NEW ORLEANS, La. – Four BIG EAST cross country programs including Cincinnati,Georgetown, Syracuse and Villanova were each honored as the USTFCCCA announced its 2010 regional award winners as voted on by the Division I coaches. On the men’s side, Cincinnati junior Eric Finan was named Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year, while Georgetown senior Ayalew Taye was named Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year. Syracuse head coach Chris Fox earned Northeast Region Coach of the Year. On the women’s side, Villanova captured both major awards as junior Sheila Reid was named Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year and Gina Procaccio was named Coach of the Year.
Finan won the Great Lakes Region by three seconds on his way to Athlete of the Year. He also finished seventh at the BIG EAST Championships and 13th at the Pre-National Invite. He is the third BIG EAST athlete in the last four years to earn the award.
Taye won a tight race at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. He also finished fifth at the BIG EAST Championships and 14th at the Pre-National Invitational earlier this fall. He is the fourth-straight BIG EAST athlete to win the award and third consecutive from Georgetown. Former Hoya Andrew Bumbalough garnered the honor in 2008 and 2009.
Fox led the Orange to their second-straight Northeast Region crown. Syracuse placed five runners in the top 15 of the region on their way to the title. Syracuse won the BIG EAST Championship title for the second consecutive year and is ranked No. 10 in the latest USTFCCCA poll.
Reid dominated the BIG EAST on the women’s side this season, winning her second-straight individual title at the 2010 BIG EAST Championships. The junior also won the Mid-Atlantic Region title by 16 seconds. Reid also won the award last year, and makes it three-straight seasons that a Villanova runner has been named Mid-Atlantic Athlete of the Year.
Procaccio was named Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the second straight year, leading the Wildcats to their second consecutive Mid-Atlantic Region crown. The team also won the BIG EAST Championship title for the third straight year and has maintained the No. 1 ranking in the country throughout the entire season.
The NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. The Villanova women are looking for back-to-back NCAA titles.