Erdmann Becomes LMU's First NCAA Cross Country All-American
Erdmann races to the top placing in the top 25 at NCAA Cross Country National Championships
Nov. 22, 2010
Earlier this morning in the crisp fall weather of Terre Haute, Indiana, LMU's Tara Erdmann earned her second All-American honor becoming LMU's first NCAA Cross Country All-American. Erdmann placed 25th overall at the NCAA D.1 Cross Country National Championships in 20:39.9 for the 6k course. This stellar finish was 3rd from the west region and gives Erdmann her second All-American honor and four national championship appearances in her career at LMU.
After becoming an All-American in Track this past spring in the 10k, Erdmann went on to have a stellar Cross Country season. Out of the gates, Erdmann won her first race at the UC Riverside Invitational in 16:45 for the 5k course. Erdmann then went on to place 4th at the Stanford Invitational in 20:44 for the 6k in a competitive field. Here she faced some of the top regional competition from Stanford, Cal and UCLA; Kathy Kroeger of Stanford won the Stanford Invitational, however Erdmann came back to edge her out at NCAA West Regional Championship later in the season. From Stanford, Erdmann stayed with the number four, placing fourth at NCAA Pre-Nationals in 20:27 in Indiana. Here Erdmann was the second west coast finisher in her race only finishing behind Deborah Maier of Cal and recorded another top five finish in one of the biggest races in the nation. Coming back to the west coast Erdmann set her sights on the WCC Championship. Erdmann, who had won the individual title as a sophomore, came out that Saturday morning with guns blazing setting a grueling pace over the hilly 6k course. With another individual WCC Championship title, she not only became one of only two females in WCC history to win two individual titles, but Erdmann also set the course record by over 10 seconds in 20:20. After conference, it was off to Eugene, Oregon for NCAA West Regionals where Erdmann finished fourth overall in 20:11 behind Hassay, Maier, and Kosinski. With this finish, Erdmann qualified for her fourth NCAA National Championship appearance.
In a competitively loaded field of national caliber runners, Erdmann has time and time again put LMU and the West Coast Conference on the map. Today was no different, with a top 25 finish in a competitive field against national powerhouses, Erdmann turned in a top time and overall performance. With Erdmann's finish today at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships, Erdmann becomes LMU's first NCAA All-American in Cross Country and solidifies her as LMU's most lauded runner in school history. Previously LMU's only other individual Cross Country All-American honor was held by Terese Kozlowski in 1980 under the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) athletics organization.
Erdmann said, "Time wise, today it was really hard to compare to pre-nationals even though it is the same course because it was really windy out today which made the course a lot tougher. The first 400 meters of the start and the last 400m of the finish were straight into this gusting head wind, so it added a different element to the race. Otherwise I really tried to just stay relaxed and picked it up after the first mile to stay in the top of the race. I finished with a pack of about four other women and we were all only like a couple seconds apart, so it was a competitive day, but it felt good overall."
Head Coach Scott Guerrero said, "Tara really ran a fantastic race today. She’s really had a nice progression over the course of the whole season and has really peaked well and at the right time too. 25th place and All-American definitely puts a nice cap on a great season.”
Sheila Reid of Villanova won the 6k race for the women in 20:06 followed by Emily Infield of Georgetown and Jordan Hasay of Oregon. Jordan Hasay, Alex Kosinski and Tara Erdmann represented the top three finishers from the West Region. Erdmann finished in front of Maier of Cal for the first time all season and finished in front of all the Stanford and Arizona runners who earned at large team bids. For the team finishes, both the men and women repeated results as Villanova took their second straight team title for the women in 120 points while Oklahoma State took the men's title. From the west region the Arizona women edged out both Oregon and Stanford to finish 11th with 372 points, over Oregon's 378 points at 12th place and Stanford's 402 points in 13th place. On the men's side the West Region had three top ten team finishes with Stanford finishing 4th with 237 points, Oregon in 6th place with 289 points and Northern Arizona in 9th place with 317 points.
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