Men's Cross Country Wins Second Straight Conference Carolinas Championship - Trojans Sweep All Individual Awards
Dylan Lafond finished first out of 82 runners to win Runner of the Year honors, while Eugenio Gil was the top freshman finisher and captured Freshman of the Year honors as nationally 12th-ranked Mount Olive collected its second straight conference title, finishing first out of nine teams at the 2013 Conference Carolinas Men's Cross Country Championship Friday at Concord, N.C. Lafond was joined on the All-Conference Carolinas first team, while Stephen Greco and Erasmo Ordonez joined Gil on the second team. Jacob Urys and Frederic Lang earned third team honors as the Trojans placed seven runners on the All-Conference Carolinas Men's Cross Country Team for the second year in a row.
By virtue of Mount Olive winning the conference championship, Matt van Lierop was named 2013 Conference Carolinas Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. Including awards for men's and women's track and field, van Lierop is now a six-time Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year winner.
Lafond won by 40 seconds, posting a time of 24:15 in the 8k race. He came within three seconds of matching his own school record time, set at the Furman University Classic in the Trojans' season opener. Kitagawa finished third with a time of 25:06, which was the school record entering this season and is now tied for the seventh fastest.
All five of Mount Olive's point scorers were in the top 10 as Greco (25:33) finished sixth, Gil (25:47) was ninth and Ordonez (26:01) placed 10th. Gil was the top freshman finisher. Urys (26:12) was 12th and Lang (26:26) finished 15th. The top 15 finishers garner All-Conference Carolinas honors, with the top five being named to the first team, sixth through 10th place named to the second team and 11th through 15th on the third team.
The Trojans compiled a team score of 29 points to finish 24 points ahead of second place King.
Along with its national ranking, Mount Olive is ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA Division II Southeast Region Top 10.
Mount Olive will put its regional ranking on the line and vie for its third straight trip to the national finals as the Trojans head to Charlotte, N.C., November 9 to compete in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. The Trojans have finished second in the regional in each of the last two years and advanced to the NCAA Division II Men's Cross Country National Championship both years.