MELBOURNE, FL - Florida Southern's Ben Martucci has been named the Sunshine State Conference Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year while Mason Jones was tapped the SSC Freshman of the Year as announced today by the league office. In addition, Jones joined senior Bobby Ormsby and junior Dean McGregor on the All-SSC first-team while sophomore Warran Grajalez earned a spot on the second-team.
SSC Runner, Freshman, and Coach of the Year awards are voted upon by league coaches. Runners who finish in the top 14 spots at the 2017 SSC Men's Cross Country Championship earn All-SSC status, with the first seven finishers making the All-SSC First Team.
Martucci, who led the Moccasin men's team to its 17th SSC Championship on Oct. 21, was selected SSC Coach of the Year by his peers for the second time in his career after garnering the award in his first season in 2013. It is the 15th time the award has gone to a Florida Southern coach.
Jones is the fifth Moccasin to be named SSC Freshman of the Year, joining current teammates McGregor (2015) and Ormsby (2013) along with Chris Yanichko (2010) and Eric Larson (2008). Jones also earns a spot on the All-SSC first-team after a sixth-place finish.
Ormsby finished second in the SSC Meet for a second straight season to earn his fourth All-SSC honor. He is just the fifth Moccasin to be named All-SSC four times and just the third to earn first-team honors in all four seasons, joining Tyrone Bell (2002-05) and Paul Norby (1998-2001).
McGregor, who placed fifth at the SSC meet, earns his second All-SSC first team honor after being so honored last season. Grajalez placed ninth at the SSC championship to earn a spot on the All-SSC second-team.
Ronald Cheserek of Saint Leo was named SSC Men's Runner of the Year for the second consecutive year after winning back-to-back league championships. He is the first runner to win consecutive titles since Martucci won the SSC championship in 2009 and 2010.
Martucci will take his men's squad into the NCAA South Region Championship this Saturday at Lakeland's Holloway Park and Nature Preserve, aiming for a fourth regional title. The Moccasins won back-to-back regional crowns under Martucci in 2013 and 2014 and captured the program's first title in 2007 during Martucci's freshman season running for the Moccasins.
The women's 6K regional championship gets underway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the men's 10K to follow at 9:45 a.m. There is no charge for admission, but the park does charge $5 for parking.
2017 ALL-SSC MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Ronald Cheserek (Saint Leo)
Bobby Ormsby (Florida Southern)
Anthony Deleva (Saint Leo)
Matt Graves (Embry-Riddle)
Dean McGregor (Florida Southern)
Mason Jones (Florida Southern)
Noah Kemp (Embry-Riddle)
Tucker Melles (Florida Tech)
Warran Grajalez (Florida Southern)
Lukas Hassler (Florida Tech)
Brent Turner (Tampa)
Ian McQuate (Nova Southeastern)
Calahan Warren (Embry-Riddle)
Stephen Dietz (Embry-Riddle)