USTFCCCA Division I Cross Country Regional Award Winners for 2012 Released

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

November 13, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday the winners of USTFCCCA Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year honors for the 2012 cross country season in Division I as voted by the division’s coaches.

Louisville will host the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Saturday at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.   The women’s race is slated to begin at Noon, eastern, followed by the men’s at 1:15 p.m., eastern.

A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast on NCAA.com.

USTFCCCA Division I Cross Country Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year

Men’s Athlete of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin
Ahmed, a senior from St. Catharines, Ontario, claimed the Great Lakes region title and helped the Badgers to the team crown with a six-second win ahead of Indiana’s Zachary Mayhew. The 10k region time of 30:37 set a new record for UW’s home course. Ahmed was third at the Big Ten Championships earlier in the fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Callum Hawkins, Butler
2010: Eric Finan, Cincinnati
2009: Jeff See, Ohio State
2008: Patrick Smyth, Notre Dame
2007: Patrick Smyth, Notre Dame

MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Travis Mahoney, Temple
A senior from Old Bridge, N.J., Mahoney won the Mid-Atlantic title by ten seconds over the field and is the first from Temple to ever win a regional crown. He also took top honors in winning the Atlantic 10 title by more than five seconds.

Recent Winners:
2011: Donn Cabral, Princeton
2010: Ayalew Taye, Georgetown
2009: Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetwon
2008: Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetown
2007: Bobby Curtis, Villanova

MIDWEST REGION – Chris O’Hare, Tulsa
O’Hare, a junior from Edinburgh, Scotland, edged out Oklahoma State’s Girma Mecheso for the Midwest region crown. He placed second in the Conference USA Championships in leading his team to a third-straight conference title and was the winner of the Notre Dame Invite’s blue race.

Recent Winners:
2011: Hassan Mead, Minnesota
2010: Colby Lowe, Oklahoma State
2009: Hassan Mead, Minnesota
2008: Hassan Mead, Minnesota
2007: Trent Hoerr, Illinois

MOUNTAIN REGION – Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech
A junior transfer from Thika, Kenya, is undefeated this season in five races. He took the Mountain region crown in 29:36, clearing the field in that 10k race by 19 seconds. He won the Big 12 crown by over a minute and was the top man at the Chile Pepper Invitational by more than that – winning that 10k in 28:52.

Recent Winners:
2011: Miles Batty, BYU
2010: David McNeill, Northern Arizona
2009: David McNeill, Northern Arizona
2008: David McNeill, Northern Arizona
2007: Lopez Lomong, Northern Arizona

NORTHEAST REGION – Mitch Goose, Iona
Goose, a senior from Norwich, England, took the Northeast championship by nearly 12 seconds over the rest of the field in leading the Gaels to a sizeable team victory in the regional. He also won the MAAC crown as part of a near team sweep of the conference crown. Iona has now won the past five region men’s Athlete of the Year honors.

Recent Winners:
2011: Leonard Korir, Iona
2010: Leonard Korir, Iona
2009: Ryan Sheridan, Iona
2008: Mohamed Khadraoui, Iona
2007: Max Smith, Providence

SOUTH REGION – Jakub Zivec, Florida State
A junior from Litomerice, Czech Republic, Zivec won the South in a neck-and-neck battle over teammate Breandan O’Neill, covering his home course in 30:23 for the victory. He was part of a 1-2-4-9 Seminole finish and led FSU to the regional team crown. Zivec placed 13th at the ACC Championships, tenth at the Pre-National Invitational, and fourth at the Notre Dame Invite.

Recent Winners:
2011: David Forrester, Florida State
2010: Ciaran O’Lionaird, Florida State
2009: Felix Kibioywo, Auburn
2008: Felix Kiboiywo, Auburn
2007: Felix Kiboiywo, Auburn

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Henry Lelei, Texas A&M
Lelei, a senior from Kapsabet, Kenya, claimed his second South Central crown, winning this year’s race by five seconds ahead of McNeese State’s David Rooney. He also delivered Texas A&M’s first SEC title in any sport by crossing the line first – 18 seconds ahead of the rest of the conference field. This fall he also was fourth at Wisconsin’s adidas Invitational and second at the Notre Dame Invite.

