Lions Look to Continue Winning Ways in Irvine

The Lions won both races in Fullerton last Saturday.

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LOS ANGELES -- LMU Cross Country looks to carry momentum from a successful day in Fullerton, Calif. last week at the Mark Covert Classic to Irvine, Calif. for this Saturday's UC Irvine Invitational. The Lions' men and women both won their opening races as senior Sheree Shea took home the individual title for the women. This week, LMU will send the majority of runners from each team who are looking to secure spots to travel to the conference, regional, and national meets later in the season.

Meet: adidas/UC Irvine Invitational

Date: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012

Times: 8:30 a.m. (Women's 5k), 9:15 a.m. (Men's 8k)

Host: UC Irvine


The scoring five for the LMU men all placed in the top 11 overall giving the Lions a low score of 24 (2-3-6-8-11), beating second-place Long Beach State by 42 points last Saturday at the Mark Covert Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton. LMU's men were lead by junior Weston Strum who finished the 8k race fourth overall, finishing with a time of 25:17.8. Fellow junior Drew Dalton finished close behind in 25:27.8 for fifth overall. Senior Sterling Lockert completed in a time of 25:45.1 for an eighth-place finish. Tyre Johnson was next in order, running a 25:49.5. Sophomore Michael Vorgitch closed out the LMU scoring five with a time of 26:01.3, for 11th. Sophomore transfer Daniel Gibson had a time of 26:17.4 in his first race as a Lion, for 15th overall in the race. Freshman Michael Duncan made his LMU debut finishing in 26:34.1, which was 25th overall. The Lions beat a field of 14 colleges and universities which included fellow WCC member San Diego who finished 13th.



On the women's side, Shea ran a time of 17:54.3, winning the race by a little under two seconds. Senior Cassandra Salazar and senior transfer Callie Mulgannon crossed the finish line within seconds of each other for sixth and seventh place. Salazar ran a time of 18:24.1, while Mulgannon completed at 18:26.7. Freshman Kelli Sugimoto finished her first collegiate race in 10th-place in 18:40.6. Senior Caroline Draper crossed at 18:44.5 for 13th.

Sarah Vitug, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara, finished in 19:16.9 for 18th overall. Freshman Evelyn Gonzalez ran the 5k course in 19:20.6 for 19th. LMU defeated second-place Long Beach State by 15 points. The 13-team field for the women also included San Diego, won finished fourth overall.


The Lions return to the UC Irvine Invite for the first time since 2008. The last time in Irvine LMU's men's finished fourth, just behind the eventual race-winner UCLA, host UC Irvine, and the previous year's champion, Cal Poly. Only 28 seconds separated the men's top five finishers, three of whom were freshmen. In his first season of collegiate running, Connor Pastoor led the Lion's in the men's race. Pastoor finished 11th overall with senior Trevor Wiseman close behind finishing 16th. Freshmen Thomas Finnigan, Phillip Benavides and junior Brian McDonald rounded out the top five.

On the women's side, the Lions finished 3rd just behind host UCI and UCLA. Former Lion Tara Erdmann led the Lions and the majority of the race, placing second overall. Not far behind were freshmen Brieanna Delaney and Stephanie Felix, placing 17th and 25th respectively. Three of the top five finishers were freshmen including the-newcomer, Cassandra Salazar, who is in her redshirt-senior season. Abby Fall continued to show her leadership rounding out the top-five for the Lions.


Saturday's meet will take place on the Anteater Recreation Center fields on the campus of UC Irvine. The meet includes a mix of colleges and university from the West Coast and the University of Arkansas.



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