The University of Lynchburg men’s and women’s cross-country teams dominated the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s postseason awards announced Friday. Both teams compete at the NCAA 2023 Division III Cross Country National Championships at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Frank Csorba and Kayla Werner were named the conference’s men’s and women’s runners of the year, Kristen Werner earned the women’s Rookie of the Year award, and head men’s and women’s cross-country coach Jake Reed swept the Coach of the Year awards.
Csorba repeated as the runner of the year and the ODAC champion. He brought home the 17th runner of the year award in the history of the men’s program after leading the Hornets to a 20th conference crown.
Kayla Werner’s Runner of the Year award is the 10th in the women’s program’s history, and she is the third Hornet to win the award over the last three seasons. Kelsey Lagunas was the Runner of the Year last year, and Stephanie Burnett won it in 2021.
Kayla Werner broke Burnett’s program record in her first meet with the Hornets at the Mike Woods Invitational in October. Werner ran a 20:57.3 and placed fourth, shattering Burnett’s mark by over 43 seconds.
Kristen Werner, Kayla’s sister, earned Rookie of the Year honors. It was the third straight season a Hornet was named the best, new runner in the league and the fourth all-time. Kristen Werner was also one of seven women’s runners from Lynchburg to win all-region honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Tuesday. She was one of 46 first-years to finish in the top-35 of their respective regional championships.
Allison Dell, Courtney Drumm, Sarah James, Lauren Massey, Molly Silva, and Kayla Werner were all-region honorees for the women’s team as well.
Csorba, Bryce Davis, Tor Hotung-Davidsen, Chasen Hunt, Cooper Hurst, and Sam Llaneza reeled in all-region honors on the men’s side. It was the second straight year the men produced six all-region runners, and it was Lynchburg’s first regional championship on the men’s side since 2012.
The women’s team’s seven all-region athletes propelled Lynchburg to its second-consecutive and all-time regional title. The Hornets also put seven athletes into the top 35 of the women’s regional race for the third year in a row.
All this dominance both in the ODAC and the South region has occurred under Reed, the seven-year head coach of the men’s and women’s programs. Since taking over in 2017, Reed has won the last three Coach of the Year awards on both the men’s and women’s side. Reed increased his all-region total to 52 athletes in the last seven years and has coached seven student-athletes to ODAC Runner of the Year honors.
Reed leads both the men’s and women’s team to the NCAA championships for the third season in a row.
In 2021, the men placed 18th, while the women came in 32nd during their second-ever appearance in the championship meet. In 2022, the men ran to a 30th-place finish and the women came in 21st.
The Hornets look to greatly improve upon their finishes at the past two championship races. Headed into the national championship hosted by Dickinson College, the men and women are both ranked 10th nationally.
The Hornets seek their first All-American performances since 2012. All-American status is granted to student-athletes who finish in the top 40 of the national championship races. The men have produced nine All-Americans, with Cody Stanton the most-recent winner in 2012. Kaitlyn Johnson is the women’s only All-American, winning the award in 2018.
The men will be making their 14th trip to the NCAA championship. The Hornets raced to their best finish, 13th, in 1991. The women will line up for the fourth time at the national championship. Their best finish occurred in 1998 and 2021 when they placed 21st as a team.
The men are the only ODAC school to send a team to the national championship since 2016. The only other ODAC school on the women’s side to send a team to the national championship in this last decade is Washington and Lee in 2019.
View the NCAA 2023 Division III men’s and women’s cross-country championship program here. Watch the championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 11 a.m here. Live results will be posted here.