CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The La Salle women's cross country team won the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships held at Frank Liske Park on the campus of Charlotte on Saturday morning. The title is the seventh Atlantic 10 Conference Championship for the program, the most by any school in the conference. La Salle's men'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."
Senior Caitlin Storbeck led all Explorers to the finish line, with a sixth place and a time of 17:41. Junior Meghan McGlinchey (7th, 17:47) and junior Stephanie Bearish (8th, 17:47) crossed the finish line only seconds after Storbeck.
Junior Wendy Hutchinson was the next to cross the finish line with a time of 17:50 in 12th place. Rounding out the top five for the Explores was a 36th place finish by junior Caroline Grant, 18:38.
Storbeck, McGlinchey, Bearish and Hutchinson all earned All-Atlantic 10 honors. This the third consecutive all-conference honor for Storbeck. For Bearish, this is her second consecutive All-Conference honor while McGlinchey and Hutchinson both earned their first All-Conference honor.
"The women's team had a tremendous effort. Four girls ran amazing," Ireland said. "Caroline Grant had a tremendous run for us and sealed the victory for us."
La Salle finished with 69 points, whereas the runner-up Dayton finished with 84 points.
"It's good for the program for us to get back to the standards that we expect here at La Salle," Ireland said.
2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Cross Country Championship Awards
Coach of the Year
Dan Ireland, La Salle
Most Outstanding Performer
Jill Prentice, Richmond
Rookie of the Year
Danica Snyder, Duquesne
Jill Prentice, Richmond
Hilary Orf, Saint Louis
Amanda Goetschius, Charlotte
Elissa Mason, Dayton
Karen Roa, Massachusetts
Caitlin Storbeck, La Salle
Meghan McGlinchey, La Salle
Stephanie Bearish, La Salle
Meg Ecker, Duquesne
Margo Richardson, Saint Louis
Lizzie Gelason, Dayton
Wendy Hutchinson, La Salle
Stephanie Paradis, Richmond
Hana Sutchar, Charlotte
Hannah Fuller, Saint Joseph's