Sept. 14, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Loyola Marymount cross country returns to action this Saturday at the 63rd annual San Diego State Aztec Invitational at the historic Balboa Park. For the Lions, the event begins at 8:15 a.m. with the women's races.
The event's 5k People's Race will go off at 7:30 a.m. but Lions will begin with the women's races - open and invitational - at 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. respectively. After the women compete, the men will step to the line for the 9:30 a.m. men's open and the 10:15 a.m. men's invitational.
The women's squad is fresh off a second place team finish at the Asics/UC Irvine Invitational, where senior Laura Mickelson won the individual title. The Lions earned the first preseason regional ranking in program history when they were ranked 15th in the West Region on Monday by the USTFCCCA.The men finished third of 20 squads at last weekend's invitational, including a victory over the regionally 13th-ranked Anteaters.
This weekend's SDSU Aztec Invitational features a women's field including fourth-ranked Arkansas, and regionally-ranked UC Santa Barbara (fifth), Northern Arizona (eighth), and Southern Utah (12th), in addition to the 15th-ranked Lions.
The men's side includes UC Santa Barbara, Southern Utah, and West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary's.
"This has turned into a very competitive meet featuring a number of ranked teams," LMU Head Coach Scott Guerrero said. "We like this meet and we like this course, as we have run it a number of times. We're excited to see how we stack up."
The historic event first began with a men's race on December 18, 1943. The women's division was introduced 34 years later in 1977. The only year the event was not held was 2001, in light of the September 11 tragedy.
Mickelson returns to the event as the defending women's champion, as she claimed the 2006 title in 17:19.