RICHMOND, Va. – Elon University men’s cross country senior Luis Vargas was named the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year the league announced on Wednesday, Dec. 10.
The accolade is just the latest honor for the Angier, N.C., native after his stellar 2014 senior campaign. Vargas became the program’s first-ever All-American after earning a top-25 finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 22. He also was the Southeast Regional champion in the men’s race and was selected as the region’s Athlete of the Year.
During the year, Vargas won six out of his seven races he competed in, including capturing the individual title at the CAA Championships after clocking a time of 24:11.37 in the men’s 8K race, breaking his own school record. He was named the league’s Most Outstanding Performer at the conclusion of the meet.
Other season highlights for Vargas include a first-place finish at the Elon Invitational for the second straight season as well as victories at the Notre Dame Invitational and the NCAA Pre-National meet. Vargas also won the adidas XC Challenge after setting a new course record time of 14:29 at the meet, breaking the previous record held by former NC State All-American Ryan Hill.
Teammate Ari Rothschild joined Vargas on the All-CAA Men’s Cross Country team after finishing fifth overall at the league championships with a personal-best time of 25:12.28. Rothschild was also the Phoenix’s representative on the men’s CAA All-Academic team.
The Phoenix women had four members of its squad receive spots on the All-CAA Women’s Cross Country teams in Tereza Novotna, Jenny Gallagher, Elyse Bierut and Kimberly Johansen. Novotna was Elon’s top finisher at the CAA Championships with a fifth-place standing and a time of 21:08.37. Gallagher, Bierut and Johansen all finished sixth, 10th and 11th, respectively, at the meet while Bierut also received All-Academic accolades.