Nov. 11, 2006
Gresham, Ore. - Loyola Marymount junior Laura Mickelson became the first Lion ever to qualify for the NCAA National Cross Country Championships when she finished seventh in the women's 6k at the 2006 NCAA West Regional Saturday at Blue Lake Park in Gresham, Ore. Mickelson, who was crowned West Coast Conference Champion just two weeks ago to the day, earned the national bid with a time of 21:19.59.
Mickelson (El Segundo, Calif./Mira Costa HS) helped the LMU women to finish 14th of 30 teams in the competitive West Region, equaling the program-best mark from a year ago.
The LMU men, led by senior co-captain Drew Haberkorn, finished 22nd. Haberkorn (33:17.62), Nick Brennan (33:26.56), Trevor Wiseman (33:47.16), and Mo Elmi (33:57.38) all finished under the 34-minute mark in the 10k. Senior Reynaldo Barrera rounded out the men's scoring five in 34:45.35.
While the regionals are the gateway to the national championships, the Lions ran Saturday in one of the nation's toughest regions. The women's field included a total of 199 runners from top-ranked Stanford, seventh-ranked UC Santa Barbara, eighth-ranked Arizona State, and 29th-ranked Washington. Other regionally-ranked foes include fifth-ranked Oregon, sixth-ranked UCLA, seventh-ranked Washington State, eighth-ranked Portland, ninth-ranked Long Beach State, and 10th-ranked UC Irvine.
The men faced a total of 164 runners from nationally-ranked Oregon (sixth), Stanford (seventh), Portland (ninth), Cal Poly (19th), UC Santa Barbara (22nd), and Arizona (24th). The field will also include regionally-ranked Arizona State (seventh), Washington (eighth), UCLA (ninth), and Washington State (10th).
While Saturday marked the end of the cross country season for the LMU squads, Mickelson will now prepare for the NCAA National Championship, set for Monday, November 20, in Terre Haute, Ind. Mickelson will join the 31 team qualifiers, as well as approximately 40 individual qualifiers (about 257 total) at the national championship.