Wilmington Cross Country Mop Up at CACC Championships; Men Claim First Team Championship and Althea Davidson Cruises to Title
CC: Men - 1/10; Women - 5/14
Sunday, October 21, 2012 - Philadelphia, Pa.
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12th year head coach Keith Jones was named the CACC Men's Coach of the Year in 2012
Sophomore Althea Davidson crosses the finish line in first with a time of 19:00 at the CACC Championships, more than a minute ahead of the field. She was named the CACC Women's Runner of the Year
Freshman Jesus Amezquita finished eighth overall and was the first freshman to cross the line, earning him CACC Men's Rookie of the Year
On a day of firsts for the Wilmington University cross country teams, the Wildcats mopped up at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championships, earning multiple major individual awards and also the men’s team championship for the first time in program history on Sunday morning in Fairmount Park.
Head coach Keith Jones took home the men’s cross country Coach of the Year Award, leading the team to its first championship since joining the NCAA Division II ranks in 2004. The men finished with 27 points, defeating Felician College by 12 points, finishing with all five runners in the top 10 overall.
Freshman Jesus Amezquita won the CACC Men’s Rookie of the Year Award, finishing as the top freshman in the field and eighth overall with a time of 28:31 on the five mile Belmont Plateau course.
But it was the pack running at the front of the field that the Wildcats executed perfectly that led the team to its first team championship. Graduate student Mike O’Brian led the Wildcats with a third place finish in 27:33, followed directly by sophomore Richie Mitten in fourth place in 27:41.
Coming off a foot injury that has held him off the course for three weeks, senior Bill Steele battled through the pain to claim fifth overall in 27:45. After a Philadelphia University runner placed sixth overall, the Wildcats finished their five scorers in back-to-back fashion as sophomore Matt Mossman claimed seventh in 28:21 and Amezquita eighth in 28:31.
On the women’s side, sophomore sensation Althea Davidson continued her outstanding season capturing CACC medalist honors with a first place finish in 19 minutes flat, beating the field of 85 runners by 1:04. She ran the 5k course on Belmont Plateau at a 6:07 mile pace. The sophomore led from start to finish, beginning to expand her lead even through the first pass up the hill. She was named CACC Women’s Runner of the Year for her effort on Sunday.
Junior Jeanette Halliburton helped the women’s team to its fifth place team standing by finishing fourth overall in 20:10, helping her earn All-CACC honors for the first time in her career. Junior Whitney Hora placed 21st overall with a time of 21:41 while freshman Morgan Ferrick finished 43rd overall in 23:18 and senior Kristy McCrea rounded out the team scoring with a 59th place finish in 24:56.
The women finished with 128 points and in fifth place. Philadelphia University won the women’s championship for the fifth year in a row with 44 points, followed by Georgian Court with 81 points. University of the Sciences finished third with 97 points while Dominican rounded out the top five with a fourth place showing and 98 points.
The top fifteen runners overall in each event earned All-CACC honors, as all five men, along with Davidson and Halliburton, were named all-conference.
In addition to the major awards the teams won during the meet, the men’s team earned the CACC Sportsmanship Award with University of the Sciences, in a vote by the league’s head coaches.
Felician’s Rob Albano became the first repeat individual conference champion in CACC history, earning CACC Men’s Runner of the Year after finishing the course in a time of 26:33; 35 seconds ahead of runner-up, Felician’s Taylor Trumbetti.
Philadelphia freshman Alyssa Litty garnered the CACC Women’s Cross Country Rookie of the Year honor after registering a time of 20:04, which was good enough for a second-place overall showing.
Coming off the team championship on the men’s side and the women’s individual winner, the Wildcats will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Division II Northeast Regional on November 4. The teams will head to Mines Falls Park in Nashua, N.H. for the regional meet.