PROVIDENCE, R.I. – DePaul junior Matthew Graham claimed his third BIG EAST male cross country Athlete of the Week award while Villanova junior Sheila Reid earned her first BIG EAST female cross country Athlete of the Week honor as announced by the conference office Thursday. These were the final BIG EAST cross country weekly awards for the 2010 season, with the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships just over a week away.
Graham earns male cross country Athlete of the Week honors after running a career-best time of 23:37 to take first at the Bradley Classic. The race was held at the Newman Golf Course, which is the host site for the NCAA Midwest Regional. The junior held off Iowa’s Jeff Thode to win the 8k race, and help the team to a 10th-place finish overall at the meet.
Reid led the Villanova women to a first-place finish at the Penn State National to claim female cross country Athlete of the Week honors. The junior finished the 6k race with a time of 20:23 at the Penn State Blue/White Golf Course, winning by a margin of seven seconds. The squad remained No. 1 in the country and beat out then-No. 7 Syracuse and then-No. 30 Penn State at the meet.
Besides No. 1 ranked Villanova, the BIG EAST kept three teams in the national top 30 on the women’s side according to the latest USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll. The other ranked teams include Georgetown at No. 5, Syracuse at No. 8 and Providence at No. 13. The men’s side has six teams in the top 30, as Syracuse sits at No. 17, Georgetown bumps up to No. 21 and Notre Dame moves up five spots to No. 23. Two new BIG EAST teams appeared in the poll this week, as Louisville debuts at No. 28 while Villanova comes in at No. 29.
The BIG EAST Championship will be held on Oct. 30 at Jamesville Beach Park in Jamesville, N.Y., hosted by Syracuse University.