Elon’s Vargas Earns All-American Honors at NCAA Cross Country Championships

Posted by Press Release on November 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Elon University men’s cross country senior Luis Vargas garnered All-American honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 22, after earning a top-25 finish at the meet on the LaVern Championship Cross Country Course.

The previously unbeaten Vargas finished 25th with a time of 30:45 in the men’s 10K race. With that finish, Vargas became the program’s first-ever All-American to close out his outstanding senior campaign.

“Luis ran a very solid race,” said Elon head cross country coach Nick Polk. “He handled the pressure well and stayed out of trouble the whole race. He fought hard until the end and capped off a wonderful season with an All-American finish.”

Vargas steadily kept up with the front pack for the majority of the race. At the 3,000-meter split, the Angier, N.C., native sat in 11th as he continued to stay with near the lead group.

Around the halfway point at the 5,000-meter mark, Vargas fell to 20th, but still was within distance of the lead group. Going into the 8,000-meter split, Vargas sat in 38th, but was able to close the gap to break back into the top-30 and eventually finish 25th overall.

Edward Cheserek of Oregon defended his individual title in the men’s race with his time of 30:19.4. Colorado was the team champion with 65 points while Stanford was second with 98.

Entering Saturday’s meet, Vargas had won all six races that he had competed in during the 2014 season. He became Elon’s first-ever qualifier for the national meet after winning the Southeast Regional Championship last Friday, Nov. 14. He was later named the Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Vargas became the Phoenix’s first-ever conference champion in its new league, the Colonial Athletic Association, with his victory at the CAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1. He would also earn four CAA Men’s Runner of the Week accolades this season.

Vargas closes out his Elon cross country career with the top times in both the 8K and 10K as well as seven career victories.

NCAA Championships

In Terre Haute, Ind.

MEN (10K)

Team leaders – 1, Colorado 65; 2, Stanford 98; 3, Portland 175; 4, Northern Arizona 188; 5, Syracuse 206; 6, Oregon 221; 7, Villanova 230; 8, Iona 270; 9, Oklahoma State 296; 10, Wisconsin 335.

Individual leaders – 1, Edward Cheserek (Oregon) 30:19.4; 2, Eric Jenkins (Oregon) 30:23.2; 3, Futsun Zienasellassie (Northern Arizona) 30:25.3; 4, Maksim Korolev (Stanford) 30:29.5; 5, Ammar Moussa (Colorado) 30:29.6; 25, Luis Vargas (Elon) 30:45.

WOMEN (6K)

Team leaders – 1, Michigan State 85; 2, Iowa State 147; 3, New Mexico 188; 4, Georgetown 189; 5, Arkansas 209; 6, Oregon 249; 7, Colorado 267; 8, West Virginia 277; 9, Iona 377; 10, Wisconsin 382.

Individual leaders – 1, Kate Avery (Iona) 19:31.6; 2, Sarah Disanza (Wisconsin) 19:39.9; 3, Emma Bates (Boise State) 19:44.5; 4, Rachele Schulist (Michigan State) 19:54.3; 5, Rachel Johnson (Baylor) 19:56.8.


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