Nov. 18, 2011
NEW ORLEANS--In voting conducted among all Division I coaches Villanova senior Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.) and head coach Gina Procaccio were named the Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. For both Reid and Procaccio this marks the third consecutive year that they have earned top honors in the region.
Reid was the individual champion at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional race last weekend, where she came in first out of 199 runners and helped the Wildcats claim a share of the team title. Reid has been the individual champion three years running and has won seven consecutive races overall dating back to last season.
At the Mid-Atlantic regional race on the UMES Cross Country Course last Saturday afternoon Reid crossed the finish line in 21:32.7 in an original 6K race that included an extra 465 meters due to a reroute on the course. Reid also captured her third consecutive BIG EAST individual crown earlier this year and was the individual champion at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational last month.
Procaccio repeats as Coach of the Year in the Mid-Atlantic Region after leading Villanova to its fourth consecutive BIG EAST title as well as a tie for first place in the team standings at the Mid-Atlantic Regional meet. The conference championship is the 14th team title in cross country for the Wildcats, who extended their record of having won the most championships of any BIG EAST program.
Villanova also turned in a strong performance at the Mid-Atlantic Regional as Reid, senior Bogdana Mimic (Pancevo, Serbia) and sophomores Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) all received All-Mid Atlantic Region honors.
Procaccio led the Wildcats to consecutive national championships in 2009 and 2010 and Villanova has been ranked in the top five in the nation throughout this season, including a current No. 2 national ranking entering the NCAA Championships meet this coming Monday afternoon.
Since the start of the 2008 season Procaccio has now won nine coaching awards just in cross country. Her list of honors includes four BIG EAST Coach of the Year awards, three straight Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year honors as well as being the 2009 and 2010 National Coach of the Year.
The NCAA Championships will be held this coming Monday on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The women's 6,000 meter race goes off at 12:58 p.m.
NOTE: A Villanova athlete has been named the Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year in each of the past four seasons ... Prior to the current three-year run that Reid is on, Frances Koons earned top athlete honors during the 2008 season.