Erdmann Earns Sixth All-American Honor
Red-shirt senior runs a personal-best time to finish top 10 in the nation, only seconds away from a national championship.
Nov. 21, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Tara Erdmann finished her LMU cross-country career by running a personal best time of 19:51.3 to earn her sixth All-American honor at the NCAA Women's Cross Country National Championship. The red-shirt senior finished 10th overall in a field of 254 of the nation's best runners, only 10 seconds behind overall winner Sheila Reid of Villanova. During Erdmann's cross-country career she had already broken LMU records, course records, conference records, and earned multiple national honors, but Tara saved her best for her last race.
Erdmann was in a tight group of runners approaching the finish line at the Laverne Gibson Championship Cross Country course. Her 3k pace was 9:53, the same as Reid's. The top 11 runners in the highly competitive race finished within 12 seconds of Reid as the group ran nearly the entire race as a pack. Erdmann established a new LMU record time in the 6k and her top 10 finish is the best for a Lion at the NCAA National Championships.
Tara finished with the second best time for a runner from the West. The Tucson, Ariz. native crossed the finish line two seconds in front of Deborah Maier of the University of California, who finished ahead of Tara at the NCAA West Regional. Fellow WCC runner, Morgan Haws of BYU finished eight seconds behind Erdmann for a 14th place overall finish.
In the women's team competition at the National Championships, Georgetown University beat the University of Washington for its first cross-country national championship. In the men's competition, Wisconsin beat the back-to-back defending champions from Oklahoma State for their fifth cross-country national championship. Freshman Lawi Lalang of the University of Arizona won the individual title for the men.
Erdmann ends this year with wins at the UC Riverside Invitational and the WCC Championship, setting course records at each race. She finished third at the Stanford Invitational, NCAA Pre-National Invitational and the NCAA West Regional. A testament to her ability to rise to the occasion, Erdmann improved her personal-best time in each of her final three races, concluding with her best time at the National Championship.
Tara ends her collegiate cross-country career with two cross-country All-American honors (in addition to her four track All-American honors), a record three West Coast Conference individual titles, the WCC championship course record, All-WCC Academic honors, and multiple LMU and course record times. Erdmann's career ends with little doubt of her status as LMU's most accomplished runner of all-time, and potentially the greatest female athlete in LMU history. Her achievements, both in the field and in the classroom, are already legendary and she ends her cross-country career as one of the greatest student-athletes LMU has ever seen.
Check back later for video of the race and additional coverage of Tara's record setting run at the NCAA National Championships. Congratulations Tara!
Check out additional video of the Lions at the West Coast Conference Championships where Tara broke the course record on her way to winning a record third individual championship.