LMU Opens Season at Malibu Oceanside Open

Aug. 29, 2008

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU's 2008 cross country season begins Saturday, Aug. 30 when the Lions visit West Coast Conference rival Pepperdine at the Malibu Oceanside Open.

The three-mile trek, which wraps around Alumni Park, the Theme Tower and Stick Tree Hill, starts with the women's race at 8 a.m. The men's run is slated to begin at 8:45 a.m. and the open portion at 9:30 a.m.

The Lions, considered one of the top programs in the WCC, finished in second place on the men's side last year for only the second time in LMU history (1981) and graduated-senior Laura Mickelson claimed a second-place finish on the women's side to lead LMU to a third-place overall finish at the WCC Championship. Now, with Mickelson gone and a new set of leaders eager to pace the pack, the Lions will look to improve on the successful season last year.

The women return a strong core of runners in 2008, led by reigning WCC Freshman of the Year and first team All-WCC selection Tara Erdmann. Erdmann placed fifth overall in a 6k time of 21:26 to finish second for the Lions at the WCC Championship, and first among her freshmen counterparts. The Freshman of the Year selection was the first of its kind under Guerrero's tutelage, and the first in LMU cross country history. Erdmann will be joined by senior Abby Fall, who took 15th place overall, and junior Annie Holden, who rounded out the scoring five for the Lions to give LMU the third-place finish last season. Also coming online this season will be redshirt junior Brooke Lademan who transferred to LMU last year from the University of Washington. Lademan sat out the fall 2007 season in order to preserve two full years of remaining eligibility. Lademan was a top-5 finisher for the Huskies and was an All-West Region honoree in 2005.

The men's team will welcome back seniors Trevor Wiseman, Lino Almeida and Sean Sisk, three of the five scoring runners from last year's WCC Championship. Wiseman, an All-WCC selection, set an LMU WCC Championship record with an 8k time of 25:30 to capture fifth place overall and lead the Lions to the second-place finish. Almeida, who was also named All-WCC, finished second for the Lions in 25:36, good for eighth overall in the race. Junior Brian McDonald (11th place in 25:42) and sophomore Scott Donahue (21st overall) both return after running for LMU at the 2007 Championship. Donahue ran a 26:24 last year to break the freshman record set by Almeida in 2004.

Last year, the men's and women's cross country opened the season by defeating Pepperdine in dual competition in Malibu, Calif. The Lion men won 18-43, while the women topped the Waves 26-30. Mickelson and Wiseman took the individual titles for the three-mile course.

Prior to last year's dual, the last time the teams ran a Pepperdine-LMU meet was in 1997. Just like last season, the Lions took both individual titles that year. Current LMU Assistant Coach Rick Weis won the overall title to lead the men to a 20-38 win in 1997. Malinalli Martinez won the women's title, helping the Lions to the 26-29 victory over the Waves that season. LMU will now look to extend the winning streak to three consecutive meetings.

Following Saturday's season-opener, LMU will return to action on September 6 at the UC Irvine Invitational at 9 a.m. in Irvine, Calif.




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