Published 12:02 am Friday, November 4, 2016

BEAUMONT — After a beautiful closeout that won her the league championship, Lamar cross country’s Evelyn Chavez was voted as the Southland Conference Women’s Athlete of the Year, as voted on by league cross country coaches, the conference announced Thursday afternoon.

Along with Chavez’s award, Keith Fallon took the Male Newcomer of the Year honor and cross country coach Tony Houchin won the Men’s Coach of the Year award.

Chavez, native of Porter, finished out the 6,000-meter race with a very strong final 1,000 meters, and took over first place and outraced Sam Houston’s Ana Moreno, who was second by two seconds. Chavez’s teammate Jannika John finished was third.

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“There isn’t a more deserving athlete than Evelyn. She works extremely hard and is a good teammate. She is everything a Lamar Cardinal should be,” said Houchin.

“She and Jannika are both outstanding athletes and teammates,” he said. “They are roommates and best friends. That race could’ve gone either way, but Evelyn had a slightly better day. Jannika is over the moon for her, and had it gone the other way Evelyn would’ve been the same way.”

Chavez won the fourth Female Athlete of the Year award for Lamar and is the third athlete to do it joining Minttu Hukka in 2014 and Clerc Koenck in 2006 and 2007. With the men’s side included, Big Red has taken five conference athlete of the year awards since 2013.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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