With Two In “Top Six” Mountaineer Men Take 2nd in Sun Belt XC Championships

With Two In “Top Six” Mountaineer Men Take 2nd in Sun Belt XC Championships
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Special Report to Blowing Rock News from the Sun Belt Conference. November 1, 2015. ATLANTA, GA – The South Alabama Jaguars claimed their first women’s cross country team title since 1988 and the UT Arlington Mavericks claimed its second men’s cross country team title in three years as the 2015 Sun Belt Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships concluded on Sunday morning at Nash Farm Battlefield.

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With two in the “top six”, the Appalachian State men finished second. The Mountaineer women also finished second, with four athletes in the top 16.

It was an impressive showing for the Jaguars as they placed four runners in the top 10 and all five runners in the top 20. Joanna McCoy led the way for the Jaguars as she finished fifth overall for the winning Jaguars. The 46 points scored by USA was also the lowest point total since 2010.

Appalachian State finished second in the women’s team standings with 66 points followed by UT Arlington in third with 84 points.

Little Rock’s Noora Wallenius took home the women’s individual title as she crossed the finish line in 17:49.0 to claim the first women’s title for the Trojans since Whitney Kerth in 2006. The Mountaineers’ Tristin Van Ord was second behind Wallenius and Arkansas State’s Abby Dixon finished third. UT Arlington’s Gabriela Alfonzo was fourth as the top five finishers in the race were named First Team All-Sun Belt.

Wallenius was named the league’s Freshman of the Year following her performance on Sunday morning. USA head coach, David Barnett, was named the Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

UT Arlington claimed the men’s team title for the second time in the past three seasons. They won the team title with 52 points as all five runners finished in the top 20. UTA was paced by Eric Ojeda who claimed the individual title for the Mavericks, winning the race by 13 seconds over second-place. Ojeda’s winning time was 25:17.8. He improved upon his fourth place finish a year ago as the Mavericks head into Regionals.

Ojeda’s teammate, Chris Myers was eighth for the Mavericks and was also named Freshman of the Year following his performance. Myers finished the race in 26:01.3. UTA’s John Sauerhage was named the Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Beau Robinson of UL Lafayette finished second for the Ragin’ Cajuns and was followed by last year’s champion, Christoph Graf of South Alabama. The Mountaineers, which placed three runners in the top 15 finished second in the team standings with 66 points. The Jaguars were third with 80 points.

Women’s Team Champion
South Alabama, 46 pts

Women’s Individual Champion
Noora Wallenius, Little Rock (17:49.0)

Women’s Freshman of the Year
Noora Wallenius, Little Rock

Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
David Barnett, South Alabama

Women’s XC First Team All-Conference
Noora Wallenius, Little Rock
Tristin Van Ord, Appalachian State
Abbey Dixon, Arkansas State
Gabriela Alfonzo, UT Arlington
Joanna McCoy, South Alabama

Women’s XC Second Team All-Conference
Laura Labuschaigne, South Alabama
Ashley Heitling, South Alabama
Katelyn Hayward, UT Arlington
Stephanie Berger, Georgia State
Nicole Durham, South Alabama

Women’s XC Third Team All-Conference
Emma Dahl, Little Rock
Arnica Zitting, Arkansas State
Devina Schneider, Texas State
Torre Moser, Appalachian State
Hana Ratcliffe, Appalachian State

Women’s XC Team Standings
1. South Alabama, 46 pts
2. Appalachian State, 66 pts
3. UT Arlington, 84 pts
4. Georgia State, 138 pts
5. Little Rock, 164 pts
6. Georgia Southern, 169 pts
7. Arkansas State, 171 pts
8. Troy, 177 pts
9. Texas State, 187 pts
10. UL Lafayette, 204 pts
11. UL Monroe, 338 pts

Men’s Team Champion
UT Arlington, 52 pts

Men’s Individual Champion
Eric Ojeda, UT Arlington

Men’s Freshman of the Year
Chris Myers, UT Arlington

Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
John Sauerhage, UT Arlington

Men’s First Team All-Conference
Eric Ojeda, UT Arlington
Beau Robinson, UL Lafayette
Christoph Graf, South Alabama
Michael Ellis, Appalachian State
Patrick Rohr, South Alabama

Men’s Second Team All-Conference
Andrew Vandenberg, Appalachian State
Isaac Lalang, Little Rock
Chris Meyers, UT Arlington
Katleho Dyoyi, South Alabama
Grant Copeland, UT Arlington

Men’s Third Team All-Conference
Wilton Norris, Arkansas State
Jose Angel Gonzalez, Texas State
Kyle McFoy, Appalachian State
Matt Rice, UL Lafayette
Tyler Forde, UT Arlington

Men’s XC Team Standings
1. UT Arlington, 52 pts
2. Appalachian State, 66 pts
3. South Alabama, 80 pts
4. UL Lafayette, 101 pts
5. Texas State, 111 pts
6. Arkansas State, 113 pts
7. Little Rock, 165 pts
8. UL Monroe, 204 pts
9. Troy, 255 pts

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