October 31, 2012
Lauren D'Alessio Wins SoCon Championship
After consecutive second-place finishes in 2010 and 2011, senior Lauren D'Alessio can now call herself a SoCon Champion as she won the women's 5,000-meter race Saturday with a time of 16:57.65. The Pelham, Ala., native is Samford's first individual SoCon champion and the first three-time First Team All-SoCon honoree since former Samford runner Hillary Neal (2008-10). She was the only competitor that ran under 17 minutes.
Freshman Rachel Roberts was right behind D'Alessio, placing second in 17:19.32. It is the highest finish for any freshman since 2009 and she is only the fifth freshman since 2008 to be named to the All-Freshman team and the SoCon First Team in the same season.
“D'Alessio and Roberts ran their hearts out for Samford and were able to finish first and second,” said Head Coach Lori Strand. “They really showed with heart and hard work, great things can happen.”
Those finishes helped guide the women's team to a third-place finish with 97 points. Appalachian State won the women's title with 64 points while Elon finished second with 68. The men's team placed seventh in the 8,000 meters with 152 points with three Bulldogs named to the All-Freshman team. Appalachian State completed the sweep with a team win on the men's side as well.
“I don't think the races went as we planned as a whole,” said Strand. “On the women's side there were four teams that, on any given day, could have won. Unfortunately for us today wasn't our day.
“Our guys ran hard and the freshman had three on the All-Freshman team which makes the future look bright. Hopefully they will continue their success and we will add to their ranks and become one of the top teams in the SoCon on the men's side also.”
Luke Weishaar (20th, 25:35.34), Brandon Hazouri (24th, 25:40.77) and Adam Jones (35th, 26:07.24) all earned spots on the men's All-Freshman team. They are Samford's first representatives on the team since 2010 and Samford is the only team since 2008 to have three members on the All-Freshman team.
Finishing in between Hazouri and Jones was Layton Dorsett (29th, 25:49.25) with Steven Crain (48th, 26:37.30) rounding out the Bulldogs' point scorers on the men's side. For the women, Holly Benson (20th, 18:17.14), Frances Bernard (28th, 18:25.67) and Rachel Wooten (47th, 18:47.94) rounded out the team's point scorers.
In two weeks, Samford will send competitors to Tallahassee, Fla., for the NCAA South Regional meet on Friday, Nov. 9. Events at Apalachee Park will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET with the women's 6k and will continue at 9:15 a.m. with the men's 10k. Qualifying teams and at-large individuals will be chosen to advance to the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Women – 3rd (97)
1. D'Alessio – 16:57.65
2. Roberts – 17:19.32
20. Benson – 18:17.14
28. Bernard – 18:25.67
47. Wooten – 18:47.94
50. Demedicis – 18:57.84
56. Irvine – 19:13.66
77. Treadway – 20:05.62
78. M Grogan – 20:07.19
Men – 7th (152)
20. Weishaar – 25:35.34
24. Hazouri – 25:40.77
29. Dorsett – 25:49.25
35. Jones – 26:07.24
48. Crain – 26:37.30
52. Graham – 26:45.26
59. Sieb – 26:54.10
72. White – 27:48.54