The Valdosta Daily Times
Sophomores Jose Castanon (Lowndes County) and Samantha Arroyo (Marianna, Fla.) received multiple awards at the South Georgia State College cross country team’s annual banquet on Nov. 25. Castanon and Arroyo, both of whom earned All-Conference honors this season, received the MVP Award for the lowest average times of the season. They also received the Hawk Award, which is voted upon by members of the team.
Sophomore Tori Irvin (Cape Coral, Fla.) and freshman Robert Bledsoe (Irwin County) received the Coach’s Award, while sophomore Destinee Cason (Ware County) and Taylor Brice (Coffee County) received the Most Improved Award, which goes to the runners that see the most significant reduction in race times over the course of the season.
The 2013 Hawks had one of the best seasons in the history of the SGSC cross-country program. The women’s team finished second in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association while the men came in third. Three Hawks — Castanon, Arroyo and Irvin — were named Second Team All-Conference. There is still one more award left to be presented — the Academic Award, which will be given later this month when fall semester grades are released.
“We had an excellent season. I’ve said it all year long — I couldn’t be prouder of the way our kids worked this season. They trusted the program and refused to give up. Our sophomores showed tremendous leadership and set a fantastic example for the freshmen. We have a talented group of men returning next year but we’re losing almost all of our women’s team to graduation. We’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do with the women’s team but I’m confident we can build upon our successes in the future,” says head coach Robert Preston Jr.
The cross-country team would also like to thank the South Georgia Track Club and its members for assisting with the awards banquet. Without their generosity, the banquet would not have been possible.