It's a Steady Climb
Both men and women take 13th overall at NCAA D.1 West Regional Championship
Nov. 14, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU Cross Country team wrapped up their 2009 season this morning at the West Regional Championships on the Springfield country club course. All season the Lions have made huge strides of improvement and ended their season in such fashion--always improving from one year to the next. Both the men and women placed 13th overall, their highest regional finish in school history as a team, highlighted by freshman Sheree Shea's 23rd place finish for the women.
The LMU men were led by freshman Sterling Lockert, who rounded out his first collegiate season in fine form. Even with losing a shoe in the muck of the course, Lockert turned in a top finish for the Lions placing 60th overall in 32:13 for the 10k course. Senior Brian McDonald finished out his collegiate career placing 64th overall in 32:19 battling through the mud and a crowded pack of runners to record yet another strong and ever consistent performance for the Lion's. Senior Daniel LaCava and freshman Tyre Johnson continued to come on strong at the end of the season and placed in the top 100 overall with 82nd and 85th place finishes respectively. Rounding out the Lion's top scoring five, Junior Connor Pastoor placed 104th overall in 33:19. Thomas Finnigan and Scott Donahue found each other during the crowed race, placing 125th and 126th overall. The men placed 13th overall as a team, improving from their previous 17th place finish last year, this is the first time the men have broke into the top 15 and their highest finish ever.
The women were highlighted by freshman Sheree Shea's top 25 finish. After a strong start, Shea fought through the muddy course to hang with some of the top runners in the nation and turned in an impressive 23rd overall place in 21:33 as a freshman. Following Shea, with a strong second half of the race, junior Cynthia Chaidez placed 65th overall in 22:27 while sophomore Cassandra Salazar once again placed in the Lion's top three as she has done consistently all season placing 68th overall in a time of 22:30. Senior Brooke Lademan finished out her collegiate career with a strong performance coming in 86th overall in 22:49. Rounding out the top five for the women, sophomore Brieanna Delaney finished the 6k course in 23:04 placing 108th overall. Freshman Caroline Draper also competed well for the lions finishing in 23:17 while sophomore Megan Fairley rounded out the Lion's top seven in 24:11. The Lady Lions also improved on their 16th place overall finish from last year, finishing 13th overall out of 25 teams. This was their highest finish in school history as their best was 14th in 2005 and 2006.
Eugene, Oregon provides the perfect backdrop for a collegiate cross country meet with not only the ultimate running history and Nike stores on almost ever corner, Oregon in the Fall is colorful, crisp and cool. In the men's race, Stanford dominated the race finishing their top five in the top fifteen with an utterly impressive 1-2-3 finish. The Portland men pulled off an upset to take second over Oregon, Washington and Cal Poly respectively. On the women's side University of Washington huskies showed that they would be contending for the national title in less than two weeks with a total score of only 25 points and their top five in the top ten.
Today LMU faced some of the top competition in the nation and once again held their own. This season the Lion's made huge improvements continuing to make that steady climb to the top and showed that they have and will continue to find success.
Coach Scott Guerrero commented, "Our goal is and always has been to improve year over year. I don't think we were completely happy with the way we ran today but it was a tough day and a tough field. Both teams finished higher than they ever have in the region and we can't be too unhappy with that. Sheree has been very consistent for us all year and proved today that she is one of the top freshmen in the West. Just missing out on the NCAA qualifier is tough but no question she has had a stellar freshman year."
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