Recent Winners:
2011: Henry Lelei, Texas A&M
2010: Festus Kigen, TCU
2009: Dorian Ulrey, Arkansas
2008: Shadrack Songok, Texas A&M
2007: Shadrack Songok, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SOUTHEAST REGION – Soufiane Bouchikhi, Eastern Kentucky
Bouchikhi, a junior from Antwerp, Belgium, won the Southeast region by over four seconds. Earlier in the season, he won the Ohio Valley Conference title by over 27 seconds as part of a 1-2-3-4 team finish.

Recent Winners:
2010: Ryan Hill, NC State
2010: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2009: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2008: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2007: Josh McDougal, Liberty

WEST REGION – Lawi Lalang, Arizona
A sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, took the West title for the second-straight year with a 29:01 clocking this year, 36 seconds clear of the field and his teammate Stephen Sambu. He won the Pac-12 title as he and Sambu took 1-2 by nearly 40 seconds in the conference race. Lalang also took top honors at the Greater Louisville Classic and Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Heading into the NCAA Championships – where he is the defending individual champ – he is undefeated through two seasons and ten collegiate cross country races.

Recent Winners:
2011: Lawi Lalang, Arizona
2010: Trevor Dunbar, Portland
2009: Chris Derrick, Stanford
2008: Galen Rupp, Oregon
2007: Galen Rupp, Oregon

Women’s Athletes of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Juli Accurso, Ohio
Accurso, a junior from Casstown, Ohio, took the regional crown in 20:07, three seconds ahead of the field, in becoming the first Bobcat to capture a region title. She won the Mid-American Conference individual title for the second-straight time this fall. Competing in six races this season, she also won the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational and placed second at the Notre Dame Invite.

Recent Winners:
2011: Danielle Tauro, Michigan
2010: Emily MacLeod, Michigan State
2009: Emily MacLeod, Michigan State
2008: Nicole Bush, Michigan State
2007: Nicole Edwards, Michigan

MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Nicky Akande, Villanova
A junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Akande won the Mid-Atlantic crown by eight seconds with a 20:14 clocking over the 8k race. She placed third in the Big East Championships earlier this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2010: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2009: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2008: Francis Koons, Villanova
2007: Melissa Grelli, Georgetown

MIDWEST REGION – Betsy Saina, Iowa State
Saina, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, led the Cyclones to the regional win with a win of her own. She covered the 6k regional course on a blustery day in 19:51, four seconds ahead of defending champion Aliphine Tuliamuk of Wichita State. Saina won the Big 12 title earlier this year in leading the team to a second-straight conference crown. She also claimed victory at the Roy Griak Invite and was second at Wisconsin’s adidas Invitational.

Recent Winners:
2011: Aliphine Tuliamuk, Wichita State
2010: Stephanie Price, Minnesota
2009: Angela Bizzarri, Illinois
2008: Racheal Marchand, Iowa
2007: Diane Nukuri, Iowa

MOUNTAIN REGION – Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP
A senior from Iten, Kenya, Kimiayo claimed her third-straight Mountain title, winning this year’s race by more than seven seconds. She won the Conference USA 5k title by ten seconds and placed second earlier in the fall at the Pre-National Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree.

Recent Winners:
2011: Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP
2010: Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP
2009: Jenny Barringer, Colorado
2008: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech
2007: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech

NORTHEAST REGION – Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth
D’Agostino, a junior from Topsfield, Mass., has gone three-for-three in the cross country season. Most recently, she won her second-straight NCAA regional crown by taking the Northeast title in 19:51, four seconds ahead of Providence frosh Sarah Collins. D’Agostino was also a race winner at Lehigh’s Paul Short Run and at her home invitational at Dartmouth.

