FOREST, Va. --- Virginia Wesleyan University senior Marissa Coombs and Bridgewater College junior Jamie Hiegel highlight the final conference awards for cross country this season as the ODAC's head coaches completed the 2017 All-ODAC awards process. Coombs and Hiegel were named the ODAC Women's and Men's Runners of the Year, respectively.
Washington and Lee University mentors Mike Dager (women) and Brandon Spalding (men) swept the ODAC Coach of the Year awards for the third straight season. Eastern Mennonite University senior Michaela Mast and W&L freshman Freddie Marx took home ODAC Rookie of the Year honors.
The ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurances Scholar-Athletes --- EMU's Mast and W&L's Hank Patrick --- were announced along with the All-ODAC First and Second Teams following the ODAC Championships at Virginia Wesleyan. Those honors are posted below.
RELATED: 2017 ODAC Championship Results | 2017 South/Southeast Regional Results
Coombs, from Newton, N.J., put in a stellar season that still has one more race to go as she qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships for the second straight season following her showing at the NCAA South/Southeast Regionals. Coombs won the ODAC individual crown with a time of 22:01.3, and followed that with an eighth place showing of 240 finishing runners in the regionals at 21:53.4. She was the fourth-ranked individual to qualify for nationals from that race. Coombs entered the ODAC meet with two of the top-three fastest six-kilometer times of the season, including a conference regular season-best 21:55.30 at the Don Cathcart Invitational and a 22:22.90 at Inter-Regional Border Battle hosted by Rowan.
Hiegel, from Richmond, Va., also returns to the national championship field in consecutive seasons as his performance at the regionals highlights all ODAC runners. He finished that race in Newport News in sixth position at 24:22.1, making him the second individual automatic qualifier from the 220 competitors that completed the race. This came on the heels of winning the ODAC individual championship in 24:35.4. Much like Coombs, Hiegel entered the league competition with the first and third-fastest eight-kilometer times in the ODAC. His 25:24.50 from the Don Cathcart Invitational was tops on the chart, while his time of 25:40.0 at the Inter-Regional Rumble at Oberlin was third.
Dager is in his fourth campaign leading the Washington and Lee women's cross country squad. The Generals' captured their third straight ODAC crown in 2017, bringing the program's total to a conference-record 17 crowns. This season's championship proved the depth of W&L's squad as the Generals hoisted the league hardware without two first-team athletes from a season prior due to injury. W&L went on to place fifth at the regional championships.
Spalding is in his fifth season guiding the Washington and Lee men's cross country program. Much like the Generals' women, W&L's men have lifted three straight ODAC trophies to bring the program's total to 12 all-time. A multitude of Generals have qualified for the NCAA championships the past two years, including his full squad in 2016. That list is still three athletes strong in 2017 with Hank Patrick, MacKenzye Leroy, and Cooper Baird each slated to compete in Elsa, Ill. The Generals placed fourth as a team at regionals, coming up just short of a second straight team berth to the national stage.
Mast, from Broadway, Va., enjoyed a banner first collegiate season as a cross country runner despite classifying as a senior academically. She finished as the runner-up at the ODAC Championships with a time of 22:12.8, earning her Rookie of the Meet laurels. She added a 16th place showing in the regionals to her portfolio, posting a time of 22:16.5 and falling just a few spots shy of a bid to the national meet. Prior to the ODAC championships, Mast finished in the top-two in four of her six competitions. Her best regular season time came in the white division of the Paul Short Run with a time of 23:11.40.
Marx, from Greensboro, N.C., had a strong first season in Lexington as he inserted himself in the Generals' top-seven from the start. Marx was the second-fastest rookie runner at the ODAC Championships with a 12th-place finish at 26:01.7. He bettered that outing in the regionals with a time of 25:42.7, finishing 40th overall and tops among ODAC first-year runners. He had several strong runs during regular campaign, including a 26:14.04 in the Brown Division of the Paul Short Run, which marked his fastest 8K effort entering the conference meet.
For more information on ODAC Cross Country, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook at follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
|ODAC Men's Runner of the Year
Jamie Hiegel, Jr., Bridgewater
ODAC Men's Coach of the Year
Brandon Spalding, Washington and Lee
ODAC Men's Rookie of the Year
Freddie Marx, Fr., Washington and Lee
Men's ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance
Hank Patrick, Jr., Washington and Lee
|ODAC Women's Runner of the Year
Marissa Coombs, Sr., Virginia Wesleyan
ODAC Women's Coach of the Year
Mike Dager, Washington and Lee
ODAC Women's Rookie of the Year
Michaela Mast, Sr., Eastern Mennonite
Women's ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance
Michaela Mast, Sr., Eastern Mennonite
|All-ODAC First Team - Men||All-ODAC First Team - Women|
|Jamie Hiegel||BC||24:35.40||Marissa Coombs||VWU||22:01.24|
|Mackenzye Leroy||W&L||25:06.81||Michaela Mast||EMU||22:12.76|
|Hank Patrick||W&L||25:07.04||Kirsten McMichael||W&L||22:16.79|
|Cooper Baird||W&L||25:07.67||Morgan Watson||LC||22:21.14|
|Tristan Lucy-Speidel||LC||25:11.44||Calista Ariel||BC||22:21.93|
|Austin Kinne||W&L||25:26.94||Julia Moody||W&L||22:23.12|
|Max Weidman||BC||25:30.93||Anna Nelson||W&L||22:25.17|
|All-ODAC Second Team - Men||All-ODAC Second Team - Women|
|Robert Theimer||BC||25:37.00||Hannah Dieterle||W&L||22:25.96|
|Hunter Frizzell||LC||25:51.32||Michela Cholak||LC||22:29.0|
|Austin Tolbert||E&H||25:52.26||Katie Harris||W&L||22:35.90|
|Johnny Haizel-Cobbina||BC||25:58.29||Megan Good||EMU||22:39.49|
|Freddie Marx||W&L||26:01.65||Aislynn Smith||SU||22:39.50|
|Devyn Heron||RC||26:04.27||Jenna Rea||BC||22:42.27|
|Justin Mehrer||SU||26:05.50||Katie Bearup||W&L||22:42.29|
|Men's Runner of the Meet||Women's Runner of the Meet|
|Jamie Hiegel, BC||Marissa Coombs, VWU|
|Men's Rookie of the Meet||Women's Rookie of the Meet|
|Hunter Frizzell, LC||Michaela Mast, EMU|
|Men's ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance
|Women's ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance
|Hank Patrick, W&L||Michaela Mast, EMU|