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Darton fall sports rank No. 5 in nation

Darton athletics director Mike Kiefer

Darton athletics director Mike Kiefer

ALBANY — Junior colleges around Georgia couldn’t keep up with Darton in the fall of 2012.

Not many around the nation could compete with the Cavalier athletics program either.

The National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators recently announced Darton State College athletics as the No. 5 overall athletics program in the fall — a season where each of Darton’s four sports won a Region XVII title.

“It’s an honor and a great reflection of the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaching staff and faculty at Darton,” Darton athletics director Mike Kiefer said.

Region titles by the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the men’s and women’s cross country teams marked the second consecutive fall sports sweep.

The men’s soccer team had its first undefeated regular season in the program’s history and finished 19-1 after falling to eventual national champion Tyler Community College in the semifinal round of the national championship tournament.

The Cavs were a flawless 11-0 in conference play and won their third consecutive region title.

Coach Bart Sasnett won Region XVII Coach of the Year and Southeast District Coach of the Year honors, central midfielder and returning All-American Troy Tucker earned the Region XVII Player of the Year award and Soren Yuhaschek, Jowayne Laidley and Tucker were named NJCAA D-1 All-Americans.

After starting the season 4-5, the women’s soccer team won nine consecutive games and then crushed No. 10 Georgia Perimeter, 4-0, in the Region XVII title game,

The Lady Cavs finished eighth at nationals.

The women’s cross country team won its fifth straight state title after four Lady Cavs ran the collegiate 5K in under 21 minutes — a performance from a team that coach Bruce Skiles said was the most talented group he’s coached at Darton.

The Lady Cavs finished 21st at nationals, and Skiles received the Region XVII women’s cross country Coach of the Year award.

The men’s cross country team finished 19th at nationals and was led by freshman Jared Richmond, who broke Darton’s 8K school record at the Region XVII Championship to became the individual region champ with a time of 26:04.

After winning a fourth straight region title, Skiles received the Region XVII men’s cross country Coach of the Year award.