RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 19, 2010 - James Madison senior Alison Parris (Saint Leonard, Md./Patuxent) was named the Colonial Athletic Association women's cross country Runner of the Week, announced Tuesday afternoon by the conference office.
Parris finished the White Race at the Pre-National Invitational (Oct. 16) in seventh place out of 247 runners at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.
"Alison's race Saturday just shows the maturity and confidence that she has attained," head coach Dave Rinker said. "We expected a very fast pace up front and her original plan was to sit back in the 20's and then move up. When the race went out slow she immediately adjusted the race plan and went with the lead group. With the way the race went out, if she had not made the good decision to go nearer to the front, she would have got lost in the pack and would have had a much harder time getting to the top 10."
The senior improved 23 spots from last year's race and completed the six-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 26.1 seconds, just 18 seconds back of the race champion. Stony Brook's Lucy Van Dalen won the event in 20:08.1.
Parris helped lead the Dukes to a 20th-place team finish in the 40-team field. JMU tallied a total time of 108:47.9 and finished just under five minutes behind the team champions, Georgetown.
This marks the third time this season that Parris has earned the weekly award, and fourth of her career. Parris garnered her first-career CAA weekly award after last year's Pre-National Invitational.
"Alison has paid her dues, ran her miles and learned from her experiences good and bad," Rinker said. "Her consistency in top level races shows she has deserved her athlete of the week awards."
The Dukes are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 30, for the CAA Championship at UNC Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. The women's championship race is slated for a 10 a.m. start.