Published: October 24, 2011
The University of Tampa men's and women's cross country teams capped off a historic day with a pair of Sunshine State Conference championships as the men won the program's first title. The women's crown was the 10th in Spartan history.
The race took place at Markham Park as Nova Southeastern University served as the tournament host. The meet consisted of a men's 8K and women's 6K.
The men's championship marked the first in UT history as the women have now won 10 league titles. It also marked the fifth consecutive SSC championship for head coach Jarrett Slaven's women's squad.
Tampa's men posted 40 points to hold off 14-time defending champion Florida Southern, which placed second with 48 points. The Moccasins had won every SSC men's cross country title since 1997.
Florida Tech and host Nova Southeastern tied for third with 70 points each. Saint Leo placed fifth with 133 points. Rollins rounded out the standings with 185 points.
Florida Tech's Moses Kirui completed the 8K course with a winning time of 25:46.60. Tampa's Charles Toledo was second with a mark of 25:54.63. Florida Southern's Eric Larson placed third with a time of 25:57.90. A pair of Nova Southeastern runners rounded out the top five. Kevin Meagher (25:59.90) was fourth, while Omar Hernandez (26:00.00) was fifth.
The top 10 runners earn a spot on the All-Championship Team. Claiming the remaining honors were Tampa's Peter Orgass (26:10.00) and Lewis Price (26:15.00) in sixth and seventh, respectively. Florida Southern's David Tomchinsky (26:20.00) and Jason Patchette-Gillis (26:30.00) finished in eighth and ninth, respectively. Tampa's Chris Rego (26:40.00) was 10th.
In the women's race, the Spartans tallied 29 points to claim their eighth conference title in nine years. Host Nova Southeastern registered 69 points to finish second. Florida Tech placed third with 94 points. Nipping at the Panthers' heels with 97 points was Saint Leo, which finished fourth. Florida Southern (105) and Rollins (114) rounded out the standings.
St. Leo's Tereza Novotna won the 6K race with a time of 21:44.60. Tampa's Jess Butler was second with a mark of 21:48.06. Florida Tech's Nicole Clarke placed third in a time of 21:56.60. UT rounded out the top-five with Heather Nicolosi (22:08.69) and Kaia Hampton (22:50.17) finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The top 10 finishers earn a spot on the All-Championship team. Rounding out those ranks were NSU's Alexandria Palm (23:03.09) in sixth, Tampa's Lindsay Edwards (23:14.86) in seventh, Rollins' Lauryn Falcone (23:17.11) in eighth, Tech's Stephanie Fonseca (23:31.32) in ninth, and NSU's Taylor Stokes (23:37.87) in 10th.
The Spartans will now focus on NCAA tournament action as it has been selected to host the 2011 NCAA Division II South Regional, which is slated for Saturday, Nov. 5. The race will also be held at Dover Trails. The women's 6K will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the men's 10K at 9 a.m.
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