Lions Run For Titles at WCC Championships
LMU heads to northern California seeking conference gold
Oct. 28, 2011
LOS ANGELES – LMU Cross Country travels north this Halloween weekend seeking treats, not tricks, at the WCC Championships, LMU’s centennial race. The Lions are looking to capture their first cross-country conference championship this Saturday, Oct. 29. at the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, Calif., which will be broadcast live at WCCsports.com and YouTube.com with a races beginning at 9:00 a.m.
This Week: West Coast Conference Championships
Location: Crystal Springs Cross Country Course; Belmont, Calif.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 29
Times: 9:00 a.m. (PT) – Men’s 8k Race, 9:45 a.m. (PT) – Women’s 6k Race
LAST YEAR’S RESULT: Women – 3rd, Men – 4th
Last year at the WCC Championships, the Lions had a successful run. Redshirt senior Tara Erdmann won the individual title for the women setting a course record with a blistering 20:21 in the 6k race. Junior Sheree Shea ran a then personal-best time of 20:48 to finish 3rd. As a team the Lions fell a close third behind the defending champions from the University of San Francisco and second-place University of Portland, who the Lions trailed by a mere 5 points.
The men were lead by sophomore Weston Strum, who finished in the top ten as a freshman in last year’s race with a time of 25:30. Strum was followed by junior Sterling Lockert who finished 12th overall in 25:40 for his second top 15 finish at the Championships. The men were edged out of a top 3 finish by Santa Clara by one point. The University of Portland continued their dominance in men’s cross-country at the WCC Championships with an overall team win, followed by the University of San Francisco in second.
THIS YEAR’S TEAM
The Lions have triumphed this year. The women won the UC Riverside Invitational, led by WCC Runner of the Month Tara Erdmann who set a course record at the event; won the Asics Season Opener in Brea, Calif., finished 5th at the prestigious Stanford Invitational beating several ranked schools, and finished 3rd at the Vanguard Invitational. The men won the Open race at the UC Riverside Invitational, also finished 5th at the Stanford Invitational, and finished 3rd at the Titan Invitational at Cal State Fullerton. The Lions are looking to carry the momentum of their great regular season in Belmont.
The Lions’ women are led by defending two-time WCC Champion Tara Erdmann, who is seeking to become the first three-time WCC cross country women’s champion. The five-time All-American is the record holder at the Crystal Springs course and is coming off of a victory at the UC Riverside Invitational, and 3rd place finishes at the Stanford Invitational and the NCAA Pre-Nationals.
The team is deep with talented runners. Sophomore Veronica Wallington finished 3rd overall at the Asics Season Opener, while junior Caroline Draper finished 5th at the same event. Senior Brieanna Delaney had a personal-best time of 21:00 to finish 9th overall at the UC Riverside Invitational, while sophomore Brittnie Munoz also set a career best time of 21:24:3 in Riverside, finishing 23rd. Freshman Aeoleone Bristow finished the Vanguard Invitational 10th overall at 18:35.
LMU’s men are led by juniors Tyre Johnson and Sterling Lockert, and sophomore Weston Strum who paced the Lions last year at Crystal Springs. Johnson was nominated for WCC Runner of the Month for the month of September. His season started with a personal-best 24:22 in the 8k at the UC Riverside Invitational, finishing 13th, followed by a 15th place run at the Stanford Invitational. Lockert was 2nd in the open race at the UC Riverside Invitational, leading the Lions to a win. He followed that performance with a 25th place finish at the Stanford Invitational. Strum finished right behind Lockert at the UC Riverside Invitational with a time of 24:36.5 for a third place finish. Strum finished the Stanford Invitational in 24:48 to cross 37th overall.
The competition will be fierce at the Championships. Portland men’s team, ranked eighth in the USTFCCCA polls, has won 32 consecutive WCC championships and is the defending champion. Conference newcomer BYU brings a team ranked third in the most recent national rankings. Last year’s runner-ups, the University of San Francisco, return with a strong team that nearly upset Portland at the 2010 WCC Championship.
On the women’s side, USF has had a good season with three top-three finishes. BYU won two Invitationals and has been ranked in the national polls. The University of Portland’s women’s team has a victory and a second place finish in races this year.
For the first time in conference history, the WCC will broadcast the Championships live. The livestream will be available at the Cross Country Championships Central page at WCCsports.com and YouTube.com. Viewers will see the start and finish of each race, as well as key checkpoints with all action provided with graphics and commentators.
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