Nov. 11, 2007
EUGENE, Ore. - Both the LMU men and women set team-time records for the 10k and 6k distances as LMU's Laura Mickelson and the women finished 15th individually and as a team and the men finished a program-best 16th at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. For Mickelson, the 15th place finish earns her All-Region accolades.
The women, running a 6k in the nation's top regional that featured four of the top-seven ranked teams in the nation, combined for a team score of 387, led by senior Mickelson's time of 20:49.90 to finish 15th overall. Their overall team time of 1:49.55 in the 6k bettered their previous best of 1:49.58 set at the WCC Championship earlier this season. WCC Freshman of the Year Tara Erdmann was second to finish for the Lions, crossing the line in 21:27.30 to claim 40th. Abby Fall finished the race in 22:21.95 as the 100th runner to cross the finish before Annie Holden (22:34.40) and Brittany Rezowalli (22:41.30) rounded out the LMU scoring-five. Brenn Donnelly and Ahnie Draper finished the race in 23:56.40 and 24:36.15, respectively.
"Our goal was a top-15 finish on both sides. We were able to achieve that on the women's side where we finished in the top-15 for the third straight year even as the Region has gotten tougher. Laura ran a very competitive race and finished 15th, thereby earning All-Region status for the second year in a row," Head Coach Scott Guerrero said.
The men, running a 10k, finished a program-best 16th in the standings, collecting a team score of 507 to finish just nine points behind the 15th place team, Sacramento State. Their 10k team time of 164:05 shattered their previous best of 169:14 which was set at last year's race. LMU was led by senior Lino Almeida's 93rd place finish in 32:31.90. For Almeida, the race marked the first time he led the pack of Lions this year, thus claiming the fastest time in school history for the 10k distance. Trevor Wiseman and Brian McDonald finished 101st and 102nd in times of 32:38.55 and 32:39.50, in that order. Scott Donahue crossed the line in 33:03.80 and Mo Elmi finished in 33:11.15 to round out the Lions' scoring-five, just 39 seconds behind Almeida's record-breaking pace. Sean Sisk (33:22.10) and Jonathan MacNeil (33:48.80) were the final LMU runners to cross the line.
"We are pleased that we finished second among WCC teams and also ahead of some teams (Boise State, Idaho) that were ranked ahead of us going into the meet on the men's side." Guerrero said. "We have a good team on both sides. Both teams ran faster than any other teams in LMU history for their respective distances. It's really not a bad way to end the year, but hopes are high for the at-large bids that will be announced on Sunday. We've made some great progress this season and the future looks very bright for LMU cross country."
Oregon and Portland were the top-two team finishers in the men's race and Stanford, which won its ninth straight regional crown in convincing fashion by putting its top-five runners in the top-14 overall, and Oregon took that honor on the women's side. As a result, each of the teams received an automatic bid to the NCAA finale. In addition, the top four individuals from non-qualifying teams from each of the nation's nine Regionals held Saturday automatically advance to the NCAA finale. Furthermore, another 13 at-large teams and two at-large individuals will be added from across the nation to the 31-team, 255-runner men's and women's fields on the evening of Sunday, November 11. At-large team selection criteria is based on teams' head-to-head records against other actual and potential NCAA qualifiers.
LMU will now await the announcement of the at-large bids on Sunday.