TOWSON, Md. --- The Moravian College cross country teams had a total of five runners earn 2016 Landmark All-Conference honors this past Saturday with senior Meg Brockett being named the Women's Runner of the Year and freshman Katie Mayer receiving Women's Rookie of the Year accolades.
Brockett and Mayer also earned spots on the Landmark Conference Women's All-Conference First Team honors along with senior Sarah Hughes for top seven finishes at the 2016 Landmark Conference Championships hosted by Moravian at Bicentennial Park in Northampton on October 29. The trio helped the Greyhounds finish as the runner-up.
For the Greyhounds' men's squad, freshman Gavin Kemery was selected to the Landmark All-Conference First Team while freshman Gregory Jaindl earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. Moravian's men were fourth as a team at the championship.
Brockett won the women's 6,000-meter race with a championship record time of 21:10.55, one minute and 42 seconds faster than the previous meet record, as she paced the 85-runner field. Brockett has earned All-Conference honors in each of her four seasons with spots on the All-Conference First Team the last two years after being on the Second Team her first two seasons. Brockett is the second Moravian runner to win the meet title and Runner of the Year honors, joining Cadee Rockwell '12, who won the 2011 title in the snow as the Greyhounds hosted at Lehigh University, a race that was voted as the top moment in the first 10 years of the Landmark Conference for women's cross county.
Hughes finished as the runner-up to Brockett in a time of 21:51.66 to earn her spot on the Landmark All-Conference First Team. It was Hughes' second fastest time of the season, and she earned All-Conference honors for the second straight fall after being on the Second Team in 2015.
"We talked all week about them not getting out too fast, but rather making a move mid-race somewhere before the two-mile mark if they felt they could start to form a gap in the race," stated Head Coach Jesse Baumann on Brockett and Hughes. "Meg wound up taking off fairly early, breaking a little before the mile marker and Sarah followed suit. Meg pulled away for a decisive victory to earn Conference Runner of the Year, and Sarah held on to cap off the 1-2 finish we had set a goal of ever since the summer."
Mayer was fifth in the race in a season-best time of 22:20.60, and she was the first freshman to cross the finish line in the race. Mayer's First Team finish gave the Greyhounds three First Team honorees for just the second time in the history of the Landmark Conference, joining the 2011 squad.
"Katie has improved exponentially for us ever since Paul Short when she made the leap in training to attempt to work with Meg and Sarah in workouts," commented Baumann. "She ran with courage, trying to stick with McNamee and Quinto from Elizabethtown from the gun. The aggression may have cost her a little bit towards the finish when she was outkicked for 5th position, but I applaud her assertiveness. First-Team All-Landmark as a freshman, along with the Freshmen of the Year are great honors to recognize her hard work heretofore."
Kemery ran a season-best time of 26:30.72 to finish in sixth place of the 85 men's competitors on the 8,000-meter course at Bicentennial Park. Jaindl was 11th in the race with a time of 26:50.75, his best of the season, to earn a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.
"On the men's side we discussed marking Elizabethtown and Juniata's top runners which put Greg and Gavin in the top 10 early on in the race," noted Baumann. "Greg held on well to finish 11th, and Gavin managed to move up a little as the race went on to finish 6th. We couldn't have asked much more from them, and we're very pleased both were able to finish on the All-Landmark teams as freshmen. It's an encouraging sign going forward, not only the next few weeks headed into Regionals, but especially into the next few years as we look to build our team around our talented freshmen class."
Moravian is off this week before competing in the 2016 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional being hosted by DeSales University on Saturday, November 12.