Program Record Six Lions Advance to NCAA West Preliminary

Kelli Sugimoto is one of four Lion women who will compete in the 5K.

May 22, 2014

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LOS ANGELES A program record six LMU track men and women will compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track West Preliminary Round in Fayetteville, Ark., it was revealed Thursday morning as the official declared athletes lists were announced.

For the men, senior Weston Strum makes his second straight NCAA postseason appearance, earning a spot in the field of 48 in the 5,000m. The San Jose native will enter regional competition ranked 17th in the 5k with his LMU all-time record time of 13:47.28, set on April 4 at the Stanford Invitational.

For the women, a program-high five Lions have earned entry to the NCAA West Preliminary, led by Sheree Shea and Grace Graham-Zamudio, who will compete in a pair of events.

Shea, a redshirt senior, makes her third NCAA appearance, earning a spot in the field of 48 in both the 5,000m and 10,000m. She heads to Fayetteville, ranked sixth in the 5k with her career and program record time of 15:46.62, set May 4 at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Her seed time of 33:55.73 in the 10k ranks 11th.



Shea will be joined in the 5k by freshman Danielle Shanahan (27th, 16:19.73) Graham-Zamudio (29th, 16:19.82) and sophomore Kelli Sugimoto (42nd, 16:33.49).

Graham-Zamudio (44th, 34:56.26) will also join Shea in the 10k while freshman Kyra Burke rounds out the Lion women competing. The rookie from Kenmore, Wash., gained entry into the 3,000m steeplechase field with her LMU all-time record time of 10:32.99.

"(The record six qualifiers) speaks volumes to the continued elevation of our track program at LMU," said Head Coach Scott Guerrero. "Additionally, of the five women, only one is graduating and three are freshmen and sophomores."

Since LMU began competing in track 2006, only two rookie Lions have earned entry into the NCAA postseason - Tara Erdmann and Shea.

Guererro added, "One of our team goals every year is increasing our number of top 100 marks in the West Region. We had five athletes combine to make eight top-100 marks in 2013. This spring, we finished with 15 top-100 marks set by eight athletes."

NCAA DI West Preliminary competition runs May 29-31 in Fayetteville, Ark. The top 12 from each event in each of the two preliminary regional competitions advance to the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.


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