Following a season to remember and an outlasting championship legacy, ninth year Central Connecticut men's cross country coach Eric Blake was dignified as the 2017 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year and seventh time in his coaching career at CCSU. The league also released its 2017 All-Rookie Team, selecting two members from each of the men's and women's groups.
The men's cross country team sealed its ninth consecutive NEC Title on its home course at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT on Saturday, Oct. 28, breaking the all-time Northeast Conference record for the most consecutive titles won of any sport, erasing the previous record of eight set by Quinnipiac's women's cross country team from 2005 to 2012.
The 2017 NEC Championship marked Blake's 14th title in both cross country and track (9-XC, 5-Track). Sacred Heart's Christian Morrison was chosen as the Women's XC Coach of the Year after leading the Pioneers to this year's title.
Gill was named the NEC Freshman of the Year after placing 13th overall in the 8K championship course with a time of 26:47.1. Taubl finished just over 10 seconds behind Gill, willing his way to 16th place with a final time of 26:54.7.
Brawner took home the Freshman of the Year award for the 2017 Northeast Conference Runner-Up CCSU women's cross country team. The rookie finished in 11th place of the 5K with a final time of 18:21.8. Rafter stuck with Brawner for the entire race, placing 13th in the end with a time of 18:32.8.
Both the men's and women's cross country teams concluded its seasons at the NCAA XC Regional Championships hosted at the University of Buffalo on Nov. 10.
2017 ALL-ROOKIE TEAMS