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LMU Tops Pepperdine in Cross Country Opener

Sept. 1, 2007

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MALIBU, Calif. - Loyola Marymount men's and women's cross countryopened the 2007 campaign Saturday in exciting fashion: defeating West CoastConference rival Pepperdine in dual competition in Malibu. The Lion men won18-43, while the women topped the Waves 26-30.

Senior Laura Mickelson and junior Trevor Wiseman took Saturday's individualtitles for the three-mile course.

"There were no real surprises here today," LMU Head Coach Scott Guerrerosaid. "I fully expected our returners to rise to the challenge, and I thinkthey did just that. It was a very challenging course and unusually hot andhumid, so it was a tough first race with which to open the season."

On the women's side, Mickelson was joined by fellow senior BrittanyRezowalli (third) and junior Abby Fall (fifth) in the top-5.

Sophomore Annie Holden, freshman Brenn Donnelly, junior Ahnie Draper, andfreshman Shea Franklin rounded out the top-7 for the Lions.

Four of the men's overall top-6 runners were Lions, including second placefinisher Brian McDonald, a sophomore transfer. Crossing the line fourthoverall was 2005 All-West Coast Conference first-team selection LinoAlmeida, who returned to the course for the first time since redshirtinglast season.

Seniors Mo Elmi (fifth) and Jonathan MacNeil (sixth), junior Sean Sisk(eighth), and freshman Scott Donahue (ninth) rounded out the race's top-10and the Lions' top-7.

"It's nice to see some of our true freshmen on both squads sneaking into ourtop-7," Guerrero said. "Everyone will just get better as the seasonprogresses, and as always, we have our eyes firmly fixed on the conferencechampionship and the post season. Nothing else really matters to us."

The last time the teams ran a Pepperdine-LMU dual was 10 years ago in 1997.Just like this season, the Lions took both individual titles that year.Current LMU Assistant Coach Rick Weis won the overall title to lead the mento a 20-38 win in 1997. Malinalli Martinez won the women's title, helpingthe Lions to the 26-29 victory over the Waves that season. "So 10 yearslater," Guerrero said, "we picked up where we left off inMalibu."