CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The La Salle men's cross country team won the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday, which was held at Frank Liske Park on the campus Charlotte. Junior Alfredo Santana won the race to earn Most Outstanding Performer honors.
Santana crossed the finish line with a time of 24:18 and and is the third Explorer to receive this honor and the first since Sean Quigley, who the last Explorer honored in 2006. The junior is the third Explorer to win the individual title at the Atlantic 10 Championships. The other two Explorers to win the title were Quigley (twice, 2006 and 2005) and Todd Witzleben (twice, 2002 and 2001).
The title is the eighth Atlantic 10 Conference Championship for the program, the most by any school in the conference. La Salle's women's cross country team also captured the Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday.
Head coach Dan Ireland also received honors from the Atlantic 10 Conference as he was voted Coach of the Year. This is the eighth time a coach from La Salle has been honored, following seven-time Coach of the Year Charles Torpey.
Before the races began, the Atlantic 10 had a moment of silence for Torpey, who passed away suddenly this summer. The Explorers continued to honor Torpey as they wore a patch on their uniforms as they had done all season for the former coach.
“It was a huge win coming in from the summer and what happened with Coach Torpey and being picked to be the preseason favorites," Ireland said. "The girls and guys both rose to the occasion."
"This win is something that Coach Torpey put together," Ireland continued. "He got them to this point. It was our job to finish the job."
Four other Explorers finished in the top fifteen, earning all-conference honors. Sophomore Nick Ross (5th, 24:36) and senior Nick Crits (6th, 24:38) were the other top ten finishers for the Explorers. Senior David Hausherr (24:59) and sophomore Luke Arbuckle (24:59), finished 13th and 14th respectively, rounded out the top fifteen.
All five Explorers that scored for the team earned All-Conference honors for the first time in their careers.
La Salle finished with 39 points, whereas the runner-up Duquesne finished with 72 points.
2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Cross Country Championship Awards
Coach of the Year
Dan Ireland, La Salle
Most Outstanding Performer
Alfredo Santana, La Salle
Rookie of the Year
Paul Szulewski, Saint Joseph's
Alfredo Santana, La Salle
Kevin McDonnell, Saint Joseph's
Greg Roeth, Dayton
Julian Saad, Fordham
Nick Ross, La Salle
Nick Crits, La Salle
Jon Mazzio, Saint Joseph's
Sean Duncan, Massachusetts
Erik Anderson, Duquesne
Tom Ohlman, Xavier
Jim Spisak, Duquesne
Patrick McGowan, Massachusetts
David Hausherr, La Salle
Luke Arbuckle, La Salle
Keith Albrekston, Xavier