Principia Wins Men's Cross Country Crown; Spalding's Deng Takes Home Individual Title
Hillsboro, Ill. – The Principia College men's cross country team placed four runners in the top 10 to win the 2011 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Cross Country Championship held at Hillsboro Country Club and Park District in Hillsboro, Ill. Spalding University junior Abram Deng claimed the individual crown with a time of 25:17 on the 8K course, finishing 18 seconds ahead of the second place runner.
It marks the first time in 16 years and fourth time overall that Principia has claimed the team title. They also won in 1990, 1991 and 1995. Sophomores Wylie Mangelsdorf and Derrick Fleming and senior Drew Clark led Principia's squad. Mangelsdorf finished as the runner-up with a time of 25:35. Clark, who had the best 8K time earlier this season among the SLIAC men and was a two-time SLIAC Runner of the Year in 2009 and 2010, placed third with a time of 25:43. Fleming finished in fourth place out of the 81 runners competing with a time of 26:04.
Mangelsdorf, Clark and Fleming all earned First Team All-SLIAC honors for their performances. Principia senior Jeff Strickland was also named Second Team All-SLIAC after placing ninth overall and recording a time of 26:40. Principia head coach Chuck Wilcoxen was also named the SLIAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second time. He earned the honor back in 2001.
Spalding's Deng posted the second best 8K time this season among the SLIAC men with a 25:17 on the 8K course. He was named SLIAC Runner of the Year and First Team All-SLIAC for his performance. Teammate Haile Jemane, a sophomore, earned Second Team All-SLIAC for the second consecutive year with a time of 26:52 and a 10th place finish. Junior Eric Yepez was also Second Team All-SLIAC with a 12th place finish and a time of 26:56.
Greenville College had six runners All-Conference honors. Senior Xavier Ortiz (26:05) was the top finisher for the Panthers in fifth place and earned First Team honors for the second consecutive year. Sophomore Bryant Simpson (26:14) and junior Ross Baker (26:27) finished in sixth and seventh place respectively to also be named First Team All-SLIAC. Junior Josh Dees and seniors Coree Woltering and Nathan Young all were Second Team All-SLIAC honorees. Dees placed 11th overall with a time of 26:53, while Young and Woltering placed 13th and 14th respectively with times of 27:02 and 27:07.
Fontbonne University had one runner, senior Mike Horn, who finished in the top 10. Horn ran a time of 26:33 to place eighth overall and earn Second Team All-SLIAC honors. It marks the fourth consecutive year that he has been named Second Team All-Conference.
Principia finished with a team total of 33 points, while Greenville College and Spalding University finished in second and third place with 42 and 82 points respectively. Fontbonne University claimed fourth place with 120 points, and Westminster College rounded out the top five with 126 points. Webster University (146), Eureka College (209) and Blackburn College (225) placed sixth through eighth respectively in the team scoring.
Other awards announced during the All-Star Trophy Awards Ceremony following the race were the 2011 All-Sportsmanship Team and Principia College as the Sportsmanship Award winner. It marks the fourth time since the award's inception in 2006 that Principia has won the honor.
The following individuals were named to the 2011 SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team for men's cross country, as selected by the league coaches. Senior Marshall Petty (Blackburn), sophomore Zach Ahrends (Eureka), junior Shea Naes (Fontbonne), junior Ross Baker (Greenville), sophomore James Borengasser (Spalding), freshman Andy Crump (Principia), senior Tony Morales (Webster) and freshman Daniel Lindaman (Westminster).