Shanahan Set to Race at NCAA Nationals

Shanahan becomes the fourth Lion to race at the NCAA Championships.
Nov. 20, 2015

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships are set for Saturday and LMU junior Danielle Shanahan is primed to make her first career appearance on the national stage. Hosted by the University of Louisville at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., the women's 6k will begin at noon Eastern Time.

This is the 78th annual men's competition and the 36th annual women's competition. Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen teams were then selected at-large. Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their regions.

In 2012, E.P. `Tom' Sawyer State Park was the site of the closest finish for the top three finishers in NCAA history. In the women's 6,000m race, Iowa State's Betsy Saina (19:27.9) won the race, Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino (19:28.7) took runner-up honors, and Oregon's Jordan Hasay (19:28.7) placed third. There was only 0.7 seconds separating the national champion from third-place finisher.



Shanahan has steadily improved from an already solid base during her first three seasons as a Lion. She placed 15th at the WCC Championships as a freshman, earning WCC Freshman of the Year honors. Last fall, she placed third in an LMU-record 6K time, and followed with a 19th-place finish at the West Regional meet. This fall, she earned her second straight First Team All-WCC honor with a runner-up finish, before taking 13th overall at the West Regional meet in Seattle.

Shanahan joins LMU greats Laura Mickelson (2006, 2007), Tara Erdmann (2008, 2010, 2011) and Sheree Shea (2012) as the fourth Lion to reach the national stage. She will look to become only the second LMU women's cross country All-American. Erdmann earned the honor in both 2010 and 2011, including a 10th place finish her final season.

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