Defending Champion Borner, Calvin’s Diemer Highlight D3 Women’s Region Honorees

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

November 17, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – Bethel’s Marie Borner and Calvin’s Brian Diemer highlight an exceptional field of Division III Cross Country Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year as the list of 16 was announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Borner, a senior, posted top finishes at both the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championships and at the Central Regional Championships. Borner became the first women’s cross country athlete in more than 20 years to win three-straight MIAC individual titles. Borner will be making her third appearance at the Division III Cross Country National Championship. She is the defending champion in the event, winning last year’s race with a time of 20:43.91.

Headlining the eight regional coaches of the year is Calvin’s Brian Deimer. His Knights won their third-straight Great Lakes Region title following a perfect score of 15 points at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Championships. The conference title was the fifth consecutive conference title for the women’s program and 21st overall. This season, Diemer’s squad has been ranked at or near the top of the USTFCCCA National Rankings in six-straight polls.

The men’s regional athletes and coaches of the year will be announced on Wednesday, November 18.

The 2009 USTFCCCA Division III Cross Country Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year


ATLANTIC – Wendy Pavlus – St. Lawrence
Pavlus, a junior, successfully defended her Atlantic Regional crown on November 14 winning, the meet with a time of 21:22. Pavlus’ win helped lead the Saints to their first-ever Atlantic Regional team title. Pavlus was one of six Saints to earn 2009 USTFCCCA Atlantic All-Region honors at the Regional meet.

CENTRAL – Marie Borner – Bethel (Minnesota)
The defending Division III Cross Country National Champion, Borner earned her second-straight Central Region title on November 14, winning the race with a time of 21:15.4. Borner became the first MIAC women’s cross country runner in more than 20 years to win three straight individual titles at the conference meet on October 31, earning the conference Most Valuable Athlete honor for the third consecutive year.  She will be making her third consecutive national meet appearance.

GREAT LAKES – Katie Navarre – Denison
Denison junior Navarre became the first female in Denison history to win the individual championship at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championship. Navarre’s winning time of 21:23.09 set the pace for the field of 231 runners. Navarre was the North Coast Athletic Conference champion and was named the 2009 NCAC Runner of the Year.

MIDEAST – Jenn Cronin – Lebanon Valley
Lebanon Valley College junior Cronin is the NCAA Mideast Regional Athlete of the Year after winning the Mideast Regional title and a bronze medal at the 2009 MAC Championships. Cronin also was champion of the LVC Invitational and runner-up at the Brooks Paul Short Run, along with third-place finishes at the DeSales Invitational and Dickinson Long-Short. Cronin did not finish outside the top 3 in a race this season.

MIDWEST – Ayla Mitchell – UW Oshkosh
Mitchell, a senior, earned her second-straight Midwest Regional title on November 14 besting the field of 273 with a time of 20:51.6. Mitchell won her second Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in three years as she helped lead the UW Oshkosh cross country team to a third-place overall team finish. Mitchell ran away from this year’s conference field and coasted to the finish line with a 6,000-meter time of 22:00. Mitchell will be making her third-straight appearance at the NCAA meet.

NEW ENGLAND – Jacqui Wentz – MIT
MIT senior harrier Wentz earned the program’s first women’s New England Region title on November 14 winning the six-kilometer race in a time of 21:35.7. Wentz’s victory helped propel the Engineers to a share of the region team title with Middlebury. At the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Championships Wentz finished as the runner-up as MIT won its sixth NEWMAC title in program history.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Caitlin Masse – Trinity (Texas)
Tigers junior Masse of Katy, Texas won the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Region Women’s Cross Country Championship Saturday by 30 seconds over the nearest competitor on the muddy course. Masse captured the 6k regional race with a time of 22:56 and qualified for the 2009 NCAA Championship meet on November 21. She earned USTFCCCA South/Southeast All-Region honors following her course-breaking time on the Guilford College route.

