Cross Country Heads For Capital Cross Challenge

Sept. 29, 2016

LOS ANGELES - The LMU men's and women's cross country teams will return to racing this Saturday at the NCAA West Region Preview, hosted by Sacramento State this Saturday at Haggis Oaks Golf Complex. Racing kicks off at 9:35 a.m. with the women's 5K and the men's 8K follows at 10:15 a.m.

Last Time Out
Returning to the WCC Preview Meet for the first time since 2014, the men's team recorded a second-place finish while the women took third in the team standings. Kyla Danforth and Kayla de Bondt cracked the top 10 in the women's 5K, while Koby Pederson and Jack Pokerecky also placed within the top 10 in the men's 8K.

Recap: Cross Country Concludes WCC Preview Meet

#LIONSTRONG - Jillian Dawley
After not being able to walk 15 months ago, Jillian Dawley is back racing for the LMU women's cross country team. Watch why Dawley is all things #LIONSTRONG.


Date | Time: Saturday, Oct. 1
Where: Haggin Oaks Golf Complex

Capital Cross Challenge
Both teams placed a trio of individuals in their respective top-10s, leading to a first place team finish for the women and a runner-up finish for the men at the Capital Cross Challenge last season.

The trio of Kayla de Bondt, Danielle Shanahan and Kelli Capel placed second, third and fourth, respectively, among collegiate scoring runners. de Bondt and Shanahan were neck-and-neck, finishing the 5k course in 16:45.6 and 16:47.4, respectively. Capel crossed the finish line in an even 17:00.0.

On the men's side, Brandon Vientos placed second overall on the 8k course at 24:49.4 and was followed closely by Koby Pederson, who took third place in 24:50.6.

Steady as it Goes
Koby Pederson had earned the top spot for LMU in each of its two races this season, placing third at the Mark Covert Classic and at the WCC Preview Meet.

Kyla Danforth has also placed sixth in each of LMU's opening two meets on the women's side and earned the top spot for the Lions at the WCC Preview meet.

Super Sophomores

Four out of five of the point-winners on the men's side were sophomores at the Mark Covert Classic as Koby Pederson, Jack Polerecky, Jordan McLennan and Mat Holton each ranked within the top-10 to lead LMU to the team title.

The second-year members on the women's end were also impressive as Maddi Vorgitch and Elena Garcia placed within the top-15.

Fresh Pavement
Several rookies made impressive debuts at the Mark Covert Classic on Sept. 3.

Jacob Heink placed 10th on the men's side with a time of 25:54.8 and Marcus Avila finished shortly after at 26:10.3, good for 14th overall.

Kyla Danforth took home 6th place with a time of 18:29.3, while Hannah Wohlenberg also tallied points for LMU with a 13th-place showing at 19:09.5.

Preseason Predictions
In the WCC Preseason Poll, the women were selected to finish fifth in the 10-team field, while the men were tabbed to finish fifth amongst nine teams as announced by the conference on Sept. 9.

Release: Women's Cross Country Tabbed Fifth, Men Sixth in WCC Preseason Poll

At the Helm
Head coach Scott Guerrero is in his 19th season as head coach of the Lions. Over the past 18 years he has built the program from the bottom up, taking it from being virtually unknown to a distance force in the West Coast Conference and an rising program in the western region.

The women's squad has placed fourth or better in each of the past three WCC Championships, while the men have finished sixth, respectively, the past two seasons.

Up Next
This marks the first of four October races on tap for the Lions. Following Saturday's meet, LMU will have a week off from competition before heading to the Bronco Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Santa Clara.




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