Stephanie Ganter and Mitch Ownbey were named 2009 SLC Outdoor Track and Field Freshmen of the Year.
May 14, 2009
FRISCO, Texas -
Stephen F. Austin head track and field coach Phil Olson has been named Southland Conference Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year announced league officials Thursday afternoon. Olson, who was also named the 2009 SLC Women's Indoor Coach of the Year, has received the honor six times during 10-year career at SFA.
Along with Olson, rookies Mitch Ownbey and Stephanie Ganter were named SLC Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Both Ownbey and Ganter solidified their status as two of the better freshmen to ever compete at SFA earning league freshman of the year honors during the cross country and outdoor track and field seasons. Ganter recorded the rookie triple crown by also taking the honor during the indoor season, becoming the first athlete in SLC history to be named conference freshman of the year during the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. SFA also becomes the first conference school to make a clean sweep of the league's male and female freshman of the year awards (Nick McCloud was named 2009 SLC Indoor Freshman of the Year).
Olson won his sixth career league-coaching honor behind a strong performance from his women's team. The Ladyjacks jumped out to an early lead on the first day of the championship meet and never looked back. SFA scored 173.50 points and coasted to a 38-point victory over their next closest competition.
The Ladyjacks were led by junior Frednisha Marshall and sophomore Amy Shackelford who recorded two individual titles each. Marshall was dominant in the throws winning the hammer and the shot put, while Shackelford won the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs. The Ladyjacks finished the meet recording four SLC Individual titles and 14 All-SLC performances.
Ownbey turned in one of more electrifying performances of the meet. An underdog in the men's 10,000 meters, Ownbey displayed an awesome kick in the final 150 meters of the men's 10,000-meter run to overtake defending league champion, Henry Rop, and win the title. Ownbey returned to the track 48 hours later and recorded another strong finish in the men's 5,000 meters to finish second in the event.
It was déjà vú all over again for Ganter who was also named the 2008 SLC Cross Country and 2009 SLC Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Ganter recorded SLC runner-up finishes in women's 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs finishing second to only Shackelford in both races.