The College of William and Mary dominated the CAA Championships Saturday in what has become a fall tradition for the Tribe. The men have now won nine consecutive CAA crowns, while the women have taken six straight.
Racing at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas, Va., the College men posted a CAA record 50-point victory one year after setting the conference’s low-point record total of 16 points. Meanwhile, the women won by 44 points — the third largest margin of victory in CAA history.
“We executed well,” Head Coach Alex Gibby said. “I was pleased with the effort from a lot of the guys.”
Nine of the top 12 finishers in the 8,000-meter race were Tribe runners, led by second-place junior Colin Leak with a time of 24:00. Junior Jon Grey and sophomore Patterson Wilhelm, third and fourth, respectively, joined Leak in pushing Georgia State’s top runner, Mark Steeds, for first place the entire race. Leak finished just four seconds behind race champion Steeds.
“[Patterson] was with Mark for the first 5,000 meters, but then Colin and Jon came on strong together and continued the pressure when [Patterson] began to languish,” Gibby said.
Junior Harry Miller, sophomore Lewis Woodard, junior Charlie Swartz and sophomore Brian Sklodowski were the next four Tribe runners to finish, taking places five through eight and finishing within 10 seconds of each other. Overall, the College’s top seven runners finished just 47 seconds apart.
Freshman Peter Dorrell came in 10th overall, while fellow freshman Chris Tyson followed in 11th place. The Tribe’s first nine finishers all earned all-CAA honors.
“We had a great day,” Head Coach Kathy Newberry said. “It was what we were looking for.”
Juniors Emily Anderson and Meghan Burns led the way for the Tribe, earning first and third in the 6,000-meter race, respectively. Anderson completed the course in a personal best time of 21:02, while Burns finished close behind in 21:18.
Sophomore Betsy Graney returned from tendinitis in her knee to finish third on the team and sixth overall. Junior Kelsey Byrne, senior Lynn Morelli and freshman Heather Beichner rounded out the College’s all-CAA performers.
Despite its dominance over conference opponents, which included a quality James Madison University team that finished 44 points behind the College in second, the team knows that there are always more steps to be taken heading into championship season.
“As a team, we accomplished our goal for the weekend,” junior Kelly McElroy said, who finished ninth on the team and 22nd overall.