Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Week 1 Release
NEW ORLEANS – The Sun Belt Conference announced its first 2013 Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Men’s and Women’s Runners of the Week awards on Wednesday. WKU junior David Mokone earned the men’s award while Arkansas State redshirt junior
Kristina Aubert won the women’s honor.
Mokone opened his 2013 campaign with his seventh career top-ten finish in a cross country race, finishing in fifth place at the Belmont Opener with a 5K time of 15:57.02. Mokone was WKU’s top finisher in the race. He was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference
for the second-straight year last season following his fourth-place finish at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Championships, clocking an 8K time of 25:11.1.
Aubert claimed runner-up honors at the season-opening Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic this past Saturday (Aug. 31) by registering a 17:30.34 time on the 5K course. Arkansas State tied for third place in the eight-team field. Aubert’s time was 20 seconds
faster than the ASU course record she produced in 2010 and four seconds behind the meet’s top individual medalist. Aubert also placed second at the 2012 Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic. She was a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA)
NCAA-I All-South Central Region selection last season. She also earned All-Sun Belt Conference First Team honors and was Arkansas State’s first-ever women's cross country runner to compete in the national championship meet.
Several notable performances stood out in the first week of Sun Belt Conference cross country action.
On the men’s side, South Alabama freshman Joe Gratton notched a runner-up finish in the men’s 5k race at the Trojan Invitational last Friday. Gratton clocked in at 16:20.87 and was the top Jaguar finisher in the 40-man field to help USA earn a second-place
team finish. Also Louisiana-Monroe junior Hillary Kirwa placed in the Top 10 at the Hurricane Festival (Tulsa, Okla.) last Saturday to help ULM finish ahead of No. 5-ranked Tulsa in the team results. The Eldoret, Kenya native’s four-mile time of 20:43 paced
ULM and his performance earned him Warhawk Male Athlete of the Week honors.
As for the women’s side, Georgia State junior Hannah Stefanoff finished 5th out of the 65 runners in the Troy Invitational as the Panthers finished 3rd in the event. Stefanoff ran a 10:56.94 in the 3K race that took place on the site of the Sun Belt Championship
meet later in the fall. Also of note was the debut of Texas State freshman Keila Rodriguez who ran a 4,000-meter time of 14:56 at the tough Bear Twilight in Waco, Texas. She ran against five top-ranked teams in the region and beat top runners from Texas A&M
and North Texas.
Action resumes this Saturday highlighted by South Alabama hosting the Azalea City Classic in Mobile, Ala. Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy will travel to Mobile, Ala., to compete in the meet. UT Arlington kicks off its season as it hosts the UTA Season Opener/Gerald
Richey Invitational. UALR (Arkansas Tech Invitational), Arkansas State (St. Louis Big River Festival), Georgia State (Furman Classic), Texas State (Rice Invite) and WKU (Commodore Classic) also will be on the course this weekend.