CARY, NC – The Winston-Salem State University Lady Rams cross country team won the 2011 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Women's Cross Country Championship to earn their second straight conference championship at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., Thursday morning. The Rams placed a close second in the CIAA Men's Cross Country Championship.
The Lady Rams had to step up their efforts to bring home their second straight CIAA title as the team held off a talented Virginia State team that also put on an impressive performance at the meet. The Lady Rams totaled 31 points to narrowly edge out the Lady Trojans, who totaled 33 points at the meet.
"We displayed big heart and the right attitude," WSSU cross country head coach Inez Turner said following the meet. "The ladies were tough."
Four WSSU runners earned All-CIAA honors, placing in the top ten of the meet with WSSU sophomore Brittney Killebrew leading the Lady Rams to the championship, winning the individual title for the second straight year. She finished the 5K course in 19:11.2. Junior Manuela Rigaud placed fourth in the event with a 20:10.1 while fellow junior Tyrah Winfrey finished a close fifth at 20:20.3. Sophomore Kristi Baptiste rounded out the top ten with a ninth-place finish in 20.43.0.
"We focused on running in a pack, staying together, and not letting anyone pass us," WSSU sophomore Brittney Killebrew said. "This feels great. It's never going to get old."
The Rams gave a great effort in the meet, totaling 47 points and finishing just three points behind the eventual champion Shaw Bears' 44 points. WSSU junior Andrew Chebii won the 2011 individual championship with a time of 24:32.0 in the men's 8K run. The WSSU senior duo of Desmond Wiggan and Aaron Barnes placed third and fourth to round out the WSSU top ten finishers. Wiggan placed third with a 26:01.7 while Barnes was a close fourth with a 26:04.9.
The 2011 CIAA women's cross country championship is the second in school history for the Lady Rams. The meet completes the 2011 regular season, but the Rams and Lady Rams will look ahead to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regionals hosted by Slippery Rock University on Saturday, November 5th. Qualifiers from the regionals will advance to compete in the NCAA Division II National Championships. For more information on Rams and Lady Rams cross country, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.