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UL grad Kemp repeats as MEC CC Champion

Hannah Kemp

WHEELING, W.Va. – Hannah Kemp won the women’s race for the second straight year and four West Liberty men earned All-Conference honors here Saturday morning as West Liberty University and Oglebay Resort hosted the 2021 Mountain East Conference Cross Country Championships.

Kemp, a junior All-Region standout who graduated from Union Local, locked up the MEC’s Runner of the Year Award for the second consecutive season with a dominant performance in the women’s race.

The Hilltopper standout jumped out to a quick early lead and was never threatened, leading by as many as 100 yards midway through the damp and chilly 6000-meter run before jogging across the finish line in a brisk 23:50.13.

“The conditions were a lot nicer in the spring,” Kemp noted with a smile, “but I actually like the rain and the cold. It takes your mind off everything else and really makes you focus on what you’re doing. It’s great preparation for the rest of the championship season.”

The WLU women placed fifth in the team standings. Charleston took team honors with Davis & Elkins, Concord, West Virginia Wesleyan and the Hilltoppers rounding out the top five. Emily Louk and Savannah Moorehead backed Kemp with Top 30 finishes.

The University of Charleston ran away with the men’s team championship, taking the next six spots behind individual champion Michael Prather of runner-up Concord, but a strong effort from the Hilltopper contingent earned West Liberty a third-place slot in the team chase.

No less than four Black and Gold runners were among the first 20 runners to cross the finish line and earn a spot on the All-Mountain East Conference Team.

Michael Harriman led the way, earning first-team All-MEC honors with a 10th-place finish in 27:39.97. Phil White (12th – 27:48.74), Jared Ullom (16th – 28:09.34), and Brenden Sands (18th – 28:17.40) were All-Mountain East Conference second-team selections.

The Hilltopper men and women now turn their attention to preparations for the 2021 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Championships, set for Nov. 6 in Lock Haven, Pa.

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