The Colonials’ men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their winning ways, capturing the 2009 Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (EPCC) championship on Oct. 3 and the 2009 Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association (PCAA) championship on Oct. 17.
It is the third consecutive year that the Lady Colonials captured the EPCC and PCAA titles. Sophomore runner Sophia Downey gave a repeat performance, capturing the Runner of the Year honors, just as she did in her freshman debut.
Both teams were undefeated in the league this season, another repeat performance, and their outstanding performance ensured coaches Rogers Glispy, Ephener Green, Robert Taylor and El’Phant Eure EPCC Coach of the Year awards for the fifth year in a row.
The College’s Board of Trustees honored the coaches and the winning teams at the board’s Nov. 5 meeting.
This is Downey’s last season as a Lady Colonial. She will transfer to Temple University in January. However, she will not be running at Temple. “I’ve got shin splints, so I need to take a break for a while,” Downey said. She also wants to spend more time than the breakneck pace of the past two years has allowed with her three-year-old son. “I go to school, run track and work,” Downey said. “I need to focus on my son more.”
Coach Glispy said all of the runners on this year’s team trained hard. “There have been some close races. We’ve just worked harder to come out on top,” Glispy said. “In fact, this is definitely the hardest working group we’ve ever had, and Downey is the cream of the crop.”
The PCAA championship meet, held in miserable weather conditions, is a case in point, Glispy said. The runners had to slog through a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain, he said. “It would have been easy for them to say, ‘I’m not going to give this one my all.’ But they stuck it out in those brutal conditions. They really earned this championship.”
It was especially difficult for Downey, who ran despite painful shin splints. “My coaches were there to support me and without them, I would not have been able to do it,” the Frankford resident said. Downey is one of only two returning sophomores on the women’s cross country team. The men’s team consists entirely of freshmen.
The EPCC is a conference for junior and community colleges in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is a member, along with the Western Pennsylvania Community College Conference, of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association.
The runners who participated in the championship meets included: