USA Men’s Cross Country Win SBC Championship

November 3, 2014 · By · Filed Under Cross Country, NCAA, Sun Belt Conference 

newjagsmallThe University of South Alabama men’s cross country team won the Sun Belt Conference Championship on Sunday. Christoph Graf and Michael Pienaar finished first and second in the 8k race held at Battleship Memorial Park.

This is first conference title for the Jaguars since 2006 and their eighth overall for the program.

The women finished 7th place in the team competition in the 5k held earlier in the day.

In addition to the conference championship, the Jags picked up several awards. Graf was named the meet’s Most oustanding Performer, Pienaar was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year. Coach David Barnett was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year.

The men’s race was close throughout the entire 8k with Graf and Pienaar both in the lead pack during the race. Graf’s victory was his second of the season, his first was at the Azalea City Classic in his Jaguar debut on September 13. He finished with a time of 24:26.6.

Pienaar posted his third top-5 in as many races and less than three seconds behind Graf.

Both Graf and Pienaar were honored with first-team all-conference honors.

Patrick Rohr finished 13th with a time of 25:16.5 which was good for third-team all-SBC honors, his third consecutive year to earn all-conference honors for the Junior.

Robert Mann and Joe Gratton finished 18th and 19th place respectively with Mann finishing with a time of 25:38.3 and Gratton finishing one second later. Justin Housley (28th), Daniel Carter (30th) and Buddy Soto (38th) also competed for the Jaguars.

Nicole Durham led the lady Jaguars as she finished 19th with a time of 17:50.5. Ivy Chastain finished 28th with a time of 18:19.2. Ashley Heitling (41st), Alivia Bryars (44th), Joanna McCoy (45th), Shannen Weyer (47th), Kayla Wheeler (54th) and Kristin Parry (64th) also competed for the Jaguars.

The postseason will continue on November 14 with the NCAA South Region Championships that will be hosted at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

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