Ciccarelli picks up Richmond's first-ever individual A-10 win; women finish second and men take fourth.PITTSBURGH, PA - Sophomore John Ciccarelli became the first Richmond Spider to win a individual A-10 Cross Country crown Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pa. Ciccarelli's 8K win paced the Richmond men's team to a fourth place finish overall, while sophomore Amanda Russell's third place finish helped the women capture second place.
La Salle's women captured the overall title for the third time, after four of its athletes crossed the line in the Top-10. On the men's side, La Salle won its fourth consecutive crown after having seven of its student-athletes finish in the Top-10.
Rachel Papin of La Salle, who recorded the eighth-fastest time in the 16-year history of the Atlantic 10 Women's Championship, is the second La Salle runner to win the A-10 individual title, joining two-time winner Sheila Klick (2002-03).
La Salle's Jenna Darcy, Christa Plummer and Erin Geiger finished fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively, with Plummer garnering Most Outstanding Rookie honors as the top freshman finisher. The Explorers join Massachusetts (1998) as the only teams to have the top overall and rookie finisher at the A-10 Championship.
The Explorers finished with 35 points, followed by 2003 champion Richmond with 61, Rhode Island (89), Duquesne (125), Massachusetts (161), Saint Joseph's (168), Xavier (172), George Washington (186), Dayton (212), Fordham (250) and St. Bonaventure (351).
The women's All-Conference team consisted of Papin, Darcy, Plummer and Geiger of La Salle; Amanda Russell, Kate Merrill and Nicole Kurtain of Richmond, Westerling and Cindy Smith of Rhode Island; and Amy Ruffolo of Duquesne.
Ciccarelli recorded a time of 25:30 to become the first runner in program history to win the individual title. John Butler finished second overall in a time of 25:37, one of a Championship-record seven La Salle competitors to place in the top 10 overall, as the Explorers joined Penn State (1986-90) as the only teams to win the A-10 title four straight years.
"It really means a lot to me to win the Atlantic 10 individual title," said Ciccarelli, who helped lead the Spiders to their second consecutive fourth-place finish. "I have a great deal of respect for the other runners in the Conference so to win here is special."
La Salle's Sean Quigley finished third in a time of 25:40, followed by teammates Dan McGrath (fifth), Ryan Fennelly (sixth), Timothy Carroll (eighth), Andrew Vernon (ninth) and Joseph Dare (10th). They are joined on the All-Conference team by Ciccarelli, Duquesne's Ryan Bender and Joe Mohn of Saint Joseph's.
La Salle finished with 24 points in the 27th running of the men's A-10 Championship, 33 ahead of runner-up Duquesne, which notched its highest-ever finish. Xavier (106) recorded its best-ever finish with a third-place showing, followed by Richmond (143), Massachusetts (146), Fordham (159), Dayton (176), Saint Joseph's (193), Rhode Island (219), George Washington (259) and St. Bonaventure (354).
Richmond will participate in its final tune-up prior to NCAA competitions Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Virginia Invitational. Race action in Charlottesville, Va., is set to begin at 10 a.m.