October 2, 2012 -- USA South Runners of the Week (from CNUsports.com)

posted Oct 3, 2012, 10:45 AM by Tyler Wingard
Lydia Cromwell

Cromwell, Gamache, and Showalter Sweep USA South Weekly Cross Country Honors

The three standouts led the Captains to a pair of fourth-place efforts at the Willamette Invitational

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10/1/2012 4:53:00 PM
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Following a sensational performance during the prestigious Willamette Invitational on Saturday, Christopher Newport standouts Ray Gamache, Josh Showalter, and Lydia Cromwell swept the weekly USA South cross country honors.

Gamache was selected as the Cross Country Runner of the Week for the second time this season, while Showalter took home his third Rookie of the Week award. On the women's side, Cromwell captured both honors, become the first female in USA South history to grab Runner and Rookie of the Week nods at the same time.

After winning the freshman award following her performance at the William & Mary Invitational two weeks ago, Cromwell continued her successful season on the other side of the country. At the Willamette Invitational in Oregon, she finished 29th in a field of 212 competitors. Among Division III entrants, she placed sixth overall after completing the 5k course in 18:57.92.

Not only did Cromwell's performance shave 50 seconds off her personal record, but it also marked the fifth finest effort in program history. Guided by her showing, the Captains eventually placed fourth among Division III squads at the national competition.

So far this season, Cromwell has been a dominant figure on the CNU cross country team. In her first meet, she placed third overall during the CNU/VWC Opener. Two weeks later, she finished 27th at William & Mary, which marked the top performance by a D3 competitor. Including her effort in Oregon, she has now posted the Captains' top time in each of the last two meets after ranking second in the opener.

On the men's side, Gamache headlined a strong effort by Christopher Newport. In a field of 170 runners, the reigning USA South champion placed 13th overall. Among Division III competitors, his time of 25:27.89 in the 8k meet was the second fastest.

His effort on Sunday cut over five seconds off his previous best showing and places him eighth on the program's all-time list. Led by Gamache's showing, the Captains eventually finished fourth at the meet and bested three teams ranked in the USTFCCCA West Region, including two that competed at the nationals last year.

The Runner of the Week award is the second this season for Gamache after he also earned the accolade following the first week of action. During the CNU/VWC Opener, he captured the crown in the 6k after crossing the line in 20:24.36.

Showalter earned the weekly freshman honor after another outstanding effort. During Saturday's competition, he placed 65th overall after completing the course in 26:40.56. That time ranked third on the team and 29th among Division III competitors.

Similar to Cromwell and Gamache, Showalter's performance on Saturday set a new personal record. Fittingly, his top time came during a nationally-acclaimed meet, as the Willamette Invitational stands as the largest college-only competition on the west coast.

Overall, Showalter has pieced together a spectacular freshman campaign. Having competed just three times, he already owns four USA South weekly honors. He was named the conference's top freshman following all three meets and also collected the Runner of the Week award after the William & Mary Invitational.

The three honorees will be back on the course with the rest of their teammates when Christopher Newport hosts the CNU Invitational at Lee Hall Mansion on October 13.