UCA Women, SLU Men Capture 2020 Southland Cross Country Titles


Courtesy: lionsports.net

HAMMOND, La. – The 2020 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships were completed Sunday morning on the Southeastern Louisiana campus in Hammond, La. For the second consecutive year, the women’s team title was secured by Central Arkansas after the Bears nabbed 86 points in the team standings.

The men’s crown will remain in Hammond as Southeastern Louisiana registered five finishers among the top 15, sealing its first team title in program history.

Abilene Christian sophomore Irene Rono captured the women’s individual championship, crossing the finish line with a 20:36.52 in the women’s 6k event and averaging a 5.32-mile pace. SLU’s Shea Foster earned the men’s Athlete of the Year crown with 22:41.16 first-place finish in the men’s 8k race.

After capturing the women’s individual title Rono garners women’s Southland Athlete of the Year honors. UIW’s Andrea Acuna is the women’s Freshman of the Year after a 19th-place finish, while New Orleans’ Anna Dohmen finished 11th overall to be named women’s Newcomer of the Year. Central Arkansas’ Beau Theriot was named the women’s Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to their second title in program history.

Rono (ACU), Arina Kleshchukova (UNO), Sophie Daigle (SLU), Kelsey Ramirez (SFA) and Valentina Campos (TAMU-CC) fill out the women’s first team all-conference roster. A total of nine schools were represented on the women’s all-conference teams.

In addition to Foster’s male Athlete of the Year honor and the Lions’ team title, Southeastern Louisiana head coach Corey Mistretta was named men’s Coach of the Year. McNeese’s Gideon Cheplak finished second overall, earning men’s Newcomer of the Year honors. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Dennis Kipngeno placed third individually to be named men’s Freshman of the Year.

Southeastern Louisiana registered five men’s all-conference honorees, led by first-teamers Foster and Grant O’Callaghan. McNeese’s Cheplak, New Orleans’ Kolyn Saltzman and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Kipngeno filled out the remaining three spots on the men’s first team all-conference roster. There were eight schools represented among the men’s all-conference teams.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no NCAA Regional Championship. Competitors at the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be selected by the Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Committee.  For athletes who qualify, the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be hosted Monday, March 15 at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla.

2020 Southland Championship Team Finishes:

1. Central Arkansas1. Southeastern Louisiana
2. Abilene Christian2. Stephen F. Austin
3. Stephen F. Austin3. Lamar
4. New Orleans4. New Orleans
5. UIW5. Central Arkansas
6. McNeese6. McNeese
7. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi7. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
8. Nicholls8. Abilene Christian
9. Southeastern Louisiana9. Sam Houston
10. Sam Houston10. UIW
11. Houston Baptist11. Houston Baptist
12. Lamar12. Nicholls

Individual Superlatives:


Freshman of the Year – Andrew Acuna, UIW

Newcomer of the Year – Anna Dohmen, UNO

Coach of the Year – Beau Theriot, UCA

Athlete of the Year – Irene Rono, ACU


Freshman of the Year – Dennis Kipngeno, TAMU-CC

Newcomer of the Year – Gideon Cheplak, MCN

Coach of the Year – Corey Mistretta, SLU

Athlete of the Year – Shea Foster, SLU

Women’s All-Conference Teams

First Team

Irene RonoSo.Abilene Christian
Arina KleshchukovaJr.New Orleans
Valentina CamposSr.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Kelsey RamirezSr.Stephen F. Austin
Sophie DaigleSr.Southeastern Louisiana

Second Team

Tamara ReevesSo.Central Arkansas
Cryslan TuckerR-So.Sam Houston
Elsa RijpstraSo.Nicholls
Quin JohnsonSr.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Sara SteimelSo.Central Arkansas

Third Team

Anna DohmenJr.New Orleans
Aurelia JepkorirSo.McNeese
Kennedy TimmermanJr.Central Arkansas
Briahna GerlachSr.Abilene Christian
Bonnie AndresSo.McNeese

Men’s All-Conference Teams

First Team

Shea FosterSr.Southeastern Louisiana
Gideon CheplakJr.McNeese
Dennis KipngenoSo.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Kolyn SaltzmanSo.New Orleans
Grant O’CallaghanSr.Southeastern Louisiana

Second Team

Eli PevetoFr.Lamar
Jaden ForesterFr.New Orleans
Adam CortezSr.Southeastern Louisiana
Andrew BosquezSr.Sam Houston
Bradley MakuvireSo.Southeastern Louisiana

Third Team

Anthony CorderoSr.Southeastern Louisiana
Alex HansonGr.Central Arkansas
Parker JonesSo.Stephen F. Austin
Henry KiplagatSr.McNeese
Lewis MillsSo.Stephen F. Austin

{Courtesy: Press Release from the Southland Conference}


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