Saayman, Women's Cross Country Win 2013 Big South Championship

The Chanticleer men's and women's teams finish the conference season with 12 individual awards.


Letitia Saayman was named 2013 Runner of the Year

Letitia Saayman was named 2013 Runner of the Year

Nov. 2, 2013

Women's 5k: Overall Results | Team Results
Men's 8k: Overall Results | Team Results 

Buena Vista, Va. - Sophomore Letitia Saayman was the individual champion at the Vista Links Golf Course on Saturday as she led the Coastal Carolina women's cross country team to a conference-record 13th Big South championship. The Chanticleers had previously owned the record for the most conference championships with 12, all of which were won under the direction of head coach Alan Connie

The Chanticleer men finished fifth in the team standings and saw two runners, Joseph Keitt and Evan Niciphor, place in the top 10 overall, qualifying them for all-conference team honors. 

Women's 5k - 1st of 12 Teams (56 Points)

Saayman recorded her third first-place finish of the season, leading the field of 94 runners with a course-record time of 17:46.86. The Pretoria, South Africa, native had previously set the 5k course record of 18:18 at the Big South Preview. Saayman's first-place finish earns her the title of 2013 Big South Runner of the Year as well as all-conference honors. 

Saayman's teammate and fellow South Africa native, Kyla van Graan, placed second overall with a 5k personal-record time of 17:53.40, smashing her previous time of 19:02 on the course. With the second-place finish van Graan was named the 2013 Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the all-conference team. 

Coastal's seniors rounded out the top five for the Chants, providing great individual efforts in the last conference championship of their collegiate careers. Emily Marchini was the third Chanticleer to earn all-conference honors after coming in at 18:56.40 to place 10th overall.  Shelby Nicosia finished immediately after Marchini, placing 11th in 18:57.31 and earning the last of the all-conference honors for the Chants. Janel Reeves then crossed less than a minute later, placing 32nd overall at 19:48.24. 

Coastal Carolina led in the team results with 56 points, outrunning Liberty which finished with 76 points. UNC Asheville placed third with 78 points, High Point finished fourth with 83 points and Campbell came in fifth with 111 points. 

Coastal's win marks the first Big South championship for the Chanticleer women since 2008. Additionally, Connie was named the conference's 2013 Coach of the Year amongst the women's teams. It is the 13th such honor for the 27-year head coach. 

Men's 8k - 5th of 12 Teams (104 points)

Keitt paced the Chants for the fifth time this season, crossing the finish line in 26:16.85 to beat his previous 8k time of 26:56 at the Vista Links Golf Course. His seventh place finish marks the second consecutive year that the junior finished in the top 10 at the Big South championship. 

Niciphor finished right on the heels of Keitt, crossing at 26:30.34 and placing eighth overall. Niciphor also bested his previous time of 27:42 on the 8k course when he finished 15th at the Big South Preview. The eighth-place finish marks Niciphor's first all-conference bid of his Chanticleer career. 

Freshman Dan Riff earned his third third-place finish for the Chants this season, placing 15th overall and coming in at 27:11.80. It was top individual finish among all freshman men, earning Riff 2013 Freshman of the Year honors. 

Fellow freshman Jake Riff crossed 32nd overall at 27:59.17 while sophomore Zach Hensel closed out the Chants' top five with a 42nd overall finish and a time of 28:17.51. 

Liberty won the 2013 Big South team championship, edging High Point 40-48. Campbell finished third with 87 points and VMI's 99 points earned it a fourth-place finish. High Point's Patrick Crawford was the individual champion and was crowned the 2013 Big South Runner of the Year. 

2013 Runner of the Year (Men)
Patrick Crawford, High Point 

2013 Runner of the Year (Women)
Letitia Saayman, Coastal Carolina 

2013 Freshman of the Year (Men)
Dan Riff, Coastal Carolina 

2013 Freshman of the Year (Women)
Kyla van Graan, Coastal Carolina 

2013 Big South All-Conference Team (Men)
Patrick Crawford, High Point
Jeff LaCoste, High Point
Jeremie Bourget, Liberty
Josh MacDonald, Liberty
Chris Schulist, Campbell
Morgan Timiney, Campbell
Joseph Keitt, Coastal Carolina
Evan Niciphor, Coastal Carolina
Sam Hibbs, Liberty
Sean Helmke, VMI
Zach Barker, Liberty
Paddy Grandinali, High Point 

2013 All-Conference Team (Women)
Letitia Saayman, Coastal Carolina
Kyla van Graan, Coastal Carolina
Jacy Christiansen, Liberty
Teresa Williams, Radford
Ashley Matthews, Campbell
Erin Dalton, UNC Asheville
Jeanne Stoud, Winthrop
Kayleigh Perry, High Point
Jessie Proehl, Liberty
Emily Marchini, Coastal Carolina
Shelby Nicosia, Coastal Carolina
Sarah Heisner, UNC Asheville 

2013  Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Men)
Caleb Edmonds, Liberty

2013 Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Women)
Jeanne Stroud, Winthrop

2013 Cross Country All-Academic Team (Women)
Jeanne Stroud, Winthrop
Teresa Williamson, Radford
Emily Marchini, Coastal Carolina
Jacy Christiansen, Liberty
Melanie Kulesz, UNC Asheville
Gabriele Lesieur, Presbyterian College
Hannah Dickinson, VMI
Katie Spiro, Gardner-Webb
Katie Farina, High Point
Michelle Kaufman, Campbell
Jessie Dotson, Charleston Southern
Emily Krause, Longwood 

2013 Cross Country All-Academic Team (Men)
Caleb Edmonds, Liberty
Cabell Willis, VMI
Mike McClay, Gardner-Webb
Reece Ayers, High Point
Eric Baldwin, Campbell
Evan Niciphor, Coastal Carolina
Seth Warner, Presbyterian College
Russell Reed, Longwood
Colby Coulter, Winthrop
Scott Morrison, Charleston Southern
Chris Weeks, Radford
Patrick Osborne, UNC Asheville 

Coach of the Year (Men)
Brant Tolsma, Liberty 

Coach of the Year (Women)
Alan Connie, Coastal Carolina

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