Spalding University claimed the 2014 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country team championship today , their second title in program history, while Principia College's Nate Richards took home top individual honors.
Principia's Nate Richards becomes the program's sixth different runner to capture a conference individual title. Richards stayed up front at the start of the race, making a move on the second lap and never looking back. Richards finished the 8K race in a time of 25:40, 46-seconds faster than his closest competitor. Richards gives the Panthers the second consecutive individual title, joining 2013 winner Wylie Mangelsdorf.
Spalding University placed six runners in the top 15 spots of the race, totaling 41 team points. Nathan Mark and Brandon Price ran the majority of the race as a pair and finished 3rd and 4th respectively with times of 26:29 and 26:31. Tyler Edmondson claimed 9th place with a time of 27:27. The team championship is the second in program history, joining the 2012 squad.
Webster University finished second in the team scores with a 59, placing two runners in the top six. Jason Hickson finished 5th with a time of 26:49 while David Lambus was 6th with a 26:57. Greenville College took third place with 77 points and was led by Andrew Sharp. Sharp led the first lap of the race and finished 2nd with a time of 26:26.
Principia placed fourth with 82 points as Shane Witters-Hicks was their top finisher, placing 8th with a time of 27:22. Zach Mattiesen came in 10th with a time of 27:28 to give the Panthers their second finisher in the top ten. Westminster finished fifth with 100 points as Jesse Edwards grabbed 7th place with a time of 27:02. Blackburn was sixth at the meet with 171 points as Timothy Lacy took 32nd with a time of 29:14. Running without a team Fontbonne's Cristian Sellars finished 26th with a time of 28:32 and Eureka's Ian Cummings placed 60th with a time of 34:57.
Following the race the SLIAC announed their 2014 awards winners. By claiming the championship's top time Principia's Nate Richards was named the 2014 SLIAC Runner of the Year. Spalding University's Kevin Allesandro was named the Coach of the Year while Greenville College's Andrew Sharp was named the Newcomer of the Year.
The 2014 First Team All-Conference team included Nate Richards (Principia), Andrew Sharp (Greenville), Nathan Mark (Spalding), Brandon Price (Spalding), Jason Hickson (Webster), David Lambus (Webster), and Jesse Edwards (Westminster).
In addition the SLIAC recognized the school's sportsmanship award winners. These players were honored by their team and the conference for representing the true definition of sportsmanship: Seth Tonser (Blackburn), Ian Cummings (Eureka), Justin Horneker (Fontbonne), Ben Barber (Greenville), Shane Witters-Hicks (Principia), Cory Heslin (Spalding), Austin Dudley (Webster), and Spencer Woodford (Westminster).
For video of today's race and interviews click HERE
For complete results click HERE