Nov. 15, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- LMU senior Sheree Shea will run at this Saturday's NCAA Cross Country National Championships, held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The meet, hosted by the University of Louisville, will begin at 9:00 a.m., Pacific Time, and it will be streamed online at NCAA.com.
Shea qualified for the National Championships by finishing 11th at the West Regional in Seattle, Wash. in a personal-record time of 19:55, her first sub-20 minute finish in the 6k, topping her previous best which was set two weeks prior at the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships. Her 11th-place finish was the best amongst WCC runners and Shea was only one of two runners in the top-12 who did not represent a Pac-12 institution.
The San Diego native has collected a slew of awards this season. This past Monday, Shea received the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Regional honor for her performance in Seattle. She was named WCC Runner of the Month for September. Shea received WCC All-Academic honors in October, and All-WCC honors after finishing third at the conference championship meet.
Shea's season began in September with an individual win at the Mark Covert Classic in Brea, Calif. hosted by Cal State Fullerton. With a time of 17:54.3 in the 5k race, she led her team to a win to start the 2012 cross country season. Shea followed up her winning performance in Brea with a second-place finish at the WCC championship course preview race in Portland, Ore. The senior finished with the best time for a WCC runner at the meet, leading the LMU women's team to a second-place result. She concluded the month finishing seventh at the Stanford Invitational, once again the best result for a WCC runner in the race. She guided the Lions' women's team to sixth-place in that race.
In October, Sheree led LMU's women to a fifth-place finish at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. with her seventh-place individual performance in the race. At the WCC Championships, Shea finished third overall, only two seconds behind the overall winner. With a time of 20:37, the senior placed in the top-three at the conference championship for the third time in her career.
Shea qualified for her first National Championships after a few "near misses" in her career. During her sophomore year, she finished 14th at the West Regionals, one spot behind the final qualifier that year. At the NCAA Outdoor Track West Regionals, that same school year, Shea recorded a personal-record time of 33:53.54 for 13th at the meet. Unfortunately, only the top-12 qualified for the national championships.
Shea's qualification for this year's championship marks the third consecutive year an LMU runner has qualified for the NCAA National Championships. Last year, Tara Erdmann participated in her third cross-country championship finishing 10th, in 19:51.3, the best finish for a Lion. In addition to Erdmann's three appearances, Laura Mickelson participated in two national championship meets (2006, 2007). The Lions have been represented in six of the past seven NCAA National Championships.
This year's Championships will be held in Louisville for the first time. The meet will begin at 9:00 a.m., Pacific Time, with the women's championship followed by the men's championship at 10:15 a.m. The meet will be streamed at NCAA.com. GO SHEREE!
- GO LIONS -