The Loyola Marymount men's and women's cross country teams will take a break from intercollegiate competition this Saturday, Oct. 7 as they participate in the Manhattan Beach 10K Road Race. The event, scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. start, attracts over 4,000 runners from all over Southern California. No team results will be recorded.
The Last Couple of Weeks
The Lions sent a total of four runners - seniors Mark Siegfried, Michael Cortez and Tracy Pantuso and junior Jenny Atkinson - to the 27th-annual Stanford Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 30, all of whom competed in the Open Non-Scoring Division. Siegfried paced the LMU men's contingent with a 28th place effort of 28:55, while Atkinson finished 13th in 21:12 on the women's side. The duo also led Loyola Marymount the previous Saturday at the UC Riverside Invitational, where a number of Lions established new personal bests.
PR's Abound in Riverside
Both the men's and women's teams took advantage of some unusually cool conditions at the UC Riverside Invitational on Sat., Sept. 23 as most runners posted either personal or season-best times. Senior Mark Siegfried shaved 40 seconds from his lifetime best set earlier this year to finish 70th overall in 27:42. Meanwhile senior Michael Cortez (27:57) and sophomore Eddie Giron (28:14) ran their fastest races in nearly two years and finished second and third on the team, respectively. Another highlight was sophomore Justin Goodkind, who dipped under 30 minutes (29:03) in just his second ever 8K race. In women's action junior Jenny Atkinson dropped her career best to 19:48 and beat out Jorunn Groby from WCC rival Pepperdine by .04 seconds for 27th place. Sophomore Erin Junkin lowered her personal best for a third consecutive week to 21:17 while senior Tracy Pantuso crossed the finish line in 21:40, her top time this year. Season bests were turned in by eight other Lion women, including senior Kristi Patton (22:54), juniors Brianna Heisey (23:10) and Christy Nangle (24:27) and freshman Cristina Lowery (25:45) who all ran the fastest races of their careers.
Looking Back at the Manhattan Beach 10K
The Lions have run at Manhattan Beach in each of Scott Guerrero's previous two years as Loyola Marymount head coach. Last season senior Michael Cortez appeared up to the challenge of running a longer distance, placing first among the Lion men in 33:52. On the women's side Malinalli Martinez finished the 10,000 meter race - twice as long as a traditional women's collegiate competition - in a time of 40:08.
1999 Season Review
The Lions showed marked improvement last season under Head Coach Scott Guerrero. The LMU women placed seventh at the West Coast Conference Championships, up one spot from 1998, and went on to a 26th place showing at the NCAA West Regionals in Portland, Ore. On the men's side, Loyola Marymount also placed seventh at the conference meet, and then finished 21st at the Regional meet. The Lion men excelled in the classroom as well as on the course as they earned the highest team GPA among all 17 intercollegiate sports at LMU. In addition, three Loyola Marmount racers -- current seniors Michael Cortez and Mark Siegfried and departed women's racer Bevin Steensen earned WCC All-Academic honors.
LMU Head Coach
Scott Guerrero is in his third year as the leader of the Lions. Guerrero, also a distance runner, brings change and enthusiasm to a program that has not had a top three finish in the WCC since 1991 for the men, and 1985 for the women. A 1990 graduate of Tulane University, Guerrero also earned a master's degree in education from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He will be assisted this season by Laura Cattivera White, a former Olympic Trials qualifier and All-American runner at Princeton.