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May 6, 2012

Lydens Has Fastest Time Of Spring At Oxy Invitational

Claremont, Calif. - Junior All-American Annie Lydens (Tokyo, Japan) trimmed almost 30 seconds off her fastest time of 2012 in the 5000 meters at the Occidental Invitational late Saturday night.

Lydens ran a 17:14.87, passing her time from the SCIAC Championships last week (17:44.71) by 29.84. Her new time is now 19th in Division III this year, which puts her in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps later this month. The top 22 times nationally qualify for the NCAA Championships (there are no minimum standards), although there are still a few more competitions left.

Lydens has had a tough spring season after coming back from foot surgery following her third-place finish at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in November. She also finished second last year at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 5000 meters.

Her personal best in the 5000 is under 17 minutes (16:53.54 at the Occidental Invitational last year), but this year, she did not break 18 minutes until running a 17:44.71 at the SCIAC Championships last weekend at Redlands, which was only good for third place.  

"I was pleased with Annie's race," said Head Coach Kirk Reynolds. "She's made tremendous improvements in the past couple of weeks and is really running well. I was a bit worried about her before the race because she was writing a couple term papers, had her computer crash, and lost all her work — and was trying to re-write everything on little sleep. But she's so mentally tough, she pushed through."

Senior Leslie Canter also competed at the Occidental Invitational in the 3000-meter steeplechase and ran her second-fastest time ever, an 11:45.83 as she finished 10th overall at the event.

Lydens will run at the Cal State Los Angeles Invitational next weekend as she looks to improve a few more seconds off her time to secure her NCAA qualification.