NEW ORLEANS – Senior Luis Vargas of the Elon University men’s cross country team was selected as the Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday, Nov. 18. as voted by the Division’s coaches.
The honor is just the latest among many accolades for Vargas during his 2014 cross country campaign. The Angier, N.C., native won the NCAA Southeast Regional race in Louisville last Friday, Nov. 14, becoming the first member of the program to earn one of the nine regional championships in the nation.
Prior to the regional meet, Vargas became Elon’s first-ever Colonial Athletic Association champion after winning the league’s championship meet on Nov. 1, in Boston. Vargas set a new school record in the 8K race with a time of 24:11.37 – nearly 55 seconds faster than the second place runner at the meet. Vargas was also named the CAA Most Outstanding Men’s Performer and garnered four league weekly accolades throughout the year.
Vargas has won all six races that he has participated in and is the only Division I men’s runner to make that claim. He set a new 5K course record at the Adidas XC Challenge on the WakeMed Cross Country Course with a time on 14:29.5 on Sept. 19, breaking the previous record held by former NC State All-American Ryan Hill.
Vargas will compete at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Terra Haute, Ind. The men’s 10K race is slated to begin 1 p.m.