Bison Dominate Patriot League Cross Country Honors
Sept. 10, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Less than 48 hours after sweeping the Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational, Bucknell cross country nearly pulled off another sweep in the Patriot League awards as Caroline Tolli (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) and John Dugan (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) were named the conference Runners of the Week and Alison Billas (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) was cited as the Rookie of the Week on Monday. Tolli and Dugan both claimed individual titles in Michigan on their way to helping the Bison claim the team trophies as well.
Tolli's and Dugan's wins were the first of their respective careers. Tolli was the first to cross the finish line in the women's five-kilometer race with a time of 18:27. The senior topped her younger teammate Katie Jessee (Carlisle, Mass./Concord Carlisle), who finished second, by 23 seconds. It was the second meet this season in which Tolli was Bucknell's lead runner as she also place fifth to guide the team at Colgate's Harry Lang Invitational the previous week.
Dugan also earned his second consecutive week of finishing as the league's lead runner. The sophomore won the men's four-mile race at Detroit in 20:31, also with a noteworthy 11-second lead over the second-place finisher.
Earning the title of Female Rookie of the Week was Billas, who placed fifth overall and was the top freshman in the race. The native of nearby Danville, Pa., crossed the line in 19:03. She has now placed among the team's top four and scored in each of her first two meets this season.
At the end of the Detroit Titan Invitational, Bucknell had also dominated in the team standings. Both took first place as the women totaled just 18 points, putting them 31 points ahead of second-place Wayne State. The men's squad registered 26 points, giving them a 21-point lead over Wayne State.
Monday's honors are the first of the season for the Bison. They were also the first of each runner's career, although Dugan had previously been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week twice during the 2011 season and was ultimately named the Patriot League Rookie of the meet at the conference championships.
Bucknell will have a bit of time off before returning to competition. The Bison are now preparing for the Saint Francis (Pa.) Invitational set for Sept. 29 in Loretto, Pa.