BELMONT, Calif. --- The University of San Francisco women's cross country team made it back-to-back West Coast Conference Championships on a cold Saturday morning at the Crystal Springs Course. Loyola Marymount University's Tara Erdmann turned in a course record 6K performance to win the race and become just the second-time two individual champion in the 26-year history of the race.
The Dons' top five finishers all placed in the top 12 overall as San Francisco finished with a team score of 38. Portland finished second with a team score of 71 and Loyola Marymount was third with 76.
"This was completely different than last year," University of San Francisco head coach Helen Lehman-Winters said. After the race, Lehman-Winters was selected as the 2010 West Coast Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. "I felt we had a chance going in last year, but this year felt we were the best team coming in and needed a solid performance. Our strategy from the beginning was to run as a pack, and we were solid from 1 through 7."
Erdmann ran away from the pack to claim her second career WCC individual title in a 6K course record time of 20:21. Erdmann, who redshirted the 2009 season, won the 2008 race in rainy conditions in a time of 21:54 and joins Portland's Kilee Smith (1998 and 1999) as the only multiple winners in the history of the race. Erdmann won Saturday's race by 26 seconds to break the 6K course record of 20:32 set by Stephanie Wilson of Santa Clara in 2009.
"I went out really well today and adapted to the field like I would in any other race," Erdmann said. "This was a much different race than 2008 because of the weather conditions. My plan coming into the race this year was to get both the win and the course record."
Four of the next 11 runners to cross the finish line were in the San Francisco green and gold, led by freshman Jana Stolting in fourth place at 20:54. Stolting was also named the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year for her efforts in Saturday's race.
"We ran this course once a couple of weeks ago and knew how to work the hills," Stolting said. "It is great to come here and win as a team."
Pepperdine senior Chelsea Wishard, who finished third at the 2009 championships, was the runner-up to Erdmann in a time of 20:46 that ranks as the fourth best time in the history of the 6K event.
Sheree Shea of Loyola Marymount (20:48), Stolting and Lauren Lodge of Pepperdine (20:59) rounded out the top five, followed by Eva Krchova of San Francisco (21:08), Sophie Curl of San Francisco (21:25), 2009 WCC Individual Champion Stephanie Wilson of Santa Clara (21:34), Maor Tiyouri of San Francisco (21:34) and Portland's Natalie Hemphill (21:36). The top 10 finishers in the race were named to the 2010 WCC All-Conference Team, and the 11th through 15th place finishers were named Honorable Mention.
1. San Francisco 38
2. Portland 71
3. Loyola Marymount 76
4. Santa Clara 117
5. Gonzaga 120
6. Pepperdine 128
7. San Diego 171
8. Saint Mary's 198
Top Individual Finishers
1. Tara Erdmann (Loyola Marymount) 20:21 (course record), 2. Chelsea Wishard (Pepperdine) 20:47, 3. Sheree Shea (Loyola Marymount) 20:48, 4. Jana Stolting (San Francisco) 20:54, 5. Lauren Lodge (Pepperdine) 20:59, 6. Eva Krchova (San Francisco) 21:08, 7. Sophie Curl (San Francisco) 21:25, 8. Stephanie Wilson (Santa Clara) 21:31, 9. Maor Tiyouri (San Francisco) 21:34, 10. Natalie Hemphill (Portland) 21:36.11. Kellie Houser (Portland) 21:40, 12. Chloe Treleven (San Francisco) 21:42, 13. Kristy Koenes (San Diego) 21:47, 14. Lyndy Davis (Portland) 21:49, 15. Theresa Hailey (Portland) 21:49, 16. Brittnie Munoz (Loyola Marymount) 21:51, 17. Erin Hicks (Santa Clara) 21:54, 18. Hillary Kigar (San Francisco) 21:55, 19. Brieanna Delaney (Loyola Marymount) 21:56, 20. Laura Volcheff (Gonzaga) 21:58.
2010 West Coast Conference Women's Cross Country All-Conference Team
Name Year School Hometown
Sophie Curl So. San Francisco Bellingham, WA
Tara Erdmann Jr. Loyola Marymount Tucson, AZ
Natalie Hemphill Sr. Portland Ashland, OR
Eva Krchova So. San Francisco Brno, Czech Republic
Lauren Lodge Jr. Pepperdine Hopkinton, MA
Sheree Shea So. Loyola Marymount San Diego, CA
Jana Stolting Fr. San Francisco Tallahassee, FL
Maor Tiyouri Fr. San Francisco Kfar Saba, Israel
Stephanie Wilson Sr. Santa Clara San Jose, CA
Chelsea Wishard Sr. Pepperdine Lawai, HI
Lyndy Davis (Portland), Theresa Hailey (Portland), Kellie Houser (Portland), Kristy Koenes (San Diego), Chloe Treleven (San Francisco).
WCC Individual Champion:
Tara Erdmann (Loyola Marymount)
WCC Women's Coach of the Year:
Helen Lehman-Winters (San Francisco)
WCC Freshman of the Year:
Jana Stolting (San Francisco)