HAMPTON, Ga. — For the second time in the past three seasons, Appalachian State men’s cross country captured the Sun Belt team championship on Saturday morning.
App State saw five runners earn All-Sun Belt honors, six finish in the top-20 and all seven who competed place in the top-35. In all, the Mountaineers totaled 48 points, 34 points ahead of Arkansas State, who finished second with 82 points. Coastal Carolina was third with 83 points.
“I am ecstatic about our performance today,” said head coach Michael Curcio. “We were able to exercise some demons on this course. We fell just short here five years ago and today, we were able to bring home the title.”
For his efforts, Curcio was named Sun Belt Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second time since the Mountaineers joined the conference. In addition, Oliver-Wilson Cook was tabbed as Sun Belt Freshman of the Year.
Isaac Benz continued his strong season with a fourth place finish in 24:21.6 to earn First Team All-Sun Belt honors.
Ryan Brown also earned First Team All-Sun Belt accolades, finishing right behind Benz in fifth place with a time of 24:29.0.
Along with his Freshman of the Year award, Wilson-Cook earned Second Team All-Sun Belt honors with a 10th place finish in a PR time of 24:56.5.
George Hotelling and Gable Dershem were both named Third Team All-Sun Belt. Hotelling crossed 14th overall in 25:08.2 and Dershem earned his third consecutive All-Sun Belt honor with a time of 25:09.7.
“We felt confident coming into today and our fitness level was high,” added Curcio. “This was a true team effort. Our guys came up with a great race plan and executed it exactly how we wanted.”
The Mountaineers will send a group of athletes to the Montreat Open on Friday before competing at the NCAA Southeast Regionals on Nov. 15. App State currently ranks 13th in the regional rankings.
1. Appalachian State, 48
2. Arkansas State, 82
3. Coastal Carolina, 83
4. UT Arlington, 90
5. Texas State, 92
6. South Alabama, 101
7. Little Rock, 201
8. Troy, 210
9. ULM, 258
10. Louisiana, 268