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Loyola at a Glance

Cross-country coach and student receive top honors

December 13, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans Women’s Cross-Country Coach Andy Canegitta was named Louisiana’s Coach of the Year, and men’s cross-country team junior Paul Freese was named the state’s Athlete of the Year. Both earned the top honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana teams for the 2013 cross-country season. The awards represent firsts for Loyola.

Canegitta garnered the accolade 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 average at the SSAC Championships was 64 seconds faster than 2012. The Wolf Pack women’s cross-country team was the first team to have five runners cross the finish line in the 2013 Championship meet. All five runners on Loyola women’s cross-country team also ran sub 20-minute races—the only school in the race to accomplish this feat.

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 Sept. 7. 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, Kan., along with Freese. This is the first time a Loyola cross-country coach has won Louisiana Coach of the Year.

The Louisiana Sports Writers Association men’s cross-country Athlete of the Year was one of seven members of the All-Louisiana cross-country team. Freese 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. He earned SSAC All-Conference honors for his 10th place finish.

Freese missed the beginning of the year as he recovered from an 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.

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