Washington University Men’s Cross Country Wins UAA Title, Women Finish Fourth
Rochester, N.Y., October 27, 2012 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s cross country team won its third-consecutive conference championship, while the women’s team finished fourth overall at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Cross Country Championships Saturday at Rochester, N.Y.
Junior Kevin Sparks won the men’s individual title to lead the Washington U. men to the team championship. The Bears scored 52 points to finish ahead of runner-up New York University (60) and third-place Carnegie Mellon University (65). On the women’s side, sophomore Lucy Cheadle claimed the individual championship, helping the Bears to a fourth-place finish. University of Chicago scored 37 points to easily win the women’s team championship over runner-up NYU (96). Carnegie Mellon edged Washington U. for third place, 103-105.
Head coach Jeff Stiles, along with assistant coaches Lane Lohr, Zach Griffen, John Laughlin, David Baker, and Amy Wilfert, were named the 2012 UAA Men's Coaching Staff of the Year. It marked the fifth time overall, and third year in a row, that Stiles and his assistants have garnered that honor. Stiles was also named the Men's Coach of the Year in 2001, 2003, 2010 and 2011.
Sparks led a group of five top-20 finishers for the Washington U. men, winning the 8K race in a time of 25:02.5. He became just the third runner in school history to win the UAA men’s cross country title, joining Tim Julien (1998-99) and Michael Burnstein (2010-11), who each won back-to-back titles for the Bears.
Cheadle won the women’s race by more than 30 seconds, clocking a winning time of 21:26.8 on the 6K course. She became the seventh runner in Washington U. women’s cross country history to win the UAA individual title. Karen Sorensen (1989), Emily Richard (1996-97), Maggie Grabow (2003-04), Beth Herndon (2005-06), Taryn Surtees (2008-09), and Erica Jackey (2011) also won the UAA women’s individual championship for Washington University.
In addition to Sparks’ title, senior David Hamm finished sixth overall with a time of 25:20.3, while sophomore Andrew Padgett was 12th in 25:41.3. Sophomores Garrett Patrick (25:47.0) and Ryan Senci (25:49.8) rounded out the scoring for the Washington U. men, finishing 15th and 18th, respectively.
On the women’s side, junior Lizzy Handschy and freshman Bri Tiffany followed Cheadle with times of 22:59.4 and 23.00.0 to finish 19th and 20th, respectively. Junior Kathleen Valadez placed 31st overall in 23:21.5, while freshman Ellen Toennies finished Washington U.’s scoring with a 36th-place finish in 23:29.4.
With their first-place finishes, Sparks and Cheadle were named the UAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Runners of the Year, while also receiving first-team all-UAA honors. Hamm also earned first-team all-UAA honors for the Washington U. men, after being a second-team honoree the past two seasons. Padgett earned second-team all-UAA recognition for the men’s team by finishing in the top-14.
The Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams have next week off before competing in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 in Oshkosh, Wis.