Mount Olive Sweeps Awards at 2017 Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Championship

CONCORD, N.C. – The University of Mount Olive women took home the 2017 Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Championship at Frank Liske Park in Concord, N.C. on Friday (Oct. 20) afternoon. Trojan sophomore Leah Hanle repeated as the individual champion in the women's 6K race to earn Runner of the Year for the second straight year.

Mount Olive registered a score of 18 to earn its third straight team title. Second and third place was decided by one point, as Belmont Abbey College notched 110 points for the runner-up finish, while Southern Wesleyan University collected 111 points for a third-place finish.

North Greenville University would notch fourth with 118 points. King University and Limestone College finished fifth and sixth with 126 and 147 points, respectively. Converse College scored 174 points for seventh, Barton College placed eighth with 177 points. Closing out the race results are Lees-McRae College in ninth with 202 points and Erskine College with 239 in 10th.

Individually, Hanle won Runner of the Year after running the 6K course in 22:52.9, while Freshman of the Year went to UMO's Celine Ritter after a race time of 22:52.99.

Mount Olive head coach, Matt van Lierop, was named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year after leading the No. 21 nationally ranked Trojans to their third straight conference championship.

Full Conference Carolinas WXC Championship Results

The top 15 finishers were named All-Conference Carolinas selections:

2017 Conference Carolinas Women's All-Conference Teams

All-Conference First Team
Leah Hanle, Mount Olive
Celine Ritter, Mount Olive
Sharon Kiptoo, Barton
Julie Bridges, Mount Olive
Shona Blades, Mount Olive

All-Conference Second Team
Meredith Lorient, Mount Olive
Hannah Kusmierz, King
Sarah Rutto, Limestone
Elise Tanner, Mount Olive
Annie Hetzel, Belmont Abbey

All-Conference Third Team
Hannah Zenker, Belmont Abbey
Mireia Sune, Mount Olive
Julia Otranto, Belmont Abbey
Hailey Willingham, North Greenville
Jessica Glenn, Mount Olive


Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Champion: 
University of Mount Olive

Runner of the Year:
Leah Hanle, Mount Olive

Freshman of the Year:
Celine Ritter, Mount Olive

Coach of the Year:
Matt van Lierop, Mount Olive


Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 11 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, and Southern Wesleyan University. Emmanuel College is currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.