Koby Pederson

Senior Koby Pederson is the first athlete in LMU men's cross country history to compete in the NCAA Division I cross country championships.

Senior Koby Pederson competed in the NCAA Division I cross country championships on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, where he finished in 127th place. Pederson clocked a 30:53.8 in the 10,000 meter race. Pederson is the first athlete in LMU men’s cross country history to compete in the national competition.

Pederson qualified for the championship by placing third at the NCAA West regional championships in Sacramento, California on Nov. 9. Pederson tackled the 10,000-meter course quickly, crossing the line in 29:44.1 and breaking the school record in distance, 30:30.0, set by Weston Strum in 2012. By finishing in the top four of individuals on non-qualifying teams, Pederson received a bid to the national meet.

Pederson had a series of strong performances this fall. To open his final season as a Lion, Pederson competed in the Sept. 29 Capital Cross Challenge in Sacramento where he placed second overall, first for collegiate, out of 267 runners. Pederson tore through the 8,000 meter race in 24:06.0.

On Oct. 13, Pederson won the Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, California, out of 176 total competitors. Pederson dominated the 8,000 meter course, breaking the tape in a time of 23:57.1.

Pederson’s poorest performance was at the Oct. 27 West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships in Provo, Utah, where he ran 24:22.7 across 8,000 meters for 18th place overall in the conference. Many of the runners who finished in front of Pederson, however, would later be beaten by him as he finished in third place at the NCAA West regional.

As a team, the Lions finished in sixth place this season out of the nine teams in the WCC. They were 13th out of the 29 teams in the NCAA West region.

The women finished in fourth place at the conference meet and were 17th in the NCAA West regional out of 36 teams.

Both the men and women will soon start preparing for the track and field season. The Lions typically compete in their first meet in February.

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