Oct. 27, 2012
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- LMU Men's and Women's Cross Country each finished in fifth place at an exciting West Coast Conference Championships this Saturday. The team competitions were close and individual races were won by seconds. Senior Sheree Shea finished third overall in the race and led the women's team. LMU's men were led by junior Weston Strum who placed seventh overall.
Shea ran the 6k course at Fernhill Park in 20:37, only two seconds by overall winner Eva Krchova of San Francisco. The tight race saw the top six runners separated by a mere six seconds. Shea ran the course earlier in the season at a preview meet and this Saturday she improved on her run earlier in the season by 43 seconds. The time of 20:37 is Shea's fastest time at the WCC Championships, and this year's third place result is her third top-three finish at the race.
Callie Mulgannon was the second finisher for the Lions. She crossed the finish line at 21:11 setting a personal record in the 6k, 16th overall in the race. Senior Caroline Draper recorded a time of 21:30, a season-best in the 6k and a personal best at the WCC Championships, resulting in a 28th place finish. Freshman Kelli Sugimoto ran the course in 21:43, a personal-record, in her first WCC Championship, placing 33rd. Redshirt-senior Cassandra Salazar was the next to finish the race, placing 34th with a time of 21:48.
Junior Brittnie Munoz ran a 22:07, her best this season in the 6k, for 36th overall. Sarah Vitug finished in 22:12, 38th in the race.
The Lions finished in fifth place with 110 points. The University of San Francisco (26 points) won their fourth consecutive conference title beating second-place Portland by 26 points. BYU finished third with 85, Gonzaga finished just ahead of LMU with the Bulldogs recording 105 points.
Weston Strum led the Lions with a time of 23:58 for seventh overall in the race. Strum was 16 seconds behind overall winner Jared Ward of BYU. Strum set a personal-best time in the 8k, beating his previous best by 38 seconds. This year's finish was the junior's best at the WCC Championships, by time and place.
Senior Sterling Lockert was 25th overall in the race, recording a time of 24:46, his best at the WCC Championships. Sophomore Daniel Gibson finished 31st at the Championships, crossing at 24:56, a PR in his first conference title meet. Michael Vorgitch was next for the Lions, finishing at 25:12, a PR for the sophomore who improved his time at last year's Championships by nearly two minutes. Junior Drew Dalton came in at 25:16, nearly a minute better than his prior best at the Championships, for 35th place.
Junior Kevin Joerger had a time of 25:36 for 42nd overall, improving his time at the 2011 Championships by 19 seconds. Freshman Michael Duncan recorded a 26:32 for 56th in his first conference meet.
The Lions finished with 124 points, which placed the team fifth, 19 points behind fourth-place San Francisco. The conference title returned to Portland who won the tightest race in WCC history. The Pilots recaptured their title from BYU by one point, 33 to 34. Gonzaga came in third with 103 points.
The next race for the Lions is the NCAA West Regionals, which will be held in Seattle, Wash. Friday, Nov. 9 at noon.
- GO LIONS -