Fresno State prepares to make a name for themselves in first-ever MW Championship Friday
Fresno State set to square off against top teams in California
Women's cross country team earns first ranking under coach Sean McManus
Both teams finish second at invite
Fresno State Watermelon Run continues to grow in popularity ...
Sean McManus enters his fifth season leading Fresno State's cross country teams and the track and field distance squads.
In his fourth season as cross country head coach, McManus guided yet another freshman-phenom, Lyndsie Etherton, as she was awarded Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Conference honors. On the men's side, senior Eric Battles and junior Carson Keller both garnered second-team All-Conference in 2011. The men's and women's teams both finished fourth overall at the WAC championship. The women sent seven to the NCAA Regionals, which included four underclassmen.
2011 also set marks in academic success as the women's cross country team had six Academic All-WAC Honorees. The most the program has seen since 2004. The men's team had five honorees, which tied the 2009 squad for the most in the past five seasons.
In McManus' third season coaching cross country, he coached freshman Oliver Collin who became the WAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 2011. The Fresno State men's team finished fourth overall at the WAC Championship, while the women's team finished fifth overall. McManus also led six squad team members to the NCAA West Regional in Springfield, Ore.
In 2010 the Fresno State men's and women's cross country teams earned eight All-WAC Academic honors. Four female student-athletes and four male student-athletes achieved success on and off the cross country path. Eric Battles, Michael Jamieson, Carson Keller, and Danny Vartanian earned the honor for the men's team, while Stevie Brumwell, Julianne Warmerdam, Pamela Cruz, and Marrijtje Molenhuis for the women's team.
In his second season at the helm of the cross country program, McManus coached the Bulldog men to their best conference finish in nearly 20 years. The men took second at the 2009 WAC Championships, Fresno State's best finish at the conference championship since the team's 1991 second place finish in the Big West. Erick Garcia paced the team with a second place finish and First-Team All-WAC honors. Zwama, a newcomer to the cross country team, and freshman Danny Vartanian also picked up all-conference accolades.
The women's team continued to grow as a team, bettering their standing within the conference and producing an all-conference performer in Sellick. Sellick rounded out her senior campaign with four Top 10 finishes including an individual meet title and an eighth place finish in conference.
Ten cross country student-athletes earned the conference's academic award, including five men and five women. Eric Battles, Max Hernandez, Mitchell Pfyl, Sanders and Zwama all earned Academic All-WAC honors for the men, while Stevie Brumwell, Marissa McPhail, Daysi Cruz, Sellick and Julianne Warmerdam were honored for the women.
In his opening season, McManus coached Garcia to an appearance at the NCAA Championships, a first for Fresno State since Tim Holmes' back-to-back appearances in 1979 and 1980. McManus also guided Garcia to a Fresno State 10K record of 29:40.85 at the NCAA West Regional in Palo Alto, Calif., besting Rich Lanford's 29:48 set in 1976 at the NCAA Championships. During the season, Garcia won the individual title at two meets and was edged in the final steps for the WAC individual crown at the conference championships.
The men's team saw steady improvement under McManus's tutelage. Three Bulldogs earned All-WAC honors for 2008 as Garcia, Frank Sanders and Eric Battles placed among the Top 12 at the conference meet. Garcia also picked up two WAC Athlete of the Week awards during the season. With all three returning and the addition of top-tier recruits, McManus has high expectations for the team entering the 2009 season.
McManus's first season coaching the women's team featured the Bulldog's improvement working as a team and setting personal bests. Jennifer Hernandez earned her first all-conference recognition, finishing eighth at the conference meet for second team All-WAC honors.
Seven Bulldogs earned Academic All-WAC honors under McManus's guidance in the 2008 cross country season. Briana Cleary and McPhail earned the academic accolade for the women. Five men (Battles, Brandon Geis, Max Hernandez, Mitchell Pfyl and Sanders) picked up the conference academic honor.
In his first season coaching the Bulldog distance racers, McManus's athletes garnered nine All-WAC honors, one conference title, two NCAA Regional qualifications and four Academic All-WAC honors.
On the track, McManus's athletes found similar success. During the 2009 women's indoor track and field season, Roxanne Sellick finished third in the mile and fifth in the 3,000-meter run, earning two All-WAC honors. Sellick returned to the track, taking second in both the 1,500 and the 5,000 at the WAC Outdoor Championships for another pair of conference accolades. She also qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 1,500 and marked the second-best time in Fresno State history for the event. Marissa McPhail scored a fourth place finish in the 10,000 to earn all-conference honors as well.
The men's outdoor track and field team grabbed four all-conference honors, including one conference crown, in the distance events in McManus's first season as well. Sanders won the 1,500 at the WAC Outdoor Championship, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional. He had already qualified for the NCAA Regional and taken over eighth-place in the history books for Bulldogs in the event. Sanders also finished in sixth in the 800 at the conference championship. One of McManus's first recruits, Paul Zwama, had a strong showing at the WAC Outdoor Championships as well. Zwama scored a set of silver medals at the conference meet, finishing second in both the 5,000 and 10,000 races.
McManus joined the Fresno State staff after spending three seasons as an assistant coach for Florida State. While at FSU, McManus assisted head coach Bob Braman in coaching the cross country teams as well as working with the distance runners in track and field. McManus helped guide the Seminole men's track and field team to three-consecutive NCAA Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and six ACC Championships. He also assisted in the Seminole women's top 25 finishes at the NCAA Championships. At FSU, McManus's athletes earned a wide array of honors, including three NCAA individual titles, 22 ACC individual championships and 19 All-American accolades.
Prior to FSU, McManus was an assistant cross country and track coach at Notre Dame from 2001-02 and 2003-05. McManus oversaw training for student-athletes competing in mid to distance and cross country events. He was instrumental in recruiting top local, national and international student-athletes to a highly competitive academic institution.
During his time at Notre Dame, McManus coached student-athletes earning 25 All-Americans, 64 All-Big East and 22 All-Great Lakes Region honors as well as four Academic All-Americans. He helped produce thirteen individual Big East champions and two Big East Athletes of the Year.
McManus is no stranger to the NCAA Championships scene as he helped the men's and women's cross country squads to multiple appearances. During McManus' tenure the men's team finished sixth (2001) and 11th (2004) and the women's team finished 19th (2001), 10th (2003) and fourth (2004). He was also an integral part of a Notre Dame staff that earned two Big East coaching staff of the year honors.
From 2002-03, McManus served as a volunteer assistant at the University of Florida where he assisted the men's and women's cross country and distance programs. He helped produce six All-SEC, five All-South Region, one All-American and one Academic All-District award winner. McManus earned a masters of science in exercise science with a specialization in sports pedagogy and an emphasis on athlete motivation from Florida.
As an undergraduate, McManus attended Notre Dame from 1996 to 2001 where he earned a bachelor's of science in civil engineering. He competed four years in cross country and track. While running for the Irish, he helped his cross country team to four top 12 team finishes at the NCAA Championships.