WEST – Alicia Freese – Pomona-Pitzer
Pomona-Pitzer senior Freese ran away from the competition to win the 2009 Division III West Region cross country individual title becoming Pomona-Pitzer’s first regional meet champion in school history. Freese ran 22:07 over the 6,000-meter course to qualify individually for the NCAA Division III National Championship. At the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, Freese led her her team to an unexpected second place finish as she captured the conference individual title. Freese is only the second Hen to win two SCIAC titles.


ATLANTIC – Mike Howard – St. Lawrence
Howard’s Saints earned their first-ever Atlantic Region team title on November 14, scoring 43 points, 31 points ahead of the runner up team. The Saints picked up three top-5 finishes in the regional championship and earned six USTFCCCA Atlantic All-Region honors, led by junior Wendy Pavlus who took home the individual region title. At the NYSCTC Championships, Howard’s Saints raced to a 23 point team title, their second-straight state team title. Howard was named the NYSCTC Coach of the Year.

CENTRAL – Donna Ricks – Carleton
Ricks led the Knights to the Central Region title with two runners finishing in the top five. Carleton scored 95 points to earn their second-straight trip to the NCAA meet and 12th trip overall. The Knights also won their fourth Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) title earlier this season.

GREAT LAKES – Brian Diemer – Calvin
Diemer has had the Calvin women’s cross country team on top of the Division III Top 35 polls for the last six weeks.  This fall, Diemer led the Calvin women’s cross country team to its fifth consecutive MIAA title and its 21st overall. At the MIAA Championships, Calvin posted a perfect score of 15 points and followed with a first place score of 50 points at the Great Lakes Regional, to win the regional crown for the third-straight year.

MIDEAST – Bobby Van Allen – Johns Hopkins
Van Allen’s Johns Hopkins team finished first overall at the Mideast Regional on November 14 with a team score of 109 points. The region victory was the second-straight for JHU. All five of the Blue Jays’ scoring runners earned USTFCCCA Mideast All-Region honors. Johns Hopkins will be making their third-straight appearance at the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championship. The Blue Jays also won their second-straight Centennial Conference championship scoring 26 points, their lowest total ever in a Centennial Conference championship.

MIDWEST – Dan Schwamberger – UW Eau Claire
This season Schwamberger’s Blugolds won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title for the third year in a row. Eau Claire also won the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional for the second straight year with 52 points, 20 ahead of the rest of the field. All seven runners at the regional meet earned All-Region honors. This will be the fifth-straight NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championship appearance for the Blugolds.

NEW ENGLAND – Halston Taylor – MIT
Taylor’s No. 4 nationally ranked women’s team earned its first New England Region team title on November 14, claiming a share of the overall team title with Middlebury. The Engineers were led by senior harrier, and women’s New England Region Athlete of the Year, Jacqui Wentz, who won the individual title for MIT. MIT will be making their second-straight appearance to the Division III Cross Country National Championships. Earlier this season, MIT captured its third-straight NEWMAC title and sixth overall in program history.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Robert Shankman – Rhodes
Led by team captain Cybil Covic’s 2nd place overall finish, Shankman’s Rhodes women’s cross country team captured its first-ever NCAA Division III South/Southeast Region Team Championship. The Lynx dominated the race, scoring 35 points and placing four runners among the top eight finishers, all of whom earned USTFCCCA South/Southeast All-Region honors. After finishing third last year at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, the Rhodes Lynx finished second in 2009, just two points behind the conference champion.

WEST – Toby Schwarz – Whitworth
Schwarz’s women’s Whitworth team earned its second West Regional title in program history on November 14, claiming the team title by almost 60 points to earn the program’s second bid to the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships. The victory by Whitworth was the first region title for the school since 2002. The Whitworth women also claimed their first-ever Northwest Athletic Conference team title this season, placing all five scoring runners in the top 15 at the conference meet. Schwarz was named Northwest Conference Coach of the Year.