Alva Review-Courier -

Women's Cross Country Earns GAC Championship


October 23, 2016

DURANT, OKLA. – For the first time since 2012, the East Central University women's cross country team earned the Great American Conference Championship title.

2016 GAC Championship Results I Photo Gallery

The Tigers finished with 39 points, 20 points ahead of Harding who claimed second (59). Southwestern was third (95), Southeastern fourth (121), Southern Arkansas fifth (126), Southern Nazarene sixth (160), Arkansas Tech seventh (175), Harding eighth (244), Ouachita ninth (252), Northwestern 10th(255) and Arkansas-Monticello 11th (322).

"Today was great day for ECU cross country," said head coach Steve Sawyer. "We set winning a GAC title as one of our team goals at the beginning of the year and it was nice to see both teams claim the titles."

Sophomore Anna Mora was the top overall finisher in a time of 17:56.40, almost five seconds faster than the second place finisher. Mora claimed GAC Runner of the Year and All-GAC First Team honors in the process, after a 2015 Freshman of the Year Award.

Junior Michaela Lombardi was also named to the All-GAC First Team, finishing fifth in (18:38.21). Junior Marisa Meza and freshman Abbie Winchester were also named to the All-GAC Second Team, with Meza eighth (18:53.14) and Winchester 10th (19:18.52). Freshman Kelsey Horner was the last runner to score points for ECU, in 15th (19:30.69).

The Tigers were also represented by sophomore Macey Pflughoft in 19th (19:42.90), senior Karen Mendez 27th (19:56.85), junior Cheyenne Choate 40th (20:10.76), senior Taylor Coss 66th (21:10.67) and junior Elena Estrada 76th (21:25.75).

Meza, Winchester, Horner and Pflughoft were all named to the All-GAC Second Team, while Sawyer was also named the GAC Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's teams.

Choate was also honored with the Crafton Tull Distinguished Scholar award, for those participating in the championship with a 3.70 GPA or higher who has completed at least 70 hours.

The Tigers will now have two weeks off to get ready for the 2016 NCAA Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D., Saturday, Nov. 5.


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