Men’s and women’s cross country teams sweep Landmark awards in first season

Brian Lukacsy November 12, 2014 0

In its first season in the Landmark Conference, the Elizabethtown College men’s and women’s cross country teams put a stranglehold on the title of  best program. The women, who had won an unprecedented seven straight Middle Atlantic Conference titles before leaving the conference last year, kept the streak alive and did not leave any doubt as to who is the best team in the Landmark. The team’s top six runners all placed inside the top 10, including four in the top five.

The men won four straight MAC titles before having the title taken away from them at last year’s MAC meet. This year’s team took control of the new conference, bringing home the Landmark Conference Championship after the Greyhounds had won the last two years. The men had five runners place tenth or better and placed nine runners in the top 17 overall.

Just as impressive as the team title sweep by the men and women, the Blue Jays swept the Landmark Conference awards as well. Senior Amelia Tearnan won the individual title, the first Blue Jay since 2011 to do so. Tearnan also earned Performer of the Year honors for the conference.

First-year Maria Anderson took home Rookie of the Year honors after finishing eighth in her first conference championship race. Anderson was also named to the All-Landmark Conference Second Team. No Blue Jay had won Rookie of the Year since Traci Tempone in 2010.

The Blue Jays had five female runners make First Team All-Landmark Conference. Alongside Tearnan were fifth-year student Amanda Kerno, junior Lydia Dearie, fifth-year student Megan Tursi and sophomore Casey Quinto. Those runners finished first, second, third, fifth and seventh, respectively.

Senior Dan Gresh was the men’s individual champion and also earned Performer of the Year for the Landmark Conference. Seven other Blue Jays were named to All-Conference teams. Gresh defeated two-time defending Landmark Champion Dillon Farrell of Moravian to take the title. Gresh is only the fifth individual champion in program history, and the first since Eric Reichert in 2011.

Joining Gresh on the All-Landmark Conference First Team were juniors Ryan Conway and Sam Cooper, who finished fifth and seventh, respectively. The All-Landmark Conference Second Team included four Blue Jays. Sophomores Keegan McDonough and Jon Anderson, junior Zach Trama and sophomore Andrew Lesko. Those runners placed ninth through 12th, in that order.

Head Coach Brian Falk was named Coach of the Year for both the men’s and the women’s teams. This is the second time he has earned the award on both sides during his coaching career. He won both awards was back in 2011. Since 2008, Falk has led the women to seven consecutive conference titles. Falk has led the men to three conference titles in four seasons as head coach.

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