Cross Country places 4th, 7th at Aztec Invitational.
Lions hold their own in a very competitive field.
Sept. 14, 2008
San Diego, CA -
With the best of the NCAA and NAIA competing this Saturday at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational, LMU didn’t take the competition lying down and placed 4th overall for the women and 7th for the men.
The women came right behind the #3 nationally ranked NAIA team and champion of this race, Azusa Pacific, Northern Arizona who placed 7th last year at NCAA’s, and UCSB who placed 19th last year.
Once again Tara Erdmann proved to be a powerhouse for the Lions. With such a loaded field, Erdmann came from behind to take second overall just behind the 2007 NAIA runner-up Jacky Kipwambok. She fended off 2007 NAIA national cross country champion Jamie Canterbury of Azusa as well as last year's Aztec champion Sarah Cocco from USC. Tara's time of 17:40 is now #2 on the all-time list for LMU on the Balboa Park course.
Their fourth place win was truly impressive since only three runners on this team have ever competed at Balboa Park, (Erdmann, Abby Fall and Annie Holden). They all also recorded personal bests. Once again the newcomers came through with three of the top five being freshmen.
“Our freshmen are continuing to gain experience and are figuring it out. They will only get better as the season progresses.” Coach Scott Guerrero said “I am happy to report that we smashed our previous team time best for this course. The 2006 squad held the record, running 94:11 for a team average of 18:50. This year the women ran 92:52 and averaged 18:34.”
On the men's side the field was again probably the most competitive that it has ever been, placing 7th overall in the 14-team field. LMU was beat by some quality teams including BYU (22nd at nationals last year), Minnesota (8th at nationals last year), Chico State (6th in the nation last year in D2, currently ranked #3 nationally), Air Force (winner of this meet last year) and Big West powerhouse UCSB.
The men’s side ran far and away the best race they have ever run here. The top-3 guys were under the old LMU course record of 26:28 set last year by Trevor Wiseman. This year’s team time was 131:28 for a 5-man average of 26:17. This shattered the previous record of (134:55/26:59) set in 2007.
The Lions were again led by redshirt freshman Connor Pastoor, who now owns the new LMU course record at 25:52. True freshmen Thomas Finnigan and Phillip Benavides also placed in the top five for the lions.
LMU Cross Country team will next be in action September 27 at the Stanford Invitational and UC Riverside Invitational.
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