LYNCHBURG, Va.- The Coastal Carolina University women’s cross country team won the 2008 New Balance Big South Conference cross country championship this morning in at Liberty University.
The Chanticleers scored 54 team points, narrowly edging out the Flames (55 points) and High Point (58 points).
Mia Wyszynski (Berlin, Germany/Wilma Rudolph (University of Bremen) came in third, and was the top finisher for the Chants with a time of 18:45.02. Redshirt sophomore Maranie Staab (Trafford, Pa./Penn Trafford) came in fourth,finishing just behind Wyszynski with a time of 18:46.10. Freshman Christian Johnson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) earned Big South Freshman of the Year honors as the top freshman finisher coming in seventh place with a time of 19:02.25.
With the top 10 finishes, all three runners attained All-Big South accolades. The honor was the second of Staab’s Chanticleer career, while it was the first honor for Wyszynski and Johnson. With the Freshman of the Year honor, Coastal Carolina has now had a runner win 10 of the last 15 Freshman of the Year awards, with the most recent coming in 2006 as alum Julia Viellehner earned the distinction.
The Big South Championship victory was the 12th in program history, and resulted in Head Coach Alan Connie’s 12th Big South Coach of the year award.
“I am tremendously happy and pleased about the results,” said a victorious Connie. “When we started training in August, I said we were going to work hard, but I had no idea we could perform this well. The freshman and newcomers really stepped up. The attitude and the way everyone trained was really a big part of our success.”
Junior Theresa Schambereger (Noble, Ind./East Noble), a returning All-Big South performer from a year ago who battled injuries all season came in 25th with a time of 20:16.54. More importantly, the junior earned Big South All-Academic honors for attaining a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom, epitomizing Coastal Carolina’s commitment to excellence on the course and in the classroom.
Coastal Carolina’s other two point-scorers were Joyce Curtin (Killeagh, Ireland/Colaiste Eoin) came in 19th with a time of 19:45.90, while classmate Shelby Donahue (Griswold, Conn./Griswold) came in 21st (19:57.08).
“Today was a total team effort. I am as happy with this team as I have been with any of the 12 championships teams. This race really came down to guts today, and we came out on top,” said Connie of his teams victorious effort.
The Chants will next travel to the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship on Nov. 15. The event will be hosted by Wake Forest University with a start time of 11 a.m.