Darton sweeps Region XVII Cross Country Championships
ACWORTH – The Darton State College men’s and women’s cross country teams clinched conference titles Friday at the 2012 Region 17 Championships at the Cobb Corps Property in Acworth.
It was the fourth consecutive championship title for the Darton men’s team and the fifth for the women’s team.
But this year was different, according to Darton head XC coach Bruce Skiles.
“This is the best team we’ve ever had,” he said.
With four runners among the top five finishers, the Cavaliers had a near-perfect score of 18 points Friday. The team’s average 8K time was 26:47.21.
Darton freshman Jared Richmond won the men’s championship and set a new school record, completing the 8K in 26:04.38. Close behind were sophomores Cody Mallchok (26:15) and Hank Campbell (26:28), who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Freshman Ean Crawford finished 5th, running 27:22, and at 27:44 sophomore Nick Mascardo finished 7th to sum Darton’s score.
“This is the lowest average race time of any team we’ve ever had,” Skiles said. “The difference between this team and others we’ve had at Darton is that they trained hard all year long. We’ve always had two or three do that, but I’d say we had four or five this year, and that made all of the difference.”
The women’s program raced at an exceptional pace as well, as its top five runners averaged 20:49 for the women’s 5K. Seven of the Lady Cavs finished among the top 10 – four of them were among the top five.
“They ran in packs,” Skiles said. “I’ve never had four girls under 21 minutes and then another three under 22. I think this is the best overall women’s team we’ve ever had.”
Sophomore Jeronda Stringfield led the Darton effort, finishing 2nd overall with a time of 20:40. Alexis Skiles (20:43), Hayden Clapper (20:46) and Elena Oslund (20:48) finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. Kaitlyn Winter ran the 5K in 21:10 to finish 7th and sum Darton’s score of 21 points.
Stringfield, Skiles, Clapper and Oslund earned All-Region 1st team honors while teammates Winter and Vanessa Pina earned All-Region 2nd Team honors.
On the men’s side, Richmond, Mallchok, Campbell and Crawford earned 1st Team All-Region honors and Mascardo, who Skiles held back due to an injury, received 2nd Team honors.
Skiles, who took over the program in 2011, earned his third and fourth “Region 17 Coach of the Year” titles.
- Published: 687 days ago on October 29, 2012
- By: Staff
- Last Modified: October 29, 2012 @ 6:08 pm
- Filed Under: Sports
- Tagged With: Cross Country, darton