HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac men's cross country combined to sweep the Northeast Conference Weekly Awards for the second time in the 2012 season. As announced by the league office on Tuesday, Oct. 2, senior Rich Klauber (Thomaston, Conn.) claimed the NEC Athlete of the Week and freshman Brendan Copley (Colchester, Vt.) was named the NEC Rookie of the Week. The duo also took home the honors in the same week on Sep. 5 after the Bobcat's first race of the year at the Stony Brook Invitational.
Klauber claims his fourth career NEC Athlete of the Week honor after dominating the Lehigh Paul Short Men's Brown 8k Race with a 6th place finish and stellar time of 25:23. The 2008 NEC Outstanding Performer and Rookie of the Year successful worked his way around a field of 225 runners to lead Quinnipiac to a 12th place team finish out of 33 opponents. Klauber takes home the top-10 finish with a time that breaks his previous personal-best time of 26:14.8 at the 2009 NEC Championship.
"We are excited to see Rich running so well," said Quinnipiac men's cross country head coach Carolyn Martin. "He is certainly a great talent and has really helped to motivate the men to have more aggressive goals. "
Copley makes it two consecutive seasons (four of the past five) where the Bobcats featured a freshman to have won the Rookie of the Week award multiple times in a season. Sophomore Spencer Mannion (Brookfield, Conn.) won the honor three times in 2011, senior Mike Levene (Redding, Conn.) won the award twice in 2009, and Klauber was a three-time winner in 2008. After finishing in 22nd place on Friday, Copley and Klauber have combined to finish either first or second for Quinnipiac in all three races they have been together this season. His time of 25:55 is a new personal-best and his result was the fourth best among all freshmen runners in the event on Friday.
"Brendan is a very smart racer and he has continued to prove that in all his races," Martin said. "He moved up well in this race and ran very even splits, we were very pleased with his finish.
The Bobcats cross country program also made some history on Tuesday as the women's team also swept the NEC Athlete and Rookie of the Week honors with senior Becca White (Natick, Mass.) and freshman Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.). This marked the first time since Sep. 23, 2008 that an NEC team has claimed all four honors in one week when Quinnipiac's Rich Klauber took home the NEC Athlete and Rookie of the Week for the men while the women's Chelsea Bollerman won Athlete of the Week and Morgan Roche claimed Rookie of the Week. The Bobcats have accomplished the feat on three other occasions and are the only NEC team to have ever won all four in the same week.
Quinnipiac hits the road for its next meet, the New England Championships, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. The sub-varsity men's event begins at 12:45 p.m. and the men's varsity race starts at 2:15 p.m.
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