Cross Country Completes Season at NCAA Regionals

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Fresno, Calif. - Loyola Marymount men's cross country posted an all-time program best finish at Saturday's NCAA Regionals in Fresno, Calif. The women also had a strong regional outing, finishing 23rd as a squad.

The men were led by freshman Lino Almeida, who finished in a time of 34:01 Saturday, after also pacing the Lions at the WCC Championships. Other top Lion finishers included Kenny Arehart (34:05), Adam Bacon (34:21), Drew Haberkorn (34:23), Andrew Thompson (34:31), and Jonathan Macneil (36:26). With a team time of 171:21, they earned the Lions a 20th place finish, the top LMU finish at the NCAA Regional in program history.

"Far and away, this is our best performance ever at a regional," LMU Head Coach Scott Guerrero said. "There are 29 men's teams in the region and we finished 20th."

The women's team finished 23rd and was led by junior Lara Del Rio, who finished the 6k in a time of 23:19. Del Rio was backed by freshmen Brittany Rezowalli (23:25) and Laura Mickelson (23:30), senior Trinity Amalfitano (23:37), and freshman Claudia Bishop (23:40). Just as in the October 30 West Coast Conference Championship, the Lions placed three freshmen in their top five. With a squad time of 1:57.31, LMU topped WCC opponent Santa Clara, who finished 25th.

"Our top five women's times are the five fastest times ever run by LMU women at the 6k distance," Guerrero said. "So Lara Del Rio currently has the school record for the 6k distance and the fastest time ever recorded by a female at a regional cross country competition."

The LMU women returned to the regional for the sixth time in seven seasons, while the men's squad made its first NCAA appearance since 2000. The squads became the first LMU sports to enter the NCAA postseason in the 2004-05 campaign.

"There are 36 women's programs and 29 men's programs in the West region," Guerrero said. Our goal this weekend was to compete hard and see how we stacked up against the rest of the Division I teams in the region. The west region is the deepest in the country and the vast majority are track schools. We are forever going to be at a competitive disadvantage as a `non-track' school. Our focus for the past several years has been our conference meet and that will continue to be our focus. However, the next logical step for us would be competing well at the regional level, and going to this meet represents a step in that direction."





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