Golden Eagle Cross Country Standouts Named to Conference USA All-Decade Team
DALLAS, Texas -- Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference’s 19 sports. Men’s cross country is the first sport to have its All-Decade team released and Tulane’s Solomon Kandie headlines that group after being named the Athlete of the Decade for men’s cross country. The Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Decade award went to Cincinnati’s Bill Schnier. Voting on the All-Decade awards was done by each of the league’s current men’s cross country coaches.
Southern Miss also placed two members on the 10-person team with Yoursi El Mejoubi and Paul Kemei. Kandie is joined by fellow Tulane standout Amos Kipyegon on the All-Decade team. Charlotte also placed two members on the team with Vince Sherry and Kenneth Svendson. Cincinnati, East Carolina, TCU and USF each placed one athlete on the squad.
C-USA MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY ALL-DECADE TEAM
Solomon Kandie, Tulane (1999-2001) – ATHLETE OF THE DECADE
A three-time All-Conference selection who won the C-USA Cross Country Championship in 2000 and finished second in 2001….Also a three-time all-district selection with a top finish of fifth at the NCAA South Central Regional….Tulane’s top finisher in every race in which he ran….Led the Green Wave to the 2001 C-USA Team Championship and to second place at the 2000 Championship….Holds Tulane school records in the 8K (23:22.4) and 10K (30:28).
Vince Sherry, Charlotte (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002)
Four-time All-Conference selection ... Third overall at 2002 C-USA Championships to lead Charlotte to first-ever league title ... selected team MVP ... Fourth at 1999 C-USA Championships ... Qualified for 1999 NCAA Nationals ... sixth place finish at 2001 C-USA Championships ... Finished 10th as a freshman at the 1998 C-USA Championships ... Holds second-fastest 8,000- and 10,000-meter course times in school history.
Kenneth Svendsen, Charlotte (1998, 1999, 2001)
Top-five finish and All-Conference at C-USA Championship in each of his three seasons ... Third place at 1999 C-USA Championships ... 1999 All-American honors ... 25th at NCAA Nationals ... Highest-ever finish by a C-USA men's runner at NCAA Nationals ... Second at 1998 C-USA Championships as a freshman ... C-USA Freshman of the Year ... Led 49ers to second place overall ... NCAA District III All-Region honors ... Broke own school record en route to fifth-place finish at 2001 C-USA Championships ... School records for 8,000- and 10,000-meter courses ... three-time team MVP (1998, 1999, 2001).
Chris Reis, Cincinnati (1999-2002)
A four-time All-Conference USA selection, Chris Reis won two All-Ohio championships and was named C-USA Athlete of the week six times in his career…Reis placed in the top four in three of his four years at the conference championship, finishing 15th in 1999, 3rd in 2000, 4th in 2001 and 4th in 2002…Reis qualified for three NCAA championships, finishing 136th in 2000, 118th in 2001, and 134th in 2002…Reis was named the Ohio Cross Country Coaches’ Association Division I Runner of the Year in 2001...He was also named UC’s Cross Country MVP three times.
Kyle MacKenzie, East Carolina (2001-present)
A two-time all-conference performer (2002, 2003) ... 2003 Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year ... Holds the school record in the 8K with a time of 23:53 ... Has recorded 12 top three finishes during his career.
Yoursi El Mejdoubi, Southern Miss (1998-99)
A two-time All-Conference performer … Finished sixth at the C-USA Championship … Placed 9th at the NCAA South Region … An NCAA cross country qualifier in 1998 … C-USA Athlete of the Week (three times in ’99) … Finished second at the ’99 C-USA Championship … Finished 4th at the NCAA South Region … Helped Southern Miss win team titles six times during 1999.
Paul Kemei, Southern Miss (1999)
An All-Conference performer … Finished first at the 1999 C-USA Championship … Placed 9th at the NCAA South Region … An NCAA cross country qualifier in 1999 … C-USA Athlete of the Week (two times in ’99) … Helped Southern Miss win team titles six times during 1999, including the Conference USA Championship and the South Region … Finished first at the Alabama Invitational, second at the Auburn Invitational and Southern Miss Invitational, third at the Memphis Invitational and fourth at the LSU Invitational
Eliud Njubi, TCU (2001)
After winning the Western Athletic Conference individual cross country title in 2000, Eliud Njubi took top honors at the Conference USA meet in 2001, posting a winning time of 23:09.3 for the 8K distance….Njubi was also a two-time South Central Region Cross Country champion….He won five races as a senior and nine titles in his two cross country seasons at TCU….He earned All-American honors in cross country in 2001.
Amos Kipyegon, Tulane (1997-98)
The only two-time champion in Conference USA Cross Country history, winning the league title in 1997 and 1998….Led the Green Wave to its only NCAA team appearance in 1998….Also a two-time all-district selection with a top finish of fourth….Still holds school records in the 5K (14:41.8) and four-mile (19:27) races.
Andrew Smith, USF (1998-02)
Was the 2002 Conference USA men's cross country champion ... Was the Bulls top finisher in the 2000 NCAA South Region Cross Country Championships and the 2000 NCAA Championships ... Finished sixth with a time of 31:20.82 in the 10,000 meter race, helping USF to a second place finish and a spot in the 2000 NCAA Championships ... Was a member of Canada's Elite Junior Team in 2000 where he placed first in the 3,000 meters in track against Central American and Caribbean teams.
C-USA MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY COACH OF THE DECADE
Bill Schnier, Cincinnati (1995-present)
Schnier has been named C-USA Coach of the Year twice in the 10-year history of the conference…Schnier has coached two individual conference champions, two Freshmen of the Year winners, and 18 athletes of the week…He was named the Ohio Cross Country Coaches’ Association Division I Coach of the Year in 2001…Schnier has coached 23 All-C-USA performers.