July 12, 2007
NEW ORLEANS - Loyola Marymount men's and women's track teams have both been named USTFCCCA Track and Field All-Academic Teams, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced. Both teams rank among the nation's elite academic teams, with cumulative team grade point averages above a 3.2.
The LMU men's track squad ranks sixth in the nation in team grade point average, posting a 3.26. The men are one of just 34 Division I teams to earn the all-academic distinction of the 297 teams sponsoring the sport.
The Lion women rank 26th in the nation with a 3.3 cumulative team grade point average, placing them in the top 30 percent of the honorees. The USTFCCCA recognizes 97 teams of the 322 schools that sponsor Division I women's cross country.
In just its second year of sponsoring track since the 1950s, the LMU program continued to make great strides athletically as well. The Lions were represented at the NCAA West Regionals for a second straight season as Laura Mickelson placed in the region's top-15 in the 5000m.
The LMU track teams also impressed at the inaugural West Coast Challenge. The West Coast Conference does not officially sponsor a conference championship in the sport of track and field, so the February meet was billed as an "unofficial" conference championship.
Scoring as a double dual format, the Lion men defeated both San Francisco (56-27) and Santa Clara (65-13). The women were equally impressive, defeating San Francisco (49-27), Santa Clara (61-20) and Pepperdine (48-38).
In overall tri-meet scoring, the Lion men took the title, scoring 57 points to San Francisco's 30 and Santa Clara's 13. In quad-meet scoring, the women narrowly defeated Pepperdine 44-41, but easily outdistanced San Francisco's 24 and Santa Clara 8.
The men's team is paced academically by Jonathan MacNeil, who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.62. The mechanical engineering major earned WCC honorable mention honors in cross country after placing 14th at the 2006 WCC Championships. During the spring track season, he posted a 3.71 GPA.
The Academic All-American Mickelson paces the women's track team with a cumulative GPA of 3.95 in a double major of natural science and pre-physical therapy. She is also working toward a minor in business administration.
The fall WCC Individual Cross Country 6k title, NCAA National Cross Country Championship berth, and spring NCAA West Track Regional appearance highlighted her athletic resume for the year. She has been LMU's Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the past two academic years.