CORPUS CHRISTI – In conjunction with the Southland's 50th men's and 29th women's cross country championships, the conference released its All-Time Cross Country Honor Roll on Tuesday. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi had four individuals place among this elite list.
Among the 45 men, the Islanders had two runners named to the honor roll, with Shadrack Songok and Patrick Kimeli being recognized for their performance during their time at the Island University. The lone women runner to garner this attention was Anne Ronoh.
The Southland also recognized eight of the conference's greatest coaches for their contributions to the sport. Among the list of coaches was Islanders head coach Shawn Flanagan.
"The Southland has a rich history in cross country, extending back many years," Flanagan said. "It's a great privilege to be honored in this elite group of coaches. To also have had the opportunity to coach a number of the athletes that our mentioned in this group has been a fantastic experience and they are definitely deserving of this honor. It gives me real motivation to continue to turn out champions."
Flanagan is entering his 14th year with the Islanders, after building the program from the ground up. He has had tremendous success, earning three women's Coach of the Year honors, while leading the women's team to conference titles in 2007-09 and in 2011 as well.
Prior to his time at A&M – Corpus Christi, he spent 16 years at Texas-San Antonio while it was a part of the Southland. While at UTSA, Flanagan won five conference titles with his women's team, including his 1996 team that qualified for the NCAA Championship Meet — the only time an entire Southland team has advanced to the national meet. He also won two men's championships and seven total Coach of the Year awards with the Roadrunners.
Songok finds his way on this list after being one of the most decorated Islanders of all-time. He was the 2006 and 2007 Southland champion, and then went on to win the NCAA Central Regionals in those same years. In the 2007 NCAA Championship he finished in seventh place, which marked the best finish ever for a Southland athlete at that time. Songok also garnered Athlete of the Year honors in 2006 and 2007 and was even inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2013.
It was 2010 and 2011 conference championships that led Kimeli to being placed on this list. He also qualified for the NCAA Championship meets in those same years.
After being named the 2008 Newcomer of the Year, Ronoh didn't slow down, as a 2009 conference championship helped her earn her way to being the only female Islanders athlete to make it on the honor roll. In both of those seasons she also made it all the way to the NCAA Championships.
A full list of all of the athletes and coaches to make this list can be found here.
A&M - Corpus Christi, along with the rest of the Southland, will run in the conference championships on Friday in Lake Charles, La.
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