HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The Centre women's cross country team collected their third straight SAA title on Saturday morning at Sharon Johnston Park by edging Rhodes in a tight Championship race.
Centre posted three of the top four times of the race with Ashley El Rady, Serena Gale-Butto and Hannah Ellis finishing second, third and fourth, respectively. Rhodes' Brittany Alexander toured the 6k course in 22:10.33 to win the individual title and claime 2014 SAA Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year honors.
Rhodes recorded 8 of the top 19 times but was outpointed by Centre 31 - 38. Sewanee finished the race in third place. Freshman Ashley Litoff posted a time of 22:48.22 to finish in 5th place and earn 2014 SAA Newcomer of the Year status. Complete All-Conference award winners are included below.
2014 SAA Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year: Brittany Alexander of Rhodes
2014 SAA Women's Cross Country Newcomer of the Year: Ashley Litoff of Rhodes
2014 SAA Women's Cross Country All-Conference First Team:
Brittany Alexander (Rhodes), Ashley El Rady (Centre), Serena Gale-Butto (Centre), Hannah Ellis (Centre), Ashley Litoff (Rhodes)
2014 SAA Women's Cross Country All-Conference Second Team:
Danielle Ferro (Berry), Hannah Henderson (Rhodes), Cate Hargrove (Sewanee), Ansley McDurmon (Sewanee), Cristin Palmer (Centre)
2014 SAA Women's Cross Country All-Conference Honorable Mention
Emma ZeeAbrahamsen (Rhodes), Marisa Moore (Centre), Amy Lee (Sewanee), Kendall Reed (Rhodes), Leah Bishop (Hendrix)
The Centre men's cross country team won its third consecutive conference championship on Saturday morning, finishing first in Saturday's SAA Championship meet in Birmingham, Ala. with a total of 26 points.
With 26 points, the Colonels finished 50 points ahead of second place Berry and 68 points in front of third place Rhodes. Birmingham Southern finished fourth with 98 points, followed by Sewanee with 104 points.
Six Centre runners placed in the top 15 overall and earned All-Conference honors at the meet as a result. The top time on the 8k course at Birmingham was turned in by junior Victor Pataky (Upper Arlington, Ohio), who finished second overall with a time of 26:22.44. Freshman Nathan Riggs (Campbellsville, Ky.) posted a time 26:40.35 to finish third overall. Riggs was named SAA Newcomer of the Year by virtue of completing the fastest time of any newcomer in the event.
Senior Eric Beyerle (Louisville, Ky.) placed fifth overall with a time of 26:44.10, followed by junior Glen Bortolus (West Windsor, N.J.) at 27:02.28 for seventh place overall and senior Matthew McCurdy (Bartlett, Tenn.) at 27:07.83 for ninth place overall. The final All-SAA time belonged to senior Josh Rieskamp (Cincinnati, Ohio), who finished 15th overall with a time of 27:26.46.
With the win at the conference championship, the Colonels have earned the right to run in the NCAA South/Southeast Regional race with NCAA Tournament berths at stake. That meet will be on the campus of Berry on Nov. 15.