Both the Trinity menâ€™s and womenâ€™s teams captured the Southern Collegiate Athletic Cross Country Championships for the second straight year on Saturday, November 2nd at the Clyde Fant course in Shreveport, La.
Trinityâ€™s 13th-ranked womenâ€™s squad once again registered a perfect score of 15 in the 6k race, as Tiger runners finished in first though fifth place. The Tiger men finished the 8k event with a score of 28, edging Colorado College by a single point.
â€œThe teamâ€™s success now started back in 2010 when our current seniors were freshmen. They are a goal-driven group that has taken the underclassmen under their wings and provided great leadership as well as being positive role models on what it takes to be high-level student-athletes. We have a great mix of upperclassmen that have been a part of high-level meets as well as first years and sophomores that are eager to help this team continue itâ€™s tradition of excellence from last year,â€ said head coach Derick Lawrence.
Senior Maddie Murphy won the womenâ€™s title – a feat she also accomplished in 2011 – clocking in at 22:02.4. Murphy, the runner-up in 2012, was named the SCAC Runner of the Year.
Vanessa Moreno, a senior and the 2012 champion, placed second behind her teammate with a time of 22:26.3.
â€œThis cross country season has thus far been the icing on the cake for the end of my four seasons with the program. As a team and individually we have improved greatly from just a year ago and we have made that known through our strong performances at each meet,â€ said Moreno.
Completing the top-five womenâ€™s slots were senior Rosemary Steup (22:41.5), junior Michelle Oberndorf (22.47.1) and senior Jackie Newell (23:06.1).
â€œOne of my proudest moments on the womenâ€™s side was seeing Jackie Newell, for the second year in a row, outkick a Colorado College runner the last 100 meters. This made it possible for Trinity to get a perfect score both years,â€ said assistant coach Emily Daum.
Trinity placed eight runners on the All-SCAC Team, including junior Nicola Hill (seventh â€“ 23.14.8), junior Autumn Kervella (ninth â€“ 23:28.5) and sophomore Mariana Sigala (14thâ€“ 23:51.0).
Trinityâ€™s closest team competitor was runner-up Colorado College (56 points), followed by Texas Lutheran (99 points), University of Dallas (113 points), Southwestern (117 points), host Centenary (184 points), Austin College (192 points) and Schreiner (237 points) for womenâ€™s standings.
The Tiger men had six runners finish in the top 10, paced by sophomore Taylor Piske, who placed second, at 26:17.7. Trinity runners took places 5-8, starting with senior Gerardo Hernandez (26:44.0). Rounding out the slots for the Tigers were sophomore Chris Soto (26:45.4), sophomore Phillip Flagg (27:13.1), and first-year Tristan Ashton (27:15.9).
By virtue of his eighth-place finish – the best of all newcomers – Ashton was named SCAC Freshman of the Year.
â€œNaturally weâ€™re all pretty focused on qualifying for Nationals again, but for the most part I just want to help my team do well and run some fast times. Right now weâ€™re starting to ease off in our training so we can be as rested as possible, and weâ€™re also doing all the little things, like eating right, getting enough sleep, and staying healthy and stress-free,â€ Ashton said.
First year Evan Epps placed 10th (27:27.0), and junior Brandon Douglas was 14th (27:45.8). The Tigers had eight men on the All-SCAC Team.
Following Trinity and Colorado College in the menâ€™s team standings were the University of Dallas (91 points), Southwestern (99) and Centenary (155). Schreiner did not place in the standings, because they had fewer than five runners.
Trinity cross-country history was made last year at Irving, TX., as the Tigers teams captured their first-ever SCAC Cross Country Championships. The Tigers became the first womenâ€™s team in SCAC history to earn a perfect score.
Up next for Tigers is the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional on November 16th, at Newport News, Va. The NCAA Championships are slated for November 23rd at Hanover, Ind.