Dec. 20, 2011
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Paige Callahan enjoyed one of the finest rookie seasons in Tulane cross country history and on Saturday (December 17) she was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Female Runner of the Year. Callahan was named to the All-State squad, as well, joining Katherine Crabtree on the seven person women's team, while freshman Mark Manion grabbed All-State honors on the men's side.
"This is a wonderful honor for Paige and our program," said Tulane head coach Eric Peterson. "To be recognized by the voting committee, especially as such a young runner, is a great accomplishment. She did a great job leading our team in most of our meets, most notably the NCAA South Central Regional, and she has a very bright future. Paige worked very hard to prepare for this season. She competed really well and represented our team with a great competitive spirit. We look forward to big things from her in the future."
Callahan was the top finisher on the Green Wave squad in five of the team's six meets this season. The Annapolis, Md. native boasted a pair of top-15 finishes and was among the top 45-percent of the field in each of her six races. Her time of 18:01.00 at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede was good for seventh place and set her season-best at the distance. Callahan also posted times of 18:29.34 and 18:35.50 over five-kilometers in 2011.
She was the seventh fastest freshmen at the NCAA South Central Regional meet, clocking a time of 22:56.68 on the six-kilometer course to place 68th out of 149 runners. Her efforts helped the Green Wave claim the top finish for any Louisiana squad at the regional. Along with the individual award, Callahan was also named to the seven member All-LSWA Cross Country squad.
Callahan is the fifth Green Wave women's harrier to claim LSWA Runner of the Year award in the past 15 years, joining Aubrey Phillips (2007), Rachel Bryan (2004) and Hanne Lyngstad (1998 & 1999). Callahan and Bryan are the only two Green Wave runners to ever earn the distinction as a freshman.
The second member of the All-LSWA women's cross country squad from Tulane is Crabtree, who also earned the honor after a stellar 2011 campaign. The junior finished as the top Green Wave runner at the Conference USA championships, placed second on the team in three other meets and set a new personal-best in the 5K.
Crabtree ran a career-best 18:21.00 over five-kilometers at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede to nab her only top-ten finish of the season. The Guilford, Conn. native finished outside of the top-50 just once on the season - a 74th place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional - and ran a sub-19 minute 5K three times on the year to garner her first selection to the All-LSWA team.
Manion grabbed All-State accolades after finishing his freshman season as the team's top runner at the NCAA South Central Regional. In his first season on campus, Manion was able to work his way into the scoring rotation in each of the team's final five meets, which included a team-best showing at the NCAA regional meet. On the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco, Texas, he set a new personal-record of 34:19.30 over ten-kilometers.
On the year, Manion ran five different distances, with a 20:56 showing over four miles, 29:39.07 for 5.5K and a season-best 27:29.83 on the Crimson Classic's 8K course.
2011 All-Louisiana Women's Cross Country Team
Paige Callahan, Tulane
Zahri Jackson, Xavier
Fionnuala Ross, McNeese State
Amy Talbot, McNeese State
Leigh-Ann Naccari, LSU
Monica Jepkemboi, Southern-New Orleans
Katherine Crabtree, Tulane
RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Paige Callahan, Tulane
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Zahri Jackson, Xavier
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Amy Talbot, McNeese State
COACH OF THE YEAR: Joseph Moses, Xavier
2011 All-Louisiana Men's Cross Country Team
Daniel Mutai, Louisiana-Monroe
Alex Bruce-Littlewood, McNeese State
Silah Chumba, Louisiana-Monroe
Cullen Doody, LSU
Kwame Jackson, Xavier
Joseph LeGrange, Southeastern La.
Mark Manion, Tulane
RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Daniel Mutai, Louisiana-Monroe
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Kwame Jackson, Xavier
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Alex Bruce-Littlewood, McNeese State
COACH OF THE YEAR: James Malone, Louisiana-Monroe