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Roanoke County, VA – Two teams with veteran coaches in their first year at their "new" schools captured Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) titles at this year's conference cross country championships. The Virginia State University men and Fayetteville State University women brought home first place trophies Thursday at Green Hill Park. The victory marked the Broncos’ first-ever CIAA Women’s Cross Country Championship title while the Trojan men claimed their first title since 2008.

fsu women ciaaxc17Fayetteville State University
2017 CIAA Women's Cross Country Champions

 vsu ciaa17 menlxcVirginia State University
2017 CIAA Men's Cross Country Champions

VSU placed four athletes in the Top 10 for a total of 39 team points to run away from Virginia Union University (84 points) and Saint Augustine’s University (103). The remaining order of finish had Lincoln (PA) University (109) third, followed by Livingstone College (131), Bowie State University (141), Chowan University (186), Elizabeth City State University (187), Shaw University (203), Fayetteville State University (243), Winston-Salem State University (254), and Johnson C. Smith University (353).

In his first year leading the Virginia State’s cross country program after seven years at nearby Virginia Union, Head Coach Wilbert Johnson earned 2017 CIAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year, his fourth overall honor.

On the women’s side, Fayetteville State placed four runners in the top 10 to win their first-ever CIAA title. The Broncos scored 35 points to past Winston-Salem State (62) and Saing Augustine's (75). The remaining finishers were Bowie State (143), Livingstone (148), Virginia Union (190), Virginia State (195), Johnson C. Smith (199), Lincoln (PA). (236), Shaw (249), Chowan (258), and Elizabeth City State (276).

Fayetteville State Head Coach Inez Turner, was named 2017 CIAA Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. This season marked her first with the Broncos after coaching 8 seasons at Winston-Salem State.

Shaw freshman Mike Lagat claimed his first CIAA Men's 8k Individual Champion honor with a time of 27:37.00. Last year’s individual champion Luis Nieves of Virginia Union placed second in the 2017 race in 27:54.80 while Tyreece Huff of Virginia State finished in third in 27:59.90.

Imani Travis a freshman of Winston-Salem State won her first CIAA women's 5k crown with a time of 19:37.70. Aleena Cruz of Fayetteville State placed second in 19:38.80. Winston-Salem State teammate Zakyrah Haynie finished third in 20:19.60.

The All-CIAA Men's Team consists of Lagat, Nieves, and Huff in addition to Isaiah Thomas (LUPA) Arthur Casey (VUU), Nickolas Stackfield (VSU), Aaron Thompson (LC), Juma Mouchette (VSU), Richard Prudente-Bernal (FSU), Steven Murdock (VSU), Jose Penalver (SAU), Tyron Evans (VSU), Anthony Wimbish (VUU), Hyshem Staten (ECSU), and Tyreese Jones (LC).

The All-CIAA Women's Team includes Travis, Cruz, and Haynie in addition to Destiny Stevons (FSU), Iris Robinson (SAU), Carisha Leonard (FSU), Morgan Gaither (FSU), Amanda Crawford (SAU) Ojai Brooks (WSSU), Fellan Ferguson (JCSU), Angel Ewell (LC), Kyla Frank (VSU), Zuwena Johnson (BSU), Kaydi Ann Wint (SU), and Asia Green (LC). 14 of the top 15 women’s runners were underclassmen, with over half being rookies in the CIAA.

Huff and Cruz were named CIAA Men's and Women's Cross Country Athletes of the Year, as voted on by the Cross Country Coaches Associations and based on regular season performances.

Huff posted the best time in the CIAA this year (26:22.00) while Cruz ran this year’s women's fastest time in 19:38.00.

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