September 3, 2012 -- USA South Runners of the Week (from

Post date: Sep 15, 2012 6:01:20 PM

Ray Gamache and Josh Showalter

Three Captains Earn Weekly USA South Cross Country Honors

Ray Gamache Named Men's Runner of the Week, While Josh Showalter and Melissa Rizor Earn Rookie Honors

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9/3/2012 4:06:00 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Ray Gamache and Josh Showalter swept the weekly USA South Athletic Conference men's cross country honors, while Melissa Rizor garnered Rookie of the Week nods on the women's side after the three standouts helped lead Christopher Newport to a pair of victories during the Captains' first meet of the 2012 campaign on Friday.

Gamache earned the conference's Runner of the Week award after a strong showing in his first outing of the year. Showalter and Rizor, who made their collegiate debuts on Friday, also collected the league's Rookie of the Week honors after kicking off their careers in fine fashion.

A three-time weekly award-winner last year, Gamache earned his first honor of the 2012 campaign after taking the title at the CNU/VWC Opener at Bells Mill Park. During the meet, he captured the crown after completing the 6k course in 20:24.36.

Although Gamache won the meet, Showalter was right on his heels. In his first collegiate race, the freshman from Leesburg, Va. placed second after crossing the line in 20:24.92. In a field of 43 competitors, he set the pace for all first-year standouts and finished just .56 seconds behind his teammate for the title.

Overall, the two Captains were at the forefront of an impressive showing by CNU. During the meet, the squad swept the top-four spots and eventually cruised to the team title.

On the women's side, Rizor was sensational in her collegiate debut. A native of Ashburn, Va., she led the Captains and placed second overall at the competition after cruising to a time of 19:56.78. In a field of 46 runners, her performance was the finest by a freshman at the 5k meet.

Guided by Rizor's efforts, CNU won the team championship after snatching four of the top-five spots to outpace the other five squads at the competition.

The Captains will be back in action on September 15 when Christopher Newport heads to Williamsburg for the William & Mary Invitational.