Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scott Anderson, Neely Spence Named PSAC Cross Country Athletes of the Year

Monroe, Reis named top freshmen; Spence doubles as men’s and women’s Coach of the Year

Lock Haven, Pa. – For the third straight season, Shippensburg junior Neely Spence has been named the PSAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year, while Edinboro sophomore Scott Anderson has been named the PSAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Both athletes won the individual titles at the PSAC Cross Country Championships last month and also performance quite well in the postseason

Lock Haven freshman Alex Monroe has been named the PSAC Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year while Shippensburg’s Patty Reis has been named the PSAC Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year. Both greatly contributed to their respective teams’ NCAA regional championship. For the second straight season, Shippensburg’s Steve Spence has been voted both the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year. When he earned both awards last year, he became the first cross country coach since Edinboro’s Doug Watts in 1999 to be honored as both the men’s and women’s Coach of the Year in the same season.

Spence, the daughter of Shippensburg coach and men’s and women’s Coach of the Year Steve Spence, is the Women’s Athlete of the Year for the third straight year. The junior became Shippensburg’s first cross country individual national champion in program history when she claimed the NCAA individual title at last Saturday’s national meet in Louisville. That performance marked her second career All-America honor. Earlier in the year, Spence also claimed the both the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region individual titles for the third straight season. It marked the third straight PSAC team title for the Lady Raiders and their fourth overall. Her first place individual finish also helped the Lady Raiders win the team title at the Atlantic Regional for the third straight year and the Lady Raiders also finished fourth at NCAA national meet, their second best finish at the national meet in program history. Spence, who earlier this week was also named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Year, is the first women’s cross country runner in PSAC history to be named the Athlete of the Year in three consecutive seasons, having also been named the Freshman of the Year in 2008. Spence, who has now run in three cross country seasons and two indoor and outdoor track & field seasons during her career, has now been named the Athlete or Track Athlete of the Year in every season in her career.

Anderson becomes Edinboro’s first Men’s Athlete of the Year since Jeff Barker in 2000. Although he is the first Fighting Scot in 10 years to claim the PSAC Athlete of the Year honor, the sophomore is just the latest in a long line of top Edinboro runners that have helped the Fighting Scots be a contender for the PSAC and NCAA crowns year after year. Anderson won the PSAC individual title and finished second individually at the NCAA Atlantic Regional meet, just less than two seconds behind the winner. He helped lead his team to a third place finish at both the PSAC and NCAA regional meets. Running as an individual at the NCAA championships, he was the top PSAC finisher at the national meet, coming in 18th place to earn the All-American finish.

Monroe was one of the top runners on Lock Haven’s Atlantic Regional championship team and he wrapped up his freshman season by finishing 32nd at the NCAA meet last weekend.  That finish helped the Bald Eagles finish in 11th place and he was the top finisher on his team. At the PSAC meet, in which he led his team to a close runner-up finish, he was the Bald Eagles’ top finisher as he placed sixth. He improved on that finish by two spots at the NCAA regional meet, finishing in fourth place to help lead the Eagles to the team title as he was one of three Bald Eagles to finish in the top four in the individual standings. Monroe is the first Lock Haven runner to earn the Freshman of the Year award since Brandon Pomerantz in 2006.

Reis joined a loaded veteran Shippensburg squad this year and made a significant impact as she was surrounded by primarily juniors and seniors. She was one of seven Lady Raider runners to finish in the top 16 spots individually at the PSAC meet as she came in 16th. Despite not counting toward her team’s score since only the top five finishers are counted, Reis still finished higher than eight other teams’ top finisher at the conference meet. At the NCAA regional meet, she was one of six Lady Raiders to finish in the top 17, as she placed 17th, which was higher than the top finisher of 18 of the other 25 teams competing in the meet. At the NCAA national meet, Reis finished in 62nd place as she was once again sixth among Shippensburg runners, helping lead the team to a fourth place finish.

Spence is the PSAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for the third straight year and the Men’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season and third time overall in his career. He has guided both the men’s and women’s programs at Shippensburg to near unprecedented heights. The women’s program finished fourth at the NCAA meet, their second-best finish in program history, after winning their third straight PSAC and NCAA regional titles. One year after winning the NCAA regional championship, the men’s program won its first PSAC championship and became the first team other than Edinboro or Lock Haven to win the team title since 1991. He then led the men to a runner-up finish at the regional championship to qualify for its second straight NCAA championships, where the Red Raiders finished in seventh place, the top PSAC team in the standings.

PSAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Scott Anderson, Edinboro (West Falls, N.Y./East Aurora)

PSAC Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven (Lewistown, Pa./Indian Valley)

PSAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
Steve Spence, Shippensburg



PSAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Neely Spence, Shippensburg (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg)

PSAC Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year
Patty Reis, Shippensburg (Parkesburg, Pa./Lancaster Catholic)

PSAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
Steve Spence, Shippensburg

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