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CVCC Cross Country champs
From left, Patrick Ceccato, Allison Beard, head coach Shawn Fountain, Nick Shull, Preston Rutledge, Tim Flanagan and Ryan Eblen.
photo courtesy of Catawba Valley Community College Athletics

CVCC Cross Country Wins Region 10 Championship

In just its first season of competition, the Catawba Valley Community College cross country team made its largest stride on Saturday, winning the 2022 Region 10 men’s cross country championship.

The championship meet was held at Miliken Arboretum and hosted by Spartanburg Methodist.

“What an extraordinary first year for Red Hawk cross country,” said Catawba Valley cross country head coach Shawn Fountain. “Our runners just kept working at it all season long, improving their time each meet, and it all came together at the championship. Proud is an understatement of how excited I am for the accomplishment they achieved this season.”

Preston Rutledge led all Red Hawk runners, finishing in 10th place overall with a total time of 32:38.0.

The Red Hawks’ Ryan Eblen wasn’t far behind Rutledge, recording a time of 34:13.7 to finish in 13th place. Nick Shull also finished in the top 20, placing 19th with a time of 37:18.6.

Two other Catawba Valley runners finished among the top 30, including Tim Flanagan in 27th place (45:03.6) and Patrick Ceccato in 28th place (51:17.8).

The Red Hawks’ total men’s team score of 26 edged Central Carolina by three points for the men’s team title.

Allison Beard was the lone Red Hawk female runner competing, and she finished with a new personal best time of 27:45.0. Beard completed her 5K in 14th place and was the fifth-fastest Division III runner in the conference.

Saturday’s meet brings a conclusion to the 2022 inaugural cross country season at Catawba Valley, but Fountain and his runners already have aspirations for next season.

“We walked away from the course award ceremony and said ‘well now we have to repeat since we did it this year,’” Fountain said. “We hope to add even more good high school seniors in our area so that we can keep up the winning tradition next year.”