12 Conference Carolinas Cross Country Runners Named Division II All-Region Honorees; Mount Olive Earns Major Awards

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – All-Region honorees for NCAA Division II Cross Country were recognized on Monday (Nov. 6), while All-Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year were awarded on Wednesday (Nov. 8) by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) following last weekend’s NCAA regional championships meets. Conference Carolinas had two individuals earn major awards and 12 individuals, eight men and four women, receive southeast all-region honors.

A total of 398 student-athletes (200 men and 198 women) from 132 schools earned the All-Region distinction by finishing among the top 25 individual finishers at one of the eight regional sites across the country.

Leading the way on the men's side was Southeast Regional champion University of Mount Olive, who was one of three teams in the country to have its entire seven-runner squad earn all-region honors. The group consisted of Adam Craig, Jonathan Dahlke, Alexandre Durand, Jereamy Hall, Colin Fisher, Tai Smith and Daniel Francken.

Barton College's Joel Lagat rounded out the eight men's honorees from Conference Carolinas.

On the women's side, Leah Hanle of Mount Olive, who repeated as Southeast Regional champion, took home the Southeast Region Athlete of the Year and earned all-region honors. Hanle's teammates Celine Ritter and Shona Blades along with Barton's Sharon Kiptoo were also named all-region.

In addition to all-region honors, Mount Olive men's head coach Matt van Lierop was named the Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

The NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held November 18 in Evansville, Ind. at Angel Mounds. Conference Carolinas will send Mount Olive's men and women's team to nationals.

Full USTFCCCA Athletes and Coaches of the Year Release

Full USTFCCCA All-Region Release



Joel Lagat, Barton
Adam Craig, Mount Olive
Jonathan Dahlke, Mount Olive
Alexandre Durand, Mount Olive
Jereamy Hall, Mount Olive
Colin Fisher, Mount Olive
Tai Smith, Mount Olive
Daniel Francken, Mount Olive


Sharon Kiptoo, Barton
Leah Hanle, Mount Olive
Celine Ritter, Mount Olive
Shona Blades, Mount Olive 


Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 11 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, and Southern Wesleyan University. Emmanuel College is currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.