 10000m). The action starts again at 10:30 a.m. PST on Saturday with all remaining events. Directions to the meet can be found by clicking here.

A Look at the Competition - The Lions will be facing teams from around Southern California. Some of the teams that competed last year include Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Bakersfield, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, LA Trade Tech, Redlands, Slippery Rock, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Los Angeles, and Cal Poly Pomona.

For the Lion Men - A total of 14 Lions will be competing in nine individual events.

For the Lion Women - A total of 15 women will be competing in five individual events.

Last Time on the Track - The Loyola Marymount men's and women's track teams fared well at the UCLA Invitational with a limited squad. With just 11 athletes competing, the Lion men and women combined for one event winner, one heat winner, and six school records.

In the first event for the Lions, freshman Keyon Mitchell established a school record leap of 21' 8.75" in the long jump, placing eighth. In the women's 1500m, junior Kristina Fernandez, running her first collegiate race, ran a strong race to finish in 5:25.14.

The men were next on the track in the 1500m. Freshman Paul Beckwith ran very even splits in his first collegiate attempt, placing fourth in a respectable time of 4:11.34. Junior Mo Elmi battled hard to finish seventh in 4:19.75.

Sophomore Adam Stebbins looked to continue his strong season in the men's 400m. After falling slightly behind in the first 200m, Stebbins came back for the victory in his heat, good for fifth overall. Stebbins' time of 49.6 bettered his school record of 49.85 set two weeks ago.

In the men's 100m, freshman Jon Hornberger put up a valiant effort to finish second in his heat and 10th overall with a time of 11.39.

Mitchell was looking for his second school record of the day in the men's triple jump. He did not disappoint, not only breaking his own LMU record with a jump of 45' 8," but also winning the event. The performance makes Mitchell currently undefeated in his young collegiate triple jump career, after also claiming victory at UCSB two weeks earlier.

In the women's high jump, freshman Celsa Tonelli set a collegiate personal best of 5' 1" to finish seventh. Tonelli was followed closely by fellow freshman Gabrielle Hybki who finished eighth with a jump of 4' 11".

Next on the track was the women's 800m where senior Melani Hom was looking to take down the school record time of 2:20.5 set just last year. Hom really went after it, coming through the 400m in 65 seconds and taking the lead with 300m to go. Hom was not able to hold for the victory, but her effort was still good for second, setting a new school record of 2:18.16 in the process. Sophomore Lindsay Vitort also ran a solid race to finish in 2:35.17.

In the men's 800m, freshman Jordan Legan showed a lot of heart to finish fifth in his heat with a time of 2:05.45, also his collegiate debut at the 800m distance.

Senior Dominic Quiller was next up for the Lions in the men's 400m hurdles. Quiller ran strong from the start and managed to break his own school record in a time of 1:02.64.

In the men's 200m, there were three Lions looking to tear up the track. Stebbins, after running a superb 400m, followed that up with breaking his own school record in the 200m. His time of 22.92 placed him 14th overall. Stebbins was followed by Hornberger (23.25) and Quiller (24.69). The final event of the day for Lions was the women's 2-mile. Sophomore Abby Fall ran an excellent race to finish 10th, running 11:32.09, which beat her personal best time by 12 seconds.

Last Year at the Ben Brown Invite - The Loyola Marymount men's and women's track teams had a successful showing, despite severe weather conditions consisting of rain, wind, hail, and near-freezing temperatures.

The teams combined for two new school records and five event heat winners. Adam Stebbins got the Lions started in the right direction with a then-LMU-record breaking victory in his heat of the men's 400m. His time of 51.9 seconds eclipsed the previous record of 52.29, which he set two weeks earlier. This was after the meet had been suspended for approximately 45 minutes due to lightning and hail.

The Lions had 14 athletes competing in the men's and women's 1500m. Claudia Bishop narrowly missed breaking her own school record when she placed sixth overall in a time of 4:49.91. The Lions dominated the second heat of the women's 1500m when Melani Hom and Kristen Gonzalez finished first and second, running 4:52.96 and 4:56.17 respectively.

Not to be outdone by the women, the men turned in a few notable performances as well in the 1500m. Reynaldo Barrera finished fifth in his heat of the men's 1500m in a time of 4:11.34 while Mo Elmi, using a strong finishing kick, won his heat in a time of 4:19.4.

With the sun setting and the temperatures continuing to plummet, it was then time for the 11 Lions running the men's and women's 5000m to take the track. Laura Mickelson started things off by placing fifth in 17:19.85. She was the top collegiate finisher in the women's 5000m.

Drew Haberkorn led things off for the Lions in the men's 5000m by finishing fifth in his heat and setting a personal record time of 15:33.67, breaking his previous best time by 27 seconds.





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