Lalang, Reid, Byrne, Miltenberg Win National Awards in DI Cross Country

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

November 23, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Wednesday that NCAA Division I Cross Country Champions Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Sheila Reid of Villanova were named as National Athletes of the Year for the 2011 cross country season. In addition, Wisconsin’s Mick Byrne was named the Bill Dellinger National Men’s Coach of the Year while Georgetown’s Chris Miltenberg was recognized as the Peter Tegen National Women’s Coach of the Year.

NATIONAL MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Lawi Lalang, Arizona

Lalang, a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won the individual men’s title at the NCAA Championships on Monday. Lalang took the lead at the 4k mark of the ten-kilometer race and never looked back. Lalang would go on to win the race by 13 seconds in a time of 28:44.1.

Lalang went six-for-six in races this fall, averaging a margin of victory of 20.5 seconds. Lalang took titles at Wisconsin’s adidas meet and Roy Griak Invitational, setting course records at both. Lalang also was the Pac-12 Champion this season where he set another course record with an eight-second victory.

Past National Male Athletes of the Year

2010: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2009: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2008: Galen Rupp, Oregon
2007: Josh McDougal, Liberty
2006: Josh Rohatinsky, BYU
2005: Simon Bairu, Wisconsin

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Sheila Reid, Villanova

Reid, a senior from Newmarket, Ontario, won her second-straight national cross country crown on Monday, leading the Wildcats to a third-place team finish. In one of the best finishes in recent memory, Reid had to compete with a lead pack of eight runners heading into the final 500-meter stretch. Reid and Oregon’s Jordan Hasay separated from the group and ran side-by-side until the final 100 meters where she out sprinted Hasay to take the crown in 19:41.2.

Reid is the fifth in NCAA history to win back-to-back individual crowns.

Reid also won the NCAA Mid-Atlantic title for the third-straight time this season with a 21:32.7 run to outdistance Georgetown’s Emily Infield by just over a second. Reid won the Big East crown for the third-straight time in leading the Wildcats a fourth-straight league championship.

 

Past National Female Athletes of the Year

2010: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2009: Angela Bizzarri, Illinois
2008: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech
2007: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech
2006: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech
2005: Johanna Nilsson, Northern Arizona

 

Bill Dellinger NATIONAL MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin

The Badgers won their fifth NCAA men’s cross country title of all-time on Monday, scoring 97 points to finish ahead of runner-up and two-time defending champion Oklahoma State (139). Junior Mohammed Ahmed led Wisconsin by placing fifth overall in 29:06.7. Senior Elliot Krause (17th overall), senior Ryan Collins (23rd), junior Reed Connor (36th), and junior Maverick Darling (46th) rounded out the Badgers scoring.

For Wisconsin, it was their first national team title since 2005.

Byrne’s Badgers also won the NCAA Great Lakes title for the tenth-straight year this season. Wisconsin won with 50 points, placing their five scorers in an 8-9-10-11-12 bunch to nearest challenger Indiana’s 70. Wisconsin also won their 13th-straight Big Ten title this fall and is the No. 1 team in the country heading into the NCAA Championships.

Byrne is in his fourth year at the helm at Wisconsin.

 

Peter Tegen NATIONAL WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Miltenberg, Georgetown

The Georgetown women’s team won the NCAA crown for the first time in school history, tallying 162 points to hold off a tightly-packed bunch that included runner-up Washington (170), third-place and two-time defending champion Villanova (181), and No. 1-ranked Florida State (189). Georgetown’s eight-point margin of victory is the lowest since 2003 when Stanford’s 120 points edged out BYU with 128.

The team was led by Emily Infeld who finished fourth overall with a time of 19:44.3. Senior Claire Richardson (50th overall), junior Emily Jones (54th), junior Kirsten Kasper (64th), and freshman Katrina Coogan (67th) closed out scoring for the Hoyas.

Earlier in the season, Georgetown tied with Villanova for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional crown and finished third in the Big East Championships.

Miltenberg is in his fourth year at Georgetown.