MVP: Luis Vargas (men's team)

The sophomore runner got even better in his second year as a Phoenix. The native of Angier, N.

C., set the 10K school record Nov. 9 by posting a time of 31:35.37 in the Southeast Regional meet in Charlotte. On Oct. 12 at the Queens Royal NC Challenge in Charlotte, he set the school’s 8K record with a time of 24:16.0, breaking the record he set last year in the Southern Conference Championships. Along with setting those records, he earned the program’s first all-SoCon first team honor at the conference championships.

In retrospect, junior Ari Rothschild seemed prophetic when he uttered this at the beginning of the season: “Luis, he’s always way out there. He loves going fast. It’s just something he loves to do — basic runs, workouts, he’s always out there.”

MVP: Haylee Dawe (women's team)

Early in the season, the Elon women’s cross country team was ranked for the first time in program history. Leading the way for the Phoenix was sophomore Haylee Dawe. In the first meet of the season, she and senior Emily Tryon placed second in the meet to help the Phoenix take home a first place finish. Two weeks later at the Elon Invitational, Dawe paced the Phoenix with a time of 18:18, as the women’s team won the event for the second consecutive year. Continuing her stellar run, Dawe again paced the Phoenix with a time of 22:16.42 at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 28.

Following the win at the Elon Invitational, junior runner Allyson Oram talked about how big it is to have one of the team’s top runners be an underclassman.

“Every year, we keep getting more and more recruits,” Oram said. “She’s really strong and she’s awesome to train with because she really pushes everyone else.”

Best Event: The Elon Invitational on Sept. 15

Coming into the meet as a ranked program, the women’s team was looking for a repeat win at the event while the men were in search of their first win at the meet since the inaugural year in 2009. Paced by Dawe, sophomore Tereza Novotna and freshman Elyse Bierut, the women won the meet, making it the first time the women won the Elon Invitational in back to back years.

On the men’s side, Vargas paced the Phoenix, finishing with a time of 25:37. Runners from Elon and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro took the top 16 spots in the meet, but the Phoenix pulled out the win by just three points.

It was the first time since 2008 that both the men and the women took the top spots on the same day.

Best Moment: Women ranked for first time in program history

On Aug. 27, the women’s cross country program found themselves in uncharted territory: being nationally-ranked.

In the initial USTFCCCA rankings, the women were ranked 13th in the Southeast Region. Through the course of the season, the Phoenix rose as high as 11th. With the season over, Elon finished where it started: ranked No. 13.

“Being ranked is huge,” said junior Allyson Oram. “It just shows how strong our team has become. It gives us so much confidence going forward into each meet as well to know that we’re ranked among the best in the country.”

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