Richmond, VA – The Virginia Union University men and Winston-Salem State University women repeated as Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Cross Country Championships. The event was hosted today at Joseph Bryan Park.
VUU placed four athletes in the Top 10 to run away from Virginia State (75 points) and Bowie State (109) for their third-straight men's conference title. The remaining order of finish included Saint Augustine's (120), Shaw (138), Winston-Salem State (163), Livingstone (169), Elizabeth City State (185), Chowan (196), Lincoln, Pa. (202), Fayetteville State (229) and Johnson C. Smith (280).
"We had a good blend of older and younger runners who wanted to win," said Panthers' Head Coach Wilbert Johnson, the CIAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. "Running on their home course gave them extra incentive. Our motto was 'Protect Our House'."
WSSU placed five runners in the Top 10 to easily win their second consecutive women's league crown and fourth in five years. They scored 27 points to zoom past Virginia Union (106) and Johnson C. Smith (114). The rest of the order of finish was Bowie State (127), Livingstone (138), Lincoln, Pa. (149), Saint Augustine's (164), Virginia State (173), Shaw (226), Fayetteville State (235), Chowan (273) and Elizabeth City State (311).
"They put in the work this season and it paid off," said Rams' Head Coach Inez Turner, the CIAA Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. "They started fast and maintained their pace. They ran with a championship mentality."
Luis Nieves of Virginia Union claimed his second consecutive CIAA Men's 8K Individual Champion honor in 27:47.99. Teammate Arthur Casey placed second in 28:22.24 and Mitchell Brown of Winston-Salem State finished third in 28:46.75.
Domtila Kiplagat of Winston-Salem State won her second straight CIAA Women's 5K crown with a time of 18:35.35. Teammate Fawzia Kheir earned second in 18:41.38 and Fellen Ferguson of Johnson C. Smith finished third in 19:24.29.
The All-CIAA Men's Team consisted of Nieves, Casey and Brown in addition to Juma Mouchette of Virginia State, Jordan Fountain of Virginia Union, Shaquille Dill of Saint Augustine's, Tyron Evans of Virginia State, Linda Moise of Virginia Union, Michael Aregay of Bowie State, and Markese Miller of Bowie State.
The All-CIAA Women's Team included Kiplagat, Kheir and Ferguson in addition to Taska Johnson of Winston-Salem State, Mylene Cannon of Saint Augustine's, Domenique Julius-Williams of Johnson C. Smith, Angel Ewell of Livingstone, Arianna Polk of Lincoln, Pa., Micalyne Zimmerman of Winston-Salem State, and Phyllis Cheruiyot of Winston-Salem State.
Nieves and Kiplagat were named CIAA Men's and Women's Cross Country Athletes of the Year, as voted on by the Cross Country Coaches Associations based on regular season performances.
Nieves posted the best time in the CIAA this year and was named CIAA Men's Runner of the Week three consecutive times while Kiplagat ran the women's fastest time this year and was voted CIAA Women's Runner of the Week four out of five weeks during the regular season.