Recent Winners:
2011: Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth
2010: Lucy Van Dalen, Stony Brook
2009: Katie Hursey, Syracuse
2008: Danette Doetzel, Providence
2007: Danette Doetzel, Providence

SOUTH REGION – Violah Lagat, Florida State
Lagat, a senior from Kipsirwo, Kenya, won the South title in 20:06.5, five seconds ahead of the field as part of 1-2-3 FSU finish. She also won the ACC crown earlier this fall with a near six-second victory over her league rivals. She placed fourth at the Pre-National Invitational and third at Notre Dame.

Recent Winners:
2011: Amanda Winslow, Florida State
2010: Kristie Krueger, Georgia
2009: Rebecca Lowe, Florida
2008: Hollie Knight, Auburn
2007: Susan Kuijken, Florida State

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Marielle Hall, Texas
A junior from Haddonfield, N.J., Hall won the South Central in 20:30, nearly five seconds ahead of teammate Sara Sutherland. It marked the first time a Longhorn has won the regional crown. She placed sixth at the Big 12 Championships and won the Grass Routes Run Festival earlier this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Silje Fjortoft, SMU
2010: Nicole Mericle, Rice
2009: Silje Fjortoft, SMU
2008: Nicole Mericle, Rice
2007: Silje Fjortoft, SMU

SOUTHEAST REGION – Cally Macumber, Kentucky
A junior from Rochester Hills, Mich., Macumber claimed victory in the regional by over three seconds in front of Duke’s Juliet Bottorff. Macumber claimed the SEC title earlier in the fall with a 20:23 6k run to win over Florida’s Florence Ngetich by four seconds. She placed eighth at the Pre-National Invitational, second at the Greater Louisville Classic, and was the winner of Virginia’s Panorama Farms Invite.

Recent Winners:
2011: Kendra Schaaf, North Carolina
2010: Laura Hoer, NC State
2009: Catherine White, Virginia
2008: Tasmin Fanning, Virginia Tech
2007: Brianna Felnagle, North Carolina

WEST REGION – Jordan Hasay, Oregon
Hasay, a senior from Arroyo Grande, Calif., claimed the West title for the third-straight time this fall. In this year’s regional race, she took the tape in 19:15, six seconds ahead of Cal Poly frosh Laura Hollander. Individually, she placed second at the Pac-12 Championships in leading the Ducks to the league title. She earlier in the fall placed fifth at the Pre-National Invitational.

Recent Winners:
2011: Jordan Hasay, Oregon
2010: Jordan Hasay, Oregon
2009: Kendra Schaaf, Washington
2008: Alex Kosinski, Oregon
2007: Teresa McWalters, Stanford

Men’s Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
In each of Byrne’s first five seasons leading the Badgers, his men have captured Big Ten Conference and Great Lakes Regional titles.  Wisconsin enters the NCAA championships ranked fourth in the latest USTFCCCA poll.

Recent Winners:
2011: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
2010: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
2009: John McNichols, Indiana State
2008: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
2007: Ron Warhurst, Michigan

Harry Groves Award
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Patrick Henner, Georgetown

This season, the Hoyas captured their eight Mid-Atlantic title in the past nine years.  In his 14th season leading the Georgetown men, Henner has his squad tied for 18th in the national poll entering the NCAA championships.

Recent Winners:
2011: Patrick Henner, Georgetown
2010: Steve Dolan, Princeton
2009: Patrick Henner, Georgetown
2008: Patrick Henner, Georgetown
2007: Patrick Henner, Georgetown

Roy Griak Award
MIDWEST REGION – Steve Gulley, Tulsa

The Tulsa men won their third-straight Conference USA crown in 2012, and junior Chris O’Hare topped the field at the Midwest Regionals.  Gulley is in his 11th year leading the 12th-ranked Golden Hurricanes.

Recent Winners:
2011: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2010: Martin Smith, Oklahoma
2009: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2008: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2007: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State

Chick Hislop Award
MOUNTAIN REGION – Eric Heins, Northern Arizona

This season, Heins led the tenth-ranked Lumberjacks to their first Mountain Region title since 2002.  The Northern Arizona men have captured all six Big Sky Conference titles since Heins arrival.

