PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The 2016 LEC Cross Country season concludes with the official announcement of its Major Awards, as voted on by the institution's head cross country coaches. The Keene State women's cross country team secured its 17th consecutive LEC Championship and the Southern Maine men's cross country team earned its second LEC title in five seasons on October 29th on the host campus of UMass Dartmouth.
The LEC Women's Runner of the Year is Keene State's Lindsay Szuch (Stratford, Conn.). Szuch finished fourth in the 2015 LEC Championships with a time of 18:55.1 and returned to win this season's 2016 LEC Individual Championship with a time of 18:02.74, improving on her mark by over 50 seconds. Her championship time placed her fifth on the all-time LEC Championship list behind five Keene State alums. Szuch accomplished her career best in the 6K course during last weekend's NCAA New England Regional Race at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. Szuch was named the Little East Conference Women's Runner of the Week three times this season (9/12, 9/19, 10/3).
The Women's Rookie Runner of the Year is UMass Boston's Patriciah Mulinge (Brockton, Mass.). Mulinge finished the season strong, earning two-straight LEC Women's Rookie Runner of the Week awards (Oct. 10, Oct. 17). Mulinge was the conference's top freshman finisher in the LEC Championship and finished with All-LEC honors with her ninth place finish and a time of 19:24.89.
The 2016 Men's Runner of the Year is Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.). Brunnette won the 2016 LEC Individual Cross Country Championship as the top finisher on October 29th with a final time of 25:12.31. Brunnette's championship time placed him in eighth place on the all-time LEC top times list and is the Panther's first ever LEC Individual Cross Country Champion in program history. Brunnette was named the LEC Men's Runner of the Week three times during the 2016 campaign (9/12, 9/19, 10/3). Brunnette was the 2015 LEC Men's Rookie Runner of the Year.
The 2016 Men's Rookie Runner of the Year is Southern Maine's Nick Harriman (Lisbon, ME). Harriman was the top freshman finisher in the 2016 LEC Championship and the top-finisher for the Southern Maine Huskies. Harriman finished fifth with a final time of 25:42.78 and helped lead the Huskies to its first LEC Cross Country Team Championship since they last won in 2011. Harriman concluded his season with an 86th (out of 384) overall finish with a time of 26:15.15 at the NCAA Regional Cross Country Championships last weekend.
Keene State's head coach, Tom Pickering was awarded his second straight LEC Coach of the Year Award after his women's Owls team won the LEC title for the 17th consecutive year. The LEC Men's Coach of the Year was awarded to Southern Maine's head coach Ryan Harkleroad after winning his first title at the helm of the Huskies' cross country program.
The Little East Conference awards the top 10- finishers of the LEC Cross Country Championship with All-LEC honors. The men's and women's All-LEC Cross Country team is stated below.
|Men's Runner of the Year||Sam Brunnette||Plymouth State|
|Women's Runner of the Year||Lindsay Szuch||Keene State|
|Men's Rookie Runner of the Year||Nick Harriman||Southern Maine|
|Women's Rookie Runner of the Year||Patriciah Mulinge||UMass Boston|
|Men's Coach of the Year||Ryan Harkleroad||Southern Maine|
|Women's Coach of the Year||Tom Pickering||Keene State|
|Men's All-Little East Honors||Women's All-Little East Honors|
|1. Sam Brunnette, Plymouth State||1. Lindsay Szuch, Keene State|
|2. Michael Vaz, UMass Dartmouth||2. Jasmine Boyle, Southern Maine|
|3. Warren Bartlett, Plymouth State||3. Hannah Damron, Southern Maine|
|4. Philip Parent, Keene State||4. Reme DiGiovanni, UMass Dartmouth|
|5. Nick Harriman, Southern Maine||5. Samantha McKosky, Eastern Connecticut|
|6. Iid Shiekh-Yusuf, Keene State||6. Rachel Klaski, Keene State|
|7. Michael Aboud, Southern Maine||7. Katelyn Terry, Keene State|
|8. Jason Karakaedos, UMass Dartmouth||8. Alyssa Lombardi, Keene State|
|9. Sean Herlihy, UMass Dartmouth||9. Patriciah Mulinge, UMass Boston|
|10. Ben Foster, Southern Maine||10. Mariah McPhee, Eastern Connecticut|