October 24, 2012 -- USA South Runners & Coach of the Year (from CNUsports.com)

posted Oct 24, 2012, 10:59 AM by Tyler Wingard

Cromwell, Gamache, and Showalter Capture USA South Cross Country Honors;

Barreau Named Coach of the Year

Ray Gamache was named the USA South Runner of the Year,

while Lydia Cromwell and Josh Showalter swept the Freshman honors

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10/24/2012 12:47:00 PM
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- For the second straight year, the Christopher Newport cross country teams dominated the USA South Individual Awards as Ray Gamache was named the men's Runner of the Year for the second time, while Lydia Cromwell and Josh Showalter swept the Rookie of the Year Awards after piecing together sensational 2012 campaigns. For his efforts, head coach Matthew Barreau was also named the men's and women's Coach of the Year.

On the men's side, CNU swept the individual honors for the second straight season, while Cromwell became the first Captain to garner the women's Rookie of the Year award since 2010. Barreau is also the first CNU coach to receive the women's honor since 2008.

After earning the men's top individual accolade last season, Gamache has pieced together another strong campaign in 2012. The senior standout has earned two USA South Runner of the Week awards while guiding the Captains to excellent outings at the CNU/VWC Opener and the prestigious Willamette Invitational.

In his first meet of the year, Gamache captured the title after cruising to a time of 20:24.36 during the 6k race at Bells Mill Park. One month later, he posted his top performance of the season, sprinting to a 13th-place showing at the Willamette Invitational. In a field of 170 runners from across the country, he completed the 8k course in 25:27.89, which stands as the top time in the USA South this year.

Just as dominant on the men's side, Showalter has put together an amazing freshman campaign. Competing in four meets during the year, the first-year sensation earned five weekly conference honors. After every competition, he was named the USA South Rookie of the Week, and on September 17, he also received the Runner of the Week award.

Kicking off his career in fine fashion, he placed second at the CNU/VWC Opener in 20:24.92, which still stands as the second-fastest 6k time in the USA South this season. Two weeks later, he led the team after finishing 36th at the William & Mary Invitational. Rounding out the year, he clocked in at 26:40.56 at Willamette, which placed him 65th overall, and later finished 34th at the CNU Invitational.

On the women's side, Cromwell has been just as amazing in her first campaign with the Captains. During the year, the Round Hill native has been named the USA South Rookie of the Week twice. On October 1, she also became the first female in conference history to grab the Runner and Rookie of the Week awards at the same time following her performance in Oregon.

After finishing third at the CNU/VWC Opener, Cromwell pieced together back-to-back award-winning weeks at William & Mary and Willamette. During the Tribe's home meet, she posted the top time on the team, finishing the 5k in 19:44. Two weeks later, she led the squad again, cruising to a time of 18:57.92 at Willamette, marking the second-fastest 5k time by anyone in the USA South this season.

Under Barreau's guidance, Christopher Newport has pieced together a string of strong showings throughout the year. He helped lead the squad to a pair of team titles during the CNU/VWC Opener, and later, guided the Captain women to the CNU Invitational championship to wrap up the regular season. The team also recorded a pair of fourth-place showings at the Willamette Invitational.

Throughout the year, Barreau's teams have remained in the top-10 of the USTFCCCA Regional Rankings. At present, the women are third in the South / Southeast, while the men sit fifth in the region.

In addition to the individual honorees, the USA South also announced its All-Sportsmanship teams. John Pouchot represented the Captains on the men's side, while Graciela Slyer was selected for the women.

Christopher Newport will return to action on Saturday when CNU looks to defend its conference titles at the USA South Championship in Greensboro, N.C. at Hagan Stone Park.

2012 USA South Cross Country Awards

Men's Runner of the Year: Ray Gamache, Christopher Newport
Men's Rookie of the Year: Josh Showalter, Christopher Newport
Men's Coach of the Year: Matthew Barreau, Christopher Newport
Women's Runner of the Year: Sophia Stone, Mary Baldwin
Women's Rookie of the Year: Lydia Cromwell, Christopher Newport
Women's Coach of the Year: Matthew Barreau, Christopher Newport

2012 USA South Men's All-Sportsmanship Team
Timi Heikkonen, Averett
John Pouchot, Christopher Newport
Joe Cudjoe, Ferrum
Chase McCulley, LaGrange
Mathiang Gutnyin, Maryville
Sydney Machokoto, Methodist
Wesley Milton, Piedmont

2012 USA South Women's All-Sportsmanship Team
Joey Diaz, Averett
Graciela Slyer, Christopher Newport
Courtney Crockett, Ferrum
Megan Tipsword, LaGrange
Wendy Deptula, Mary Baldwin
Emma Slaymaker, Maryville
Katie Riggs, Meredith
Kenesha Bigelow, Methodist
Summer Lewis, Piedmont
Christina Hawes, William Peace

---CNU---