Men’s Division I XC Regional Recognitions Include Liberty’s Chelanga, Stanford’s Dunn
NEW ORLEANS – Liberty’s Sam Chelanga and Stanford coach Jason Dunn are among a spectacular slate of those recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday morning as this season’s men’s Division I Cross Country Regional Coaches and Athletes of the Year.
Chelanga, the nation’s runner-up a year ago, was the NCAA Southeast Regional’s champion for the second-straight year, having won his race by over 33 seconds. Chelanga, a redshirt junior, also won his second-consecutive Big South Conference crown earlier this season. Stanford’s Chris Derrick, who took third in last year’s NCAA Championships, was also honored as the West Regional Athlete of the Year.
Dunn, the West Region Coach of the Year, will lead a No. 1-ranked Stanford squad to the NCAA Championships on Monday, having already notched a dominant 50-point victory in the West regional this past weekend. Dunn’s team, who finished second nationally a year ago, will be challenged by a number of teams including No. 2 Oklahoma State, coached by Dave Smith, the Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
The NCAA Championships will take place this Monday and will be aired live on Versus.
The 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Men’s Cross Country Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year
MEN’S REGIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
GREAT LAKES – Jeff See – Ohio State
See, a senior from Middletown, Ohio, claimed the individual crown at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and became the first Buckeye since 2005 to win the region. See also claimed a third-place showing at the Big Ten Championships this season.
MID-ATLANTIC – Andrew Bumbalough – Georgetown
Bumbalough, a native of Brentwood, Tenn., became the first Hoya to win back-to-back individual titles at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, leading Georgetown to their fifth-straight regional team title. Bumbalough outsprinted his competition down the final stretch to win the region by only fourth-tenths of a second. Also this season, the Georgetown graduate student finished third at the BIG EAST Championships.
MIDWEST – Hassan Mead – Minnesota
Mead, a junior from Minneapolis, took control of the NCAA Midwest Region race early, going on to win the region by 28 seconds. It was Mead’s second-consecutive region win as he became the first back-to-back winner in Gopher history. Mead also won his second-consecutive Big Ten title earlier in the season, helping his squad to a second-place conference showing.
MOUNTAIN – David McNeil – Northern Arizona
McNeil, a junior, won the NCAA Mountain Region title for the second-consecutive year. In this year’s race, McNeil used the final 1000 meters to open a 12-second gap on the field. McNeil, a native of Melbourne, Australia, also won the Big Sky Championship for the second-straight year, winning the conference title by 56 seconds.
NORTHEAST – Ryan Sheridan – Iona
Sheridan, a sophomore from Melville, N.Y., took the NCAA Northeast Region title by 10 seconds, making his move in the last quarter of the race to help the Gaels to a second-place team showing. Sheridan was the individual champ of the MAAC, leading Iona to their 19th-straight conference title.
SOUTH – Felix Kibioywo – Auburn
Kibioywo, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, captured his third-consecutive NCAA South Region crown, winning this year’s race by nearly 10 seconds in helping the Tigers to a third-place team finish. Kibioywo took third at this year’s SEC Championships, leading the charge for Auburn’s third-place team showing.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Dorian Ulrey – Arkansas
Ulrey, a junior from Port Byron, Ill., won the NCAA South Central Regional in his post-season debut as a Razorback by outkicking teammate Solomon Haile with a 2:40 split in the final 1,000-meter stretch. Ulrey was the first athlete from Arkansas to win the region since 2004. In his first career SEC Championship, Ulrey took runner-up honors.
SOUTHEAST – Sam Chelanga – Liberty
Chelanga, a redshirt junior from Nairobi, Kenya, was the NCAA Southeast Regional’s champion for the second-straight year, having won this year’s race by 33 seconds. Chelanga, the 2008 NCAA runner-up, won his second-consecutive Big South Conference crown earlier this season.
