Oct. 6, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Jackie Areson's outstanding efforts early in the 2009 season have finally garnered her some regional recognition. The University of Tennessee senior received word Tuesday afternoon that she had been named the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Female Athlete of the Week.
For the Delray Beach, Fla., native, it was her first time to receive the league honor. For the Lady Vol program, it marked the first time since 2007 that a UT runner had been so recognized. Sarah Bowman earned the award twice during the 2007 campaign.
Areson garnered the distinction after carding a third-place finish out of 363 runners Friday morning at the Brooks Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. The Big Orange harrier covered Lehigh University's 6,000-meter Goodman Campus Course in a career-best 20 minutes, two seconds to record her third top-five individual finish this season in three races. Previously, she had won the Belmont-VU Opener and finished fourth at the Crimson Classic.
That clocking by Areson is the best in the SEC this season and was 26 seconds faster than four-time All-SEC Lady Vol Sarah Bowman ran in her three trips to that meet during her career. Areson's new personal record shattered her old PR of 20:42.65, which she charted back in 2006 at the SEC Championship meet.
Areson, who now has scored in all 19 races she has run as a collegian where Tennessee had a team entered, also won Lady Vol Athlete of the Week kudos on Oct. 5 and Sept. 21 of this season.
Areson and her teammates, who are rated fifth in the NCAA South Region and are receiving votes in the USTFCCCA National Rankings, are off this weekend. They return to action on Oct. 16, when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to compete in the Panorama Farms Invitational. Race time is 4 p.m. ET.