Highlights from NCAA Pre-Nationals

Oct. 19, 2010


Follow the Lions on their trip to Terre Haute, Indiana on the LMU Lion's All Access channel.

Earlier this morning the LMU Cross Country team competed in the NCAA Pre-Nationals for the first time in school history. Junior Tara Erdmann led the Lions and put another stellar performance in the books, placing fourth individually against some of the toughest competition in the nation. Both the men and women's teams competed well as one of three WCC schools represented at the Invitational.

Junior Tara Erdmann led the Lions with a stellar performance placing fourth overall in 20:27 for the 6k distance. Erdmann finished behind Risper Kimaiyo of Utep, Alex Banfich of Princeton and Deborah Maier of Cal to finish in the top five in a competitively loaded field. Erdmann who has qualified for the NCAA National Championship in both track and cross country and now with this performance at Pre-Nationals will definitely be marked as one of the top runners in the nation to watch the rest of this season.

Erdmann was followed by sophomore Sheree Shea who finished in 20:54 placing 35th overall out of over 260 runners. Last year at NCAA West Regionals, Shea placed 25th overall as an individual just missing qualifying for the NCAA National Championship as an individual. This performance at Pre-Nationals puts Shea in the top of the West Region and the second fastest time by a West Coast Conference Runner only to teammate Erdmann. With her performance today she also recorded a personal record for the 6k.

The women placed 25th overall as a team out of 38 teams. Junior Brieanna Delaney came in third for the Lions placing 167th overall in 22:17 a season best time for the 6k. Freshman Alyssa Bellia and Michelle Hickerson rounded out the top scoring five for the women running 22:37 and 22:44 respectively. Senior Cynthia Chaidez and freshman Brittnie Munoz rounded out the top seven for the Lions in 23:22 and 25:32.

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The men were led by freshman Weston Strum who placed 113th overall in 25:10 for the 8k course. As a Freshman, Strum has led the Lions for the last two races and been in their top five all season. His performance of 25:10 at Pre-Nationals this weekend was only six seconds off an 8k personal record on a tough course. Sophomore Sterling Lockert came in next for the Lions in 25:53 placing 179th overall. Freshman Drew Dalton came in third overall for the Lions in 25:56 placing 182nd overall with sophomore Phillip Benavides close behind in 26:14. Tyre Johnson was just a step behind Benavides in 26:15 putting the Lion's top five in the top 200 runners of the race. Finally rounding out the Lion's top seven for the men was Connor Pastoor in 26:54 and Kevin Joerger in 28:26.

The men placed 32nd overall out of 36 teams and were up against some of the top runners and distance programs in the nation. For the men's race Oklahoma, BYU, Colorado and Portland came in the top four for the teams in the white heat while Stanford, Iona, Florida State and Northern Arizona were the top four in the Blue heat.

Head Coach Scott Guerrero said, ""Tara and Sheree both had incredible races with Tara taking 4th overall and Sheree running a PR for the 6k distance. Team-wise it was a pretty humbling experience. It's been a lot of years since we finished that far back in a race. Still, the meet was incredibly competitive with just a ton of ranked teams. There is no other meet with that kind of depth of quality other than the national championship. It was our first-ever appearance at the Pre-National meet so really the goal was to gain some experience at that high level and we definitely did that. We also had three freshmen in our top-7 on both sides and I think that showed a little bit. I know they will only get better so all in all I wasn't unhappy with the result. Sure we'd like to have finished higher but it really was a good experience for us. As always though we are focused on our upcoming conference meet and the championship season and we'll be ready once that rolls around."

The Lions will have a weekend off from racing before their Conference Championship in Belmont, California Saturday October 31st.




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