WINTER PARK, Fla. – Saint Leo freshman runner Jelena Tancic earned All-Sunshine State Conference Women's Cross Country Team honors, and was chosen as the 2013 Freshman Runner of the Year, league officials announced Tuesday.
The freshman from Erlangen, Germany captured the very first 2013 SSC Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week presented by VALIC on Sept. 9 after winning her first-ever race at the USF Invitational. Tancic then won a second race at the FLRunners.com Invitational to earn her second player of the week accolade on Sept. 30. She finished the SSC Championship in second with a career-best 6K time of 22:04.
Seven student-athletes in total have been named to the 2013 All-SSC squad. Nova Southeastern's Alexandria Palm was named Runner of the Year, and Tampa's head coach Jarrett Slaven was selected Coach of the Year.
Joining Tancic and Palm on the all-conference team were: Peri Bowman (Nova Southeastern), Chantelle Blundell (Tampa), Claudia Cancello (Tampa), Danielle Kissel (Tampa) and Gabrielle Wuyke (Lynn).
Palm captured the SSC individual women's cross country title for the second consecutive year. This year, she finished the 6K race in a time of 21:50. The Winnebago, Ill. native had three top-10 finishes in 2013, including sixth at the University of Florida Mountain Dew Invitational on Sept. 14, and seventh at the Florida State Invitational on Oct. 11.
Slaven claims his seventh-straight SSC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year award after leading his Tampa squad to a seventh consecutive conference title. In his 15 seasons at Tampa, the Spartans have won the league title 11 times. In 2013, Tampa finished first at three of its five regular-season events. Five Spartan runners earned All-Championship honors by placing in the top-10 at the conference championships. Blundell came in third, Kissel came in fifth, Cancello was sixth, Kelly Hagan was eighth and Vanessa Righeimer was ninth.
Voting for the All-SSC Women's Cross Country Team was conducted among the league cross country coaches.
2013 All-SSC Women's Cross Country Team
Peri Bowman (Sr.), Nova Southeastern
Chantelle Blundell (So.), Tampa
Claudia Cancello (Fr.), Tampa
Danielle Kissel (So.), Tampa
Alexandria Palm (Sr.), Nova Southeastern
Jelena Tancic (Fr.), Saint Leo
Gabriella Wuyke (Sr.), Lynn
Runner of the Year - Alexandria Palm, Nova Southeastern
Freshman of the Year - Jelena Tancic, Saint Leo
Coach of the Year - Jarrett Slaven, Tampa