LMUat100: LMU's Laura Mickelson Qualifies for NCAA Championships

Laura Mickelson became the first Lion to qualify for the NCAA Championships

Oct. 26, 2011

LOS ANGELES- Loyola Marymount University is celebrating its Centennial in 2011-12 and athletics will honor the anniversary all season long. Each of LMU's NCAA Division I programs will be hosting a Centennial Game to honor LMUat100, which included more than 900 fans at the Sept. 10 men's water polo game against Pepperdine in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup and more than 700 fans at the Sept. 27 volleyball match against WCC newcomer BYU. Up next is the Centennial Race for Cross Country at the WCC Championships this Saturday, Oct. 29.  As we approach the meet, LMULions.com will look back at some of the memorable moments from cross-country’s history.  Today’s look back features LMU’s first qualifier to the NCAA Championships.

In 2006, Loyola Marymount junior Laura Mickelson became the first Lion ever to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships when she finished seventh in the women’s 6k at the 2006 NCAA West Regionals.  Mickelson, who was also crowned West Coast Conference Champion that year, earned the national bid with a time of 21:19:59.  Mickelson helped the LMU women finish 14th of 30 teams in the competitive West Region, their highest finish in school history.

At the NCAA Championships, Mickelson finished 50th overall.  She recovered from an early fall on the wet course to finish the 6k race in 21:38.   She topped several runners who finished ahead of her at the prior NCAA Regionals, even after falling during the first 1000 meters of the race.  Her poise and determination guided her through the race and her success as a runner, and set a new standard for the program.

Mickelson had a phenomenal 2006 as she finished in the top 25 at the 2006 NCAA Track & Field Championships in the 5k.  Later in the year in cross-country, she won three other individual titles at the Cal State Fullerton Invitational, the San Diego State Aztec Invitational, and the Cal Poly Invitational on top of winning the WCC Championship.  In ’06, she was named WCC Runner of the Month a twice and LMU Female Athlete of the Month twice.  A very impressive year for an impressive runner. 



Laura Mickelson went on to collect an array of trophies, medals, and awards in her career at LMU.  The El Segundo, Calif. native was three-time All-WCC, two-time All-West Region, won an individual WCC title, and numerous individual titles and awards while setting course, meet and LMU records along the way, as well as winning many commendations for her academic prowess.  In her senior year, she passed the baton to then freshman Tara Erdmann who has gone on to become a five-time All-American herself. 

Erdmann and the Lions will be running at the WCC Championships this Saturday at the Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, Calif.  The race will be broadcast at WCCsports.com and YouTube.com.  Check back at LMULions.com Friday for a preview of the race.


For a look back at Laura Mickelson’s career, check out the following links:

Mickelson Becomes First Lion to Earn WCC XC Athlete of Month

Mickelson Crowned WCC Champion

Mickelson's Magic Continues

Mickelson the 8th Academic All-American in LMU History


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