Aug. 2, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
This year the LMU women's cross country team will add six new faces to their roster adding to a strong returning team of women. The Lions will welcome six new freshmen women from across the country including Alyssa Bellia, Laura Delgado, Michelle Hickerson, Brittnie Munoz, Natalie Nield and Kelly Shogren. With a combination of these fresh faces and a talented and experienced group of veterans, the Lady Lions have the potential to win their first West Coast Conference title in October.
Laura Delgado from San Pedro High School will be seeing her first collegiate competition this fall as a Lion. Delgado was the 2009 LA City Section and Marine League Champion in Cross Country. In addition to these individual Cross Country titles, Delgado led a deep team to their 7th LA City Cross Country team title in the last eleven years. On the track, Delgado also earned individual titles as the 1600m and 3200m Marine League Champion as well as the 1600m LA City Section CIF Champion and the 3200m Runner-Up. With these accolades, Delgado qualified in both the 1600m and 3200m California State Track Championships in 2010. With her success and leadership at the high school level, Delgado has potential to add depth to the Lion's squad this fall.
Also from Southern California, Brittnie Munoz of Rosemead high school will be joining the Lions. This past fall, Munoz was the Mission Valley League Champion, beating out all the other competition by over a minute to win the title. Munoz had a very successful running career for Rosemead High School, winning the Rosemead Invitational three out of four years and also becoming the first female in Rosemead high school history to qualify for the Cross Country State Championships in 2008 and then again in 2009. In track she was the Mission Valley League Champion in both the 1600m and 3200m. Her junior year, Munoz was coached by LMU Cross Country alumni Bernie Ochoa (2005).
Out of Pennsylvania, Alyssa Bellia
, of Archbishop Carroll High School was an individual qualifier for the Pennsylvania State Championships in Cross Country. In track Bellia was the Catholic league 1600m and 3200m League Champion and placed 12th in the PIAA track Championships this spring earning 1st team All-Main track honors. Off the course, Bellia is a dedicated student and was honored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as a Distinguished Scholar.
Also coming to LMU from out of state, Kelly Shogren of Geneva High School in Illinois will be sporting an LMU jersey this fall. Shogren was part of back-to-back Illinois State Championship teams helping her team to titles in 2007 and 2008; in 2009 Geneva HS finished 5th as a team while Shogren placed 26th overall individually. In track Shogren was a 1600m qualifier for the Illinois State Championships.
Adding to a diverse list of hometowns, the Lions will also welcome Michelle Hickerson from Boise High School, Idaho. Hickerson placed 18th overall at the 2009 Nike Cross Country National Championships in 2009 and placed in the top five both her junior and senior year at the Idaho State Championships. On the track she again turned in notable performances. Hickerson placed 6th in 2009 and 7th in 2010 for the 1600m, and 4th in 2009 and 3rd in 2010 for the 3200m at the Idaho State 5A Track Championships.
Wrapping up a successful class of freshmen Natalie Nield of Cathedral Catholic will add to the Lion's freshman class. Nield was a three time California State Cross Country Qualifier and additionally received the Spirit of the Dons award as an honor roll student at Cathedral Catholic.
Head Coach Scott Guerrero said, "This is the first year that half of our freshmen women are from out of state, 73% of LMU students come from California so it's nice that talented kids from other states outside of the west region are beginning to take note of LMU. Each and every one of these young women have achieved a lot at a very high level, both athletically as well as in the academic arena. They are all quality individuals of good character, which is something we most definitely recruit for. As a group I think they have enormous potential and will help us bring home that first-ever WCC crown."
In addition to these freshmen, the Lions will return a strong class of veterans including All-American Tara Erdmann and WCC Freshman of the Year Sheree Shea. Erdmann who redshirted last year, will see action for LMU this cross country season. Even in her absence last season, the Lady Lions had one of the most successful seasons in school history, placing 2nd at WCC Championships beating out Portland for the first time in school history. With Erdmann back in crimson and navy for the cross country season and vetrans Sheree Shea, Cassandra Salazar, Cynthia Chaidez, Caroline Draper, Brieanna Delaney and Megan Fairley geared up for another season, the Lions will have a shot to win their first ever WCC title.