Coaches honor women's cross country team at end of the year banquet
Thursday, December 15, 2005 | by Coach Bechler honors 2005 squad

Newberry’s women’s cross country recently held their end of the year banquet as head coach Jamy Bechler honored various members of the 2005 squad for their athletic achievements. Faculty mentor Melissa Johnson joined the team for the celebration and joined everyone in honoring the following awards, as well as Allegra Vigil and Laura Banda as the team’s  graduating senior runners.

Most Outstanding Runner:  Laura Banda
From Coach Bechler: “Even though she didn’t decide to run until August and had little training when practice started, she was our No. 1 runner in all but one race this season.  She broke 22:00 twice and never ran slower than 23:26, which she ran at the very tough Winthrop University course.  She is a very fast athlete that paced our team in practice during speed workouts and set the bar high for the rest of the team to follow.  She will be missed as she is one of two graduating seniors.”
Most Improved Runner:  Lauren Hartley 
From Coach Bechler: “Coming into the season, her personal record in the 5K was 26:00 and her best time while in college was a 27:05.  She bested that mark five times during the season with her best being a 23:40 at Presbyterian College. She missed only two 6 a.m. cross country practices all year while holding down the No. 1 singles spot on the tennis team during afternoon tennis practices.  She was a great leader for us and was always cheerful in spirit and consistent in performance.”
Coaches Award:  Olga Kuzmenkova
From Coach Bechler: “Her personal record in the 5K was a 23:51 until this season when she ran a 21:58 at the Presbyterian College Invitational.  She ran a 23:02 at the very hilly and slow Tusculum College course at the South Atlantic Conference Championship meet.  She never missed a 6 a.m. practice and was always a good leader.  She was very consistent as our No. 2 or No. 3 runner all year.  She didn’t give up in practice or at meets.  She was not content with her times and performances in the past.  Olga strived to be a better runner.”
Freshman of the Year:  Heather Warren
From Coach Bechler: “She set a new personal record this year with a 22:01 at the Presbyterian College invitational.  She managed to run sub-23:00 on three different occasions, including at the SAC Championship.  She our No. 1 runner once, No. 2 runner four times, and was the No. 3 runner once.  She had good speed and rarely got passed at the end of races.  She was a consistent runner who has a very good future ahead of her.”