SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Freshman Dena O'Brien has been named the Southern Conference women's runner of the week for the week of Sept. 20-26 the league office announced today.
"The first three meets for Dena have been remarkable, especially with setting a personal record in her first meet by over a minute," said Cougar Head Coach Amy Seago. "She is someone that is a great contributor for our team, so we are very pleased that she received the recognition that I think she deserves. We look forward to her doing some big things this year and in years to come."
O'Brien, a native of Pelham, Ala., won her first collegiate meet at the Citadel Invitational on Sept. 25 at James Island County Park. Her time of 18:19.77 for the 5k race was 39 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. O'Brien's individual effort helped her team to a runner-up finish in the meet.
This season O'Brien has placed in the top-four in each of her three races. Her time of 18:09 in her first collegiate race placed her 10th on the Cougars all-time school record list.
"Obviously she is very talented, but she has the hard work that backs that up," Seago said. "She is always asking to do more and early on it was a matter of seeing what she could handle. She is someone who is able to handle the workload very well and mentally has the approach that you look for in an athlete with talent, someone that wants to work hard also."
O'Brien and the Cougars are back in action on Friday as they travel to Charlotte, N.C. for the Charlotte Invitational.