Lions Welcome Strongest Recruiting Class in Program History

Aug. 4, 2008


By the time the 2008 cross country season kicks-off on August 17 at Mammoth, LMU and Head Coach Scott Guerrero will have already welcomed the strongest recruiting class in program history, consisting of nine women’s runners and six on the men’s side.

Brieanna Delaney (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon HS), Marissa Diehl (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park HS), Megan Fairley (Palos Verdes, Calif./Peninsula HS), Stephanie Felix (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada HS), Madeline Hess-Maple (Tacoma, Wash./Charles Wright Academy), Kylie Hunsaker (Dana Hills, Calif./Dana Hills HS), Kelly McEnerney (Galt, Calif./Christian Brothers HS), Elizabeth Murphy (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS), and Cassandra Salazar (Shafter, Calif./Shafter HS) will all join the women’s side of the cross country program in the fall.

On the men’s side, Oran Arms (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero HS), Phillip Benavides (Alhambra, Calif./Alhambra HS), Daman Coffman (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica HS), Thomas Finnigan (Glendora, Calif./Glendora HS), Lucas Rothenberger (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS), and Erich Yanoschik (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) have become the latest to wear the Lion jersey.

Fairley comes to LMU after a stellar prep career at Peninsula High School under the guidance of Bill Consolo.  A four-year varsity letter-winner in cross country, Fairley garnered All-City recognition in all four years and All-Area as a sophomore, junior and senior.  Running in the highly competitive Bay League, she earned three All-League selections, three All-CIF bids and was twice named All-State, coming after her sophomore and senior campaigns.  Fairley finished eighth overall at the cross country State Championship as a sophomore, was the Bay League Champion and placed sixth at the track and field State Championship in 2006 in the 1600 meters, and has turned-in times of 17:40 at the Mt. SAC course, 11:07 in the 3200 meters, and 4:55 in the 1600 meters.

Felix, a highly-touted runner out of La Mirada, Calif., earned three varsity letters as a cross country runner under the tutelage of Ralph Casas.  Named All-Area after her sophomore, junior and senior campaigns, Felix claimed All-Suburban League honors and All-CIF recognition as a sophomore and junior.  Following an outstanding year as a junior, she was named to the All-State team.  Also shining on the track, Felix was a four-year varsity letter-winner at La Mirada High School.  Once again garnering All-Area as a sophomore, junior and senior, she was named All-CIF in each of her final three years.  Twice (sophomore and junior years) an All-League and All-State selection, she set personal records of 10:37 in the 3200 meters and 5:01 in the 1600 meters.  In addition, Felix enters LMU as the fastest female newcomer on the Mt. SAC course, crossing the line in an impressive 17:19.

Hunsaker earned three varsity letters and served as team captain on her track team in high school.  An All-CIF selection as a freshman, she has turned-in times of 5:13 in the 1600 meters, 11:20 in the 3200 meters and 18:24 on the Mt. SAC course in cross country.  Delaney and Diehl have also run the Mt. SAC course in 18:24, running the total to five female LMU newcomers who have completed the course in under 18:30.  Diehl (5:16), Delaney (5:23) and McEnerney (5:25) also hover right around the 5:20 mark at the 1600 meter distance, while Salazar boasts a 5:15 1600 meter time and an 11:23 in the 3200 meters.  Hess-Maple and Murphy, both hailing from out of state, are also expected to have an immediate impact on the program after successful high school careers.

On the men’s side, Benavides leads a talented pack of freshmen into the fall season.  A four-year varsity letter-winner in cross country, he garnered All-League, All-City and All-Area recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior.  Following an outstanding senior year to cap an impressive high-school career, Benavides was named All-CIF.  The native of Alhambra, Calif. was named Team MVP in all four years of competition and San Gabriel Valley Runner of the Year once.  On the track, Benavides was a three-time League MVP and was named to the San Gabriel Valley All-Area Team.  Named All-City and All-Area as a junior and senior, he has turned-in times of 4:20 in the 1600 meters, 9:22 in the 3200 meters and 15:03 on the Mt. SAC course in cross country.

Yanoschik prepped under the guidance of Jeremy Mattern where he was a four-year varsity letter-winner in both cross country and track.  Garnering All-League in each of his four years running cross country, he was a state finalist in 2006 and helped guide his team to a third-place finish at the CIF Finals in 2006 and 2007.  On the track, Yanoschik was even more dominant.  Named All-League and All-Area after his junior and senior years, he garnered All-CIF recognition as a senior.  The League Champion in the 1600 meters and 3200 meters in 2007 and 2008, he was also crowned the Southern Section DIII 1600 meters Champion as a senior.  Yanoschik has posted personal bests of 4:18 in the 1600 meters and 9:31 in the 3200 meters.

Finnigan, Arms, Rothenberger and Coffman round out the impressive new class of men in the LMU program.  Finnigan has run 4:17 over 1600 meters, 9:24 at the 3200 meter distance, and has completed the Mt. SAC course in 15:16.  Arms’ time of 4:21 in the 1600 meter run provides another male runner with impressive marks at that distance.  Rothenberger, running in the state of Oregon, has recorded times of 4:07 in the 1500 meters and 9:07 in the 3000 meters.  The LMU coaching staff is anxious to see how his times convert to the slightly longer distances, while they also expect good things from Coffman, who owns a personal best time of 4:29 in the 1600 meters.

“This is easily the deepest and most talented class ever,” Guerrero said.  “We’ll definitely be on the young side this year, but that is tempered by the fact that we have great leadership returning on both the men’s and women’s sides.  There will be quite a few new faces in the mix and it might take us a little while to sort it all out, but as always our goal is to improve every year and this year won’t be any different.  We want to challenge for a conference title and that would be a first for LMU.”

LMU will kick-off the season on August 17 at Mammoth before taking on Pepperdine in a dual meet on August 30 at 9:00 a.m. in Malibu, Calif.




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