Lions Run Conference Championships Preview This Saturday
The University of Portland is hosting a preview meet at the site of this year's conference championships.
Sept. 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- For the first time since 1984, the West Coast Conference Cross Country Championships will not be held at Crystal Springs Park in Belmont, Calif. The WCC’s cross country coaches agreed to move the championships to different venues starting this year. The University of Portland will host this year’s Championships in October, and to prepare WCC teams for the course, this Saturday it will host a preview meet. The invitational will include Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara, host Portland and will include Chico State and the Washington State women’s team. The Lions will send its top nine runners from each team to Portland, Ore.
Meet: WCC Preview Meet
FILLING OUT THE TOP NINE
LMU Cross Country sent a partial squad of runners seeking positions in the top-nine for each team to the UC Irvine Invitational. The Lions' women were led by freshman Melanie Joerger, sophomore Daniel Gibson was the first finisher for LMU's men.
Joerger finished the 5k race in 18:25.0, a new personal-record for her, resulting in 23rd place overall. Sarah Vitug finished 25th overall, crossing the finish line in 18:28.6 in her second race with the Lions. Freshman Evelyn Gonzalez was the next person to cross the finish line for 26th overall, finishing with a time of 18:36.0, a personal-best in the 5k. Junior Brittnie Munoz came in three seconds later at 18:39.0, a season-best time for Munoz, resulting in a 29th place finish. Senior Jessica Mumaugh recorded a time of 19:07.8, improving on her time from last week's Mark Covert Classic, for 48th place.
Junior Michelle Hickerson finished 68th overall with a time of 19:29.3, her best in the young season. Freshman Samantha Garcia rounded out the top-seven for the Lions on the day with a time of 19:55.1 for 92nd.
LMU's women came in 4th of 14 teams in the competition. The University of Arkansas won the race, with eight runners finishing in the top 10 spots.
For the LMU men, Gibson set a new personal record of 26:02.2 for 24th in the 8k race. Mike Evans came in at 26:38.4, a season-best for the junior, which placed him 43rd. Freshmen Lance Capel and Ryan Vargas both competed in their first races for the Lions, with Capel recording a time of 26:47.0 for 47th, and Vargas finishing at 26:52.2 for 52nd. Senior Michael Carlone had a season-best time of 26:57.2 for 57th.
The Lions were 6th overall out of 19 teams. Cal State San Marcos won the overall race.
ONE SEASON OPENER, THREE TROPHIES
The Lions started the 2012 season on a winning note with twin victories at the Mark Covert Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton. Senior Sheree Shea returned after a missing most of last year as a redshirt with an individual win in the women's 5k race, leading the LMU women to a second consecutive title at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. 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.
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 finished in 19:16.9 for 18th overall in her first race with the Lions. 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 West Coast Conference was well represented in the latest regional polls with more than half of its teams ranked: LMU, San Francisco, Portland, and Gonzaga in the West Regional poll and BYU in the Mountain Regional poll.
- GO LIONS -