Sept. 19, 2009
Los Angeles, CA -
With the dust settled and the cool morning temperatures burned off, the LMU men's and women's cross country teams finished at the UC Riverside Invitational with a new sense of energy and confidence. The men emerged as dark horse top-five team finish against ranked opponents, while the women proved to be a dangerous force as a pack in their first full squad race.
In her collegiate debut, freshman Sheree Shea took off to a quick start breaking to the front of the pack in a crowded bottleneck start and never looked back. In a breakout race and personal record for the 5k, Shea placed third overall with an impressive time of 16:51 setting an LMU course record. Close behind Shea were sophomore studs Cassandra Salazar 17:25 and Brieanna Delaney 17:37 fighting through a string of tough competition to give the lions crucial 11th and 18th place finishes. Coming off a redshirt season, junior Cynthia Chiadez found her cross country legs finishing in a time of 17:55 leading the close pack of freshman Caroline Draper 18:03, senior Brooke Lademan 18:05, and sophomore Megan Fairley 18:06 to round out the Lions' top seven. Freshman Jillian Jaccard and Jessica Mumaugh also put in strong performances in a competitive field finishing in 18:46 and 19:03 respectively. The women took fifth overall in the Invitational race behind UC Riverside, BYU, Azusa Pacific and UCSB. In the final race of the day five more lady lions put forth good efforts in UC Riverside Open race led by sophomore Marrissa Diehl with a time of 19:07.
The men were led by senior Brian McDonald
who placed 10th overall and clocked 24:22 for 8k. While BYU dominated the front pack throughout the race, McDonald's determination paid off and put him right in the competitive mix with some of the top runners on the west coast and a top ten overall finish. Connor Pastoor
also showed true grit against the competition with his top thirty finish in 25:05 placing 29th overall. McDonald and Pastoor lead the lion's with a one-two punch while Freshman Sterling Lockert
proved he could rise to the occasion in his first collegiate race placing 45th overall in 25:24 over the 8k distance. Junior Scott Donahue
showed composure putting himself in the lion's top five in a crowded race finishing in 25:36 with sophomore Thomas Finnigan
close behind in 25:39 to round out the lions top five. Freshman Tyre Johnson
, Senior Daniel LaCava
and freshman Greg Innes
finished as a pack within ten seconds of each other. In a race of over 340 runners and a competitive venue of ranked teams such as UC Riverside and BYU, the men emerged as the dark horse team placing fourth overall.
Coach Scott Guerrero commented, "We had a great day today, everyone really got out there and competed. It is great to see them not only do well but also push each other and race as a team." Next week the lions will travel to northern California for the Stanford Invitational.
- GO LIONS -