Erdmann Starts National Championship Chase on Wednesday
All-American set to run in 10K on Wednesday, 5K on Friday
June 7, 2011
The above video is part of a feature on Tara that will appear in the upcoming issue of LMU Magazine.
LOS ANGELES - On Wednesday night, Tara Erdmann will take to the Drake Stadium track in Des Moines for the first of two quests to become Loyola Marymount's first female track National Champion and the school's seventh National Champion in its history. Erdmann, a three-time All-American who owns the fastest 10,000m time in the country this year, will be racing against the top-24 collegiate runners at that distance, starting at 8:45 p.m. Central Time (6:45 p.m. Pacific).
After qualifying for the 2011 NC AA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, Erdmann (Tucson, Ariz.) will take her first crack at a national title in her best event. She enters Wednesday's 10,000m final having placed seventh in the West Regional on May 26 in 33:33.63 to qualify for nationals. That time came two months to the day after Erdmann set the school record and the fastest time in the world to that point, 33:10.15 at the Stanford Invitational, a mark that still stands as tops among female runners in Division I.
Live coverage will be aired on CBS on Saturday, June 11, cable's CBS Sports Network on Friday, June 10, and streaming online at NCAA.com throughout the weekend.
This will be Erdmann's third consecutive appearance in the 10,000m at nationals. She has improved her placing in each appearance, finishing 16th in 2009 in a time of 34:29.41 and placing sixth last year in 33:27 to earn All-America honors. She will be making her third straight NCAA Championship appearance in the 2010-11 academic year, having previously raced at the cross country and indoor track nationals.
Erdmann is seeking to become LMU's first female track national champion and the seventh in school history. LMU recognizes six national titles, most recently the women's rowing lightweight four in 2008. The other national champions are Bob Boyd in the 100-yard dash (1950), the 1969 football team (club), Therese Kozlowski in women's cross country (1981), and the 1981 and 1989 women's rowing lightweight four.
Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday or in Friday's 5,000m final, Erdmann has already etched her name into the LMU record books. By qualifying for both the 10,000m and 5,000m, Erdmann is the first LMU trackster to appear in two events at the national championships. Last month, she became the first to qualify for three events (1500m, 5000m, 10,000m) at the regional level. Erdmann is also the only LMU student-athlete to earn All-American honors in three different sports: 2010 outdoor track (sixth in the 10,000m); 2010 cross country (25th); and 2011 indoor track (eighth in 3000m).
Erdmann will also be running on Friday at 6:10 p.m. (Pacific) in the 5,000m.