William & Mary’s cross-country teams both took home Colonial Athletic Association titles this weekend.
The No. 24-ranked William & Mary women's cross country ran as expected Saturday morning, cruising at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships for its fourth win in a row and 21st conference title overall. The William & Mary men's cross country team put four runners in the top five and all seven in the scoring line-up earned all-conference honors Saturday at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, winning the team title for the 16th year in a row.
Women’s cross country
The Tribe put four runners in the top-five for 23 points, easily out-pacing the nine-team field that also included second-place James Madison (54 points) and third-place Elon (66). W&M's 21 CAA titles ranks tied with NC State for third all-time in NCAA Women's Cross Country history.
The Tribe's top seven runners were 40 seconds faster on average than any other team, and all seven finished in the top-20. Senior All-American Emily Stites (Wyoming, Ohio) won her first CAA cross country title in a conference-record 20:00.2 on the 6K course, 10 seconds ahead of teammate sophomore Regan Rome (Dallas, Pennsylvania). It was just the third cross country win of Stites' career, including the 2013 Southeast Regional and her very first race, an unattached win at Richmond in August of 2012. The record she broke was previously held by W&M Hall-of-Famer Ali Henderson '04, who ran 20:14 in 2003.
After Rome's silver medal run, senior Meghan McGovern (North Wales, Pennsylvania) came across in 20:48.9 to finish a career-best third, and sophomore Molly Breidenbaugh (Mechanicsville, Virginia) ran 20:56.0 for fifth place overall. Redshirt-sophomore Molly Applegate (Toms River, New Jersey) earned her first all-conference award with a 21:24.9 showing for 12th place to finish the scoring line-up. Redshirt-senior Carolyn Hennessey (Herndon, Virginia) was right behind her in 13th place at 21:35.2, and senior Leanna Eisenman (Front Royal, Virginia) completed the top seven in 21:57.3 for 20th overall. For more results, visit TribeAthletics.com.
Men’s cross country
The Tribe scored 21 points, its best showing since 2010, and easily out-paced the field of six teams. Northeastern was second with 67 points, and Elon third with 81 points. The Phoenix' rookie Nick Ciolkowski won the title by less than a second, in 24:22.3.
Leading the way for the Tribe, who now own the fifth-longest winning streak in NCAA history, was junior Faris Sakallah (Chantilly, Virginia), who finished second overall in 24:23.0. It was the best finish of Sakallah's career at CAAs, after taking eighth last year and 11th in 2013. Senior Ryan Gousse (Apopka, Florida) was third in 24:33.6, and junior Trevor Sleight (Asheville, North Carolina) was fourth in 24:41.7. Redshirt-junior David Barney (Lynchburg, Va.) turned in his best-ever conference showing in 24:44.7 for fifth place, and freshman Evan Woods (Bethesda, Maryland) ran 25:00.7 for seventh overall to complete the scoring. Ryan Thompson (Bristow, Virginia) crossed just a few seconds later for ninth at 25:07.6, and redshirt-freshman Dawson Connell (Yorktown, Virginia) finished the line-up in 25:12.7 for 11th place and a spot on the All-CAA team. For more results, visit TribeAthletics.com.
William & Mary takes next week off from competition to host the 28th Annual Massey Cancer Center 5K Run and Walk, which begins at Zable Stadium at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6. The event has raised over $150,000 in funds for the Massey Cancer Center at MCV over the years, including $45,000 in the last two years alone. Registration is free, but a suggested donation of at least $75 is requested. To register or to donate, please visit http://massey5k.weebly.com/.