NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt men’s and women’s cross country teams held its annual end of the year banquet in the Admirals room of Memorial Gym on Wednesday night highlighting one of the best year’s in the history of the program. The coaching staff handed out three awards (Newcomer, Most Improved and MVP) for both teams.
“All recipients of awards this season have distinguished themselves but the real story is the “team”, head coach Steve Keith said. “We have stressed this idea of team (within an individual/team sport) and the men and women have really embraced the idea.”
The sophomore duo of Jordan White and Jenner Kizer were named the 2009 MVPs after putting together stellar seasons on the course. White led the team to a sixth-place showing at the 2009 SEC Championships after pacing the Commodores with a 22nd place finish en route to earning All-SEC freshman honors.
Kizer was “Mr. Consistent” for the men this season as he was the top Commodore in every meet in 2009. The Fort Worth, Texas placed in the top-half of the NCAA South Regional last month with a 10K time of 32:54.78.
At the end of the Banquet the seniors from both programs were recognized for their efforts and commitment to the Vanderbilt program the last four seasons. The men’s team honored its two seniors, James Kasten and Thomas Davis while Ellen Black and Michelle Sauer were honored from the women’s team.
The coaching staff expressed their gratitude to the team’s overall efforts this season and discussed the bright future that lies ahead for both programs.
“The women’s team had a very good year of chemistry and performance,” Keith said. “Not losing anyone in our top eight and with the prospect of some good recruits, we have even higher goals for next fall.”
The same can be said about the men’s program.
“It was a good year for the men but with such a young team, we look forward to getting back to the training and racing with more commitment,” Keith said. “I really see a tight cohesive group that can benefit from a spring of track work with a focus of improving on our SEC finish.” “Next year can be another step up for our program and as any good athlete wants to do, we hope to stack good season upon good season with a focus on higher goals.”
To see photos from 2009 End of the Year Banquet click on the photo gallery link above.