Loyola’s Canegitta, Freese earn top honors from LSWA

Sun, 12/08/2013

(New Orleans, La.) Coach Andy Canegitta and junior Paul Freese earned top honors in the state as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) released their All-Louisiana teams for the 2013 cross country season. Canegitta earned Coach of the Year honors on the women’s side and Freese was Athlete of the Year on the men’s side. It is the first time that a Loyola coach or student athlete have won either award.

Canegitta was named the coach of the year in the state of Louisiana after his women’s squad completed one of the best campaigns in school history. The women set four of the five fastest times in school history in the 2013 season. The team progressed mightily from last year as six of the seven student-athletes who competed in 2012 and 2013 ran faster at the SSAC Championships in 2013 than they did on the same course a year earlier, including three girls who were more than 65 seconds faster. The team average at the SSAC Championships was 64 seconds faster than 2012. The Wolf Pack were the first team to have five runners cross the finish line in the 2013 Championship meet and were the only school to have all runners defeat the 20 minute plateau. The top five had an impressive gap time of only 25 seconds at the championship meet on November 9th.

The team also took home the first place trophy at the Fifth Annual Loyola Wolf Pack Invitational on both the men’s and women’s side on September 7th. Overall, Loyola sent four runners to NAIA Nationals for the first time since 2004. Annie Hills, Francesca Vaccaro, and Kennedi Henneberger made the trip to Lawrence, Kansas along with Freese. This is the first time a Loyola cross country coach has won Louisiana Coach of the Year.

As the top vote getter in the state, the LSWA tapped Freese the men’s cross country Athlete of the Year and was one of seven members of the All-Louisiana cross country team. He was the first male NAIA Nationals qualifier for Loyola since 2009. He finished the 8K course in 27:48.51, the sixth fastest NAIA Nationals time in Loyola history.

Freese qualified for the NAIA Nationals after finishing 10th in the men’s 8K race at the SSAC Championships with a personal best of 26:30.12- the fourth fastest mark in school history. Freese owns three of the school’s top 10 performances in the 8K. The junior from New Orleans earned SSAC All-Conference honors for his 10th place finish. Freese missed the beginning of the year as he recovered from injury but came on strong at the end of the 2013 schedule. He completed his first full race at the Crimson Classic where he ran 27:53 before besting that with a 26:53 mark at the Sand Shark Invitational. The result at Sand Shark was the eighth fastest 8K in Loyola history. Besides winning the first LSWA Athlete of the Year award in cross country, it is also the first time Loyola has been represented on the All-Louisiana Cross Country team.

Men (Alphabetical Order)

Paul Freese, Loyola

Kwame Jackson, Xavier

Dusan Makevic, ULM

Logan Pearce, Louisiana-Lafayette

Phillip Primeaux, LSU

Paul Sakit, Louisiana Tech

Adam Yohanan, Tulane

Athlete of the Year

Paul Freese, Loyola

Newcomer of the Year

Paul Sakit, Louisiana Tech

Co-Freshman of the Year

Dusan Makevic, ULM

Logan Pearce, Louisiana-Lafayette

Coach of the Year

Joseph Moses, Xavier

Women (Alphabetical Order)

Andria Aguilar, LSU

Tessni Carruthers, Nicholls

Catherine Fakler, Xavier

Pauline Muiruri, ULM

Katherine Smiley, Tulane

Amy Talbot, McNeese

Morgan Shuertz, LSU

Athlete of the Year

Catherine Fakler, Xavier

Newcomer of the Year

Pauline Muiruri, ULM

Co-Freshman of the Year

Claire Hodges, Louisiana-Lafayette

Katharine Smile, Tulane

Coach of the Year

Andy Canegitta, Loyola

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