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Ken Fontal Leads Wildcats to Second Straight Title as Wilmington Cross Country Competes at CACC Championships

Ken Fontal Leads Wildcats to Second Straight Title as Wilmington Cross Country Competes at CACC Championships

Video Recap at bottom of press release.

Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Carried by its senior Ken Fontal, the Wilmington University men's cross country team captured its second consecutive Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship while the women finished sixth at the conference meet on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park on Sunday morning.

The men won their fourth CACC Championship since 2012, having also won the meet in 2012, 2013, and 2015. This year it was by the slimmest of margins, as the Wildcats collected 43 points led by four All-CACC performances. Bloomfield finished a close second place with 45 points.

The women got the gun first on Sunday morning and finished with 165 points overall. Philadelphia won its second straight CACC Championship on the women's side with 40 points. Georgian Court finished second with 80 points.

Junior Rachel Jones led the Wildcats with a 19th place finish, running the 5K in a personal record of 21:13.4. She bested her personal record by more than six seconds from last year's CACC Championship.

Senior Christina Czajkowski shaved a minute off her time form last year's championship, finishing 34th overall with a time of 21:52.0. Joelle Prettyman completed her first CACC Championship in 35th place, running in 21:52.4. Tara Langan was the fourth Wildcat finisher, crossing the line in 36th overall with a time of 21:52.8. Gabrielle Brown rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats, finishing 41st overall with a time of 22:16.2 in her first CACC Championship.

Tori Vickers claimed the 43rd position with a time of 22:22.0 while Emily Kockott closed out the Wildcats on the course with a 52nd place finish, running in 23:23.0.

The men were off and running second on Sunday and from the opening gun, the crowd knew the front of the pack was going to be tight. Fontal, teammate Isaac Ndirangu, and Bloomfield's Isaiah Curbelo all fought for the lead position throughout the race, but it was Fontal who pulled away.

The senior came out of the woods for the second time with a large lead and he was able to cruise uncontested to the finish line. Fontal (left) finished in 27:00.3, over 21 seconds faster then the Curbelo in second place. Fontal was the 2013 CACC Rookie of the Year and now adds the 2016 CACC Runner of the Year to his resume for earning medalist honors on Sunday.

Ndirangu placed third overall, holding off Philadelphia's Sergei Cendo down the stretch with a stronger kick to the finish line. Ndirangu finished the 8K in 27:34.8 for three points. Junior Korey Jeffries gave the Wildcats seven points with his finish, running in 28:09.7. Miguel Suero finished 11th overall in the meet, crossing the line in 28:38.9. Manuel Suero rounded out the Wildcats scoring with a 21st place finish, running in 29:11.3.

Logan Brady finished 28th overall with a time of 29:53.0 while Zach Panza closed out the Wildcats on the course with a 40th place finish, running in 31:14.6.

The Top-15 finishers in each race are named All-CACC, with four Wildcats earning conference honors this meet. Fontal (1st), Ndirangu (3rd), Jeffries (7th), and Miguel Suero (11th) were all named All-CACC this season.

The Wildcats will now prepare for the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship on November 5. The event will take place on the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in Hopkinton, N.H.