WEST – Chris Derrick – Stanford
Derrick, a sophomore from Naperville, Ill., led a dominant Stanford performance at the NCAA West Regional, claiming the individual crown, as part of a Cardinal 1-2-3 showing. Derrick notched a six-second victory in claiming his first Pac-10 title with a conference-record 8000-meter clocking of 22:35.
MEN’S REGIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR
GREAT LAKES – John McNichols – Indiana State
McNichols’ Sycamores surprised a number of people at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional by taking fourth in the team race to record the school’s all-time best finish, improving from an 11th-place finish the year prior. McNichols, in his 27th season, also led his team this season to the school’s sixth Missouri Valley Conference crown.
The Harry Groves Award
MID-ATLANTIC – Patrick Henner – Georgetown
Henner’s Hoyas claimed their fifth-consecutive NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region title, placing four of their runners in the top nine on the way to a 38-point total. Georgetown also had three of the region’s top five runners to post a 10-point decision on runner-up Villanova. Georgetown’s harriers also took second at this year’s BIG EAST Championships. Georgetown is ranked 14th in the national poll leading into the NCAA meet.
The Roy Griak Award
MIDWEST – Dave Smith – Oklahoma State
Smith led the Cowboys to their fifth-straight NCAA Midwest Region title as his squad truly used a team effort to take the crown as OSU secured places nine through 14 in this year’s regional race. Smith, in his fourth season as OSU’s cross country coach, saw his team repeat at Big 12 Champions in 2009 with a dominant victory as four Cowboys took the league’s top four spots on the way to a 24-point total. Oklahoma State is No. 2 in the latest national rankings.
The Chick Hislop Award
MOUNTATIN – Ed Eyestone – BYU
Eyestone’s Cougars won a hard-fought crown at the NCAA Mountain Regional. BYU took the region by a 54-55 tally over Colorado in what was the most closely contested region in the nation. BYU finished second at the Mountain West Conference this season. The Cougars are ranked fifth in the nation heading into the NCAA Championships.
NORTHEAST – Chris Fox – Syracuse
Fox, in his fourth season at the helm at Syracuse, watched his Orange score the NCAA Northeast Regional team title for the first time in school history. His men’s team of regional included three underclassmen. The Orange added to a history-filled season by claiming their first BIG EAST team title in another tight battle, outpacing Georgetown for the league’s trophy, 55-61. Syracuse moved up two spots in the latest national poll to sit ninth going into the national championships.
The Dave Walker Award
SOUTH – Joe Walker – Alabama
Walker, in his 10th season at Alabama, guided the Crimson Tide to their third-consecutive NCAA South Region title. Walker’s teams now have won six region crowns since 2000. Walker also guided his team to a second-consecutive SEC title this season. The Tide rose three spots on the national poll and are now ranked third.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Chris Bucknam – Arkansas
Bucknam led the Razorbacks to their 30th NCAA South Central Region title, placing three of his runners in the race’s top 10. Despite losing five of his top seven runners from the previous year, Bucknam was able to claim his first post-season cross country title as leader of the Arkansas program. Bucknam also recorded his highest SEC finish as Arkansas’ coach, coming within five points of conference champ Alabama. Arkansas is 19th in the country heading into the final weekend of competition.
SOUTHEAST – Alex Gibby – William and Mary
Gibby, in his seventh season at the helm at William and Mary, led his team to a third-ever and second-consecutive NCAA Southeast Region title. The Tribe also won the Colonial Athletic Association team championship for the 10th consecutive time this season, doing so by placing six runners in the top nine to score 21 team points. William and Mary will enter the NCAA Championships as the nation’s seventh- ranked team.
WEST – Jason Dunn – Stanford
In his second season at Stanford, Dunn led the Cardinal to a dominant performance at the NCAA West Regional as his squad won by over 50 points in accumulating only 27 total team points to avenge their 2008 runner-up regional showing. Stanford also won the Pac-10 Championship this season – the squad’s 12th in school history. After finishing third a year ago, Stanford is ranked No. 1 heading into the NCAA Championships.