Centre’s Owens; DePauw’s Stoffregen honored as 2008 SCAC Cross Country Coaches-of-the-Year

Centre’s Owens; DePauw’s Stoffregen honored as 2008 SCAC Cross Country Coaches-of-the-Year

SUWANEE, Ga. - In exclusive voting by the head coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Centre College's Lisa Owens was named SCAC Men's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year and DePauw University's Kori Stoffregen was selected SCAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year.

After running second in three of the last four conference championship meets, 34th-ranked Centre won its first-ever SCAC men's cross country title behind a 1-2 finish by Chase Wilson and Jason Parks. The Colonels finished with 38 points - 34 points ahead of second-place and 2007 SCAC team champion Colorado College. Colorado had 72 points, three points clear of DePauw University. Complete Results

In another first for the program, Owens becomes the first Centre College coach to earn a SCAC Men's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year award.

Wilson, who earned SCAC Runner-of-the-Year honors with the individual win, was dominating in his victory, finishing 14 seconds ahead of Parks in a time of 25:35 on the Memphis Plough Park 8-kilometer course. Wilson's time was the 13th fastest in SCAC championships history. Park finished in a time of 25:49 - good for 17th fastest in SCAC history.

The Colonels also got all-SCAC performances from brothers Willie Polio, who finished in eighth place with a time of 26:17 and Joey Polio, who finished 10th with a finishing time of 26:28.

Colorado College's Jackson Brainerd earned Newcomer-of-the-Year honors by virtue of being the top finisher among first-year runners. His time of 26:15 was good for seventh-place and earned the freshman all-SCAC honors.

On the women's side, 15th-ranked DePauw University won its sixth straight SCAC cross country championship. The DU women totaled 49 points to defeat second-place Trinity University by four points, the closest margin of victory on the women's side since 2001. Complete Results

For Stoffregen, this is the sixth straight year he has been named SCAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year and the seventh time overall. He has also earned the Men's COTY award seven times. Only Rhodes College's Robert Shankman with a combined 15 Cross Country COTY awards has more than Stoffregen's 14.

Pacing the DePauw women was Lauren Reich, who covered the 6-kilometer course in 21:37 to finish in second place - her second consecutive runner-up finish at the conference championship meet. DePauw also received all-SCAC performances from Alison Case (22:22 - sixth place), Ellen Mail (22:54 - 10th place) and Leah Seigel (23:11 - 13th place).

In the individual race, Taylor Stephens of Rhodes earned both SCAC Runner-of-the-Year and Newcomer-of-the-Year honors with a winning time of 21:30 - the second fastest 6K time in conference championship meet history.

Emily Loeffler of Trinity, the 2007 SCAC Women's Runner of the Year, came in third at 21:43.