September 19, 2012 - Trojans sweep XC Athlete of the Week Honors Week #2
(Everett, W.A.) – Sophomore All-Americans Habtamu Rubio and Katie Strong earned NWAACC Cross Country Men’s and Women’s Athlete of the week honors for their performances at the Sundodger Invite. The award is voted on each week during the season by NWAACC coaches.
Habtamu Rubio, a sophomore from Port Townsend High School, earned his first ever Athlete of the Week honor through his performance in the 8-kilometer race on Saturday at Seattle’s Lincoln Park. Rubio posted a time of 25:10.71 and his 6th place finish tied Bryton Reim, who is now running for California Baptist University, for the best ever placing at this meet for the Trojan men. Rubio established himself early among the leaders and raced from the front throughout. A great start to the season for the sophomore who finished 3rd overall at the NWAACC Championship a year ago.
Katie Strong, a sophomore from Kodiak Island’s Port Lions High School, earned the distinction by virtue of her school record-breaking performance in the women’s 6-kilometer race. Katie’s time of 22:22.89 earned her a 5th place finish - the best ever individual placing by a Trojan at the Sundodger race regardless of gender. Strong ran most of the race outside of the top-10, but known for her blazing finishing kick, was able to move quickly through the field in the final kilometer of the race. Her time represents a 41 second improvement from her 6-kilometer personal-record set last year at this same meet.
For Strong, this is her third NWAACC Athlete of the Week award. She earned the distinction in 2011 during the Cross Country season in week 8 after winning the Northern Region Championship, where she bettered Everett’s 3-mile school record with her time of 17:59.7. During the track season, she took the honor after clocking a 2nd best all-time EvCC mark of 37:52.33 in the 10,000m at the WWU Ralph Vernacchia Invite.
Coach Koenigs, though obviously pleased, was quick to point out, “while both really deserve this award, it’s tough to overlook the performances by the rest of the team - we had several athletes who I felt also deserved this. Aaron Campbell, Catie Arrigoni, Marren Haneberg, Kristina Cordy and Nic Lawrence all had phenomenal performances to name a few. Unfortunately, only one runner per gender can be selected every week.”
The Trojans head for Spokane tomorrow for the Erik Anderson Invitational to preview this year’s NWAACC Championship course held at Spokane’s Plante’s Ferry Park.