Oglethorpe University men's cross country earns numerous postseason awards, highlighted by Villa's All-Region honor

The Oglethorpe men's cross country team saw several athletes earn postseason honors this month, both for performances in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional and the Southern Athletic Association Cross Country Championships.

Senior Mateo Villa garnered South/Southeast All-Region honors, while senior Rodrigo Meade, sophomores Aidan Goldston and Thomas Ridley, and junior Bill Lester all took home All-SAA honors.

Villa garnered his first career All-Region honor, finishing 31st at the regional meet on Nov. 16 in Memphis, Tennessee, with a time of 26 minutes, 5.1 seconds on the 8-kilometer course. It marked the program's second consecutive All-Region honor and served as an excellent cap to Villa's outstanding cross country career, which featured a pair of All-SAA honors in 2017 and 2018. The top 35 finishers at each of the eight Division III regional sites automatically earned All-Region honors.

Meade capped his career with his first All-SAA first-team honor at the conference meet in Mount Berry on Nov. 2, finishing the 8-kilometer race in 26:07.4 to come in fourth. That finish marked the best by a Stormy Petrel in the history of the SAA Championships. It also served as Meade's first career All-SAA cross country honor.

Goldston captured All-SAA second team honors at the conference meet, finishing the race in 26:28.2 and placing 10th. It served as his first career All-SAA honor.

A pair of Petrels took All-SAA honorable mention, with Ridley and Lester grabbing the honors. Ridley finished 13th at the conference meet with a time of 26:34.0, marking his first career all-conference selection. Lester garnered his third straight All-SAA award by finishing 15th in 26:38.0.

All-SAA teams are determined by order of finish at the SAA Championships. Runners finishing first through fifth earn first-team honors, sixth through 10th second-team, and 11th through 15th honorable mention. The top finisher at the meet is named the SAA Runner of the Year and the freshman with the best finish the SAA Newcomer of the Year.

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