Harding's Zaborowska wins GAC Cross Country Title; Lady Bisons place second

From Harding University

East Central won its first Great American Conference women's cross country championship title as the Lady Tigers edged out 2011 champion Harding Saturday at the Pontotoc Technology Center.

Samantha Bartlett and Regina Germaine turned in top-three finishes for the Lady Tigers, who won on their home course. Harding sophomore Ewa Zaborowska dominated the race, winning by more than a minute to claim both the individual title and the GAC Runner of the Year honor. It was the second straight individual championship for the Lady Bisons. Gladys Kimtai won last year's race.

The tight pack of Lady Tigers all finished inside the top 12 to best the Lady Bisons by eight points. Winning head coach Steve Sawyer received the GAC coach of the year award. Ten of the top 13 finishers came from either ECU or Harding. Harding's Kelsey Taylor, who finished fourth, claimed the GAC freshman of the year award.

In behind the top two teams, Southern Arkansas rode the top-10 finishes of Virginia Ney and Kelsey Grier to edge out Southwestern Oklahoma State for third place by a single point. Ouachita Baptist took fifth ahead of cross-street rival Henderson State.

Arkansas Tech finished seventh with Southeastern Oklahoma State and Arkansas-Monticello rounding out the nine-team event.

The runners from Southern Nazarene and Northwestern Oklahoma State competed in the meet, but ran as unattached individuals. Megan Johnson, from Southern Nazarene placed sixth, and second among freshman.