Donnie Smith, Director of Athletic Communications
AVE MARIA, Fla. – The Southeastern University women’s cross country team won their second Sun Conference championship in a row, and third in four years on Saturday.
The Fire had all five of their scoring runners place among the top seven for a team score of 19, beating Ave Maria by 61.
“I felt we had the team to win this year, but have had a lot of challenges with injuries and illness,” said coach Paul Kurtz. “I think we came out and with our depth, we were able to put it all together and do what we needed to do, and do it in great fashion.”
Junior Julia Rohm cruised to victory and picked up her sixth win of the season, along with Sun Conference Runner of the Year honors and First Team All-Sun Conference recognition in a time of 18:36.
“Being out front all year has made me mentally stronger because I know I need to keep myself accountable,” said Rohm. “It felt pretty good to win after being third my freshman year and second last year, and I’m just really thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to run and be a part of this team.”
Raeanna Pabon was second in 18:59. Junior Isabel Oliveto was fourth in 19:35 with Makenzie Johnson following in 19:51. Emma McLaughlin was seventh with a time of 20:16. Those four joined Rohm on the first team.
Earning second team honors were Kathy Macedo and Madison Lilienthal, placing 13th and 14th in times of 20:53 and 20:55, respectively.
Senior Makayla Kalapuch was 20th in a time of 21:46.
Kurtz earned his fourth Sun Conference Coach of the Year selection in women’s cross country since 2016.