Recent Winners:
2011: Ed Eyestone, BYU
2010: Joe Franklin, New Mexico
2009: Ed Eyestone, BYU
2008: Mark Wetmore, Colorado
2007: Mark Wetmore, Colorado

NORTHEAST REGION – Ricardo Santos, Iona
In his fifth season leading the Gaels, Santos team took top honors at both the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Northeast Regional meets.  Iona is tied for second in the latest USTFCCCA poll.

Recent Winners:
2011: Chris Fox, Syracuse
2010: Chris Fox, Syracuse
2009: Chris Fox, Syracuse
2008: Ricardo Santos, Iona
2007: Mick Byrne, Iona

Dave Walker Award
SOUTH REGION – Bob Braman, Florida State

Braman led the Florida State men to their second-straight South Regional title this season.  In his 13th year, Braman’s Seminoles enter the NCAA Championships currently tied for 18th in the polls.

Recent Winners:
2011: Bob Braman, Florida State
2010: Joe Walker, Alabama
2009: Joe Walker, Alabama
2008: Joe Walker, Alabama
2007: Joe Walker, Alabama

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – John Hayes, Texas
This season, the fifth-ranked Longhorns raced to their second-consecutive South Central Regional title.   Hayes is in his fifth season leading the Texas men.

Recent Winners:
2011: John Hayes, Texas
2010: Chris Buchnam, Arkansas
2009: Chris Bucknam, Arkansas
2008: Dan Waters, Texas A&M
2007: John McDonnell, Arkansas

SOUTHEAST REGION – Rick Erdmann, Eastern Kentucky
In his 34th year leading the Colonels, Erdmann’s team captured their seventh straight and 21st overall Ohio Valley Conference title.  Eastern Kentucky is ranked 17th in the latest USTFCCCA poll.

Recent Winners:
2011: Rollie Geiger, NC State
2010: Stephen Walsh, William and Mary
2009: Alex Gibby, William and Mary
2008: Alex Gibby, William and Mary
2007: Rollie Geiger, NC State

WEST REGION – Rob Conner, Portland
Conner is in his 23rd season leading the ninth-ranked Pilots.  Portland’s West Coast Conference title was their 33rd in the past 34 years.

Recent Winners:
2011: Mark Conover, Cal Poly
2010: Jason Dunn, Stanford
2009: Jason Dunn, Stanford
2008: Vin Lananna, Oregon
2007: Rob Conner, Portland

Women’s Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Mike McGuire, Michigan
Following victories at the Big Ten Championships and Great Lakes regional, McGuire’s team finished the regular season ranked sixth nationally in his 21st year at the helm. The Wolverines are making their eleventh consecutive appearance to the national championships.  

Recent Winners:
2011: Mike McGuire, Michigan
2010: Walt Drenth, Michigan State
2009: Tim Connelly, Notre Dame
2008: Mike McGuire, Michigan
2007: Rita Arndt-Molis, Michigan State

MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State
In her 14th year leading the Nittany Lions, Alford-Sullivan saw her teams jump to a final season ranking of ninth after a victory at the Mid-Atlantic Region. PSU finished third at the Big Ten Championships.

Recent Winners:
2011: Gina Procaccio, Villanova
2010: Gina Procaccio, Villanova
2009: Gina Procaccio, Villanova
2008: Sean Cleary, West Virginia
2007: Sean Cleary, West Virginia

MIDWEST REGION – Corey Ihmels, Iowa State
The Cyclones hope to continue their streak of victories, having already won this year’s Big 12 and Midwest region titles. The sixth-year coach has his team ranked third leading into their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA meet.

Recent Winners:
2011: Corey Ihmels, Iowa State
2010: Corey Ihmels, Iowa State
2009: Gary Wilson, Minnesota
2008: Gary Wilson, Minnesota
2007: Gary Wilson, Minnesota

MOUNTAIN REGION – Paul Pilkington, Weber State
In his sixth year leading the Wildcats, Pilkington led his team to their second-consecutive Big Sky title and a regional title on route to a final regular season ranking of 15th. 

Recent Winners:
2011: Joe Franklin, New Mexico
2010: Joe Franklin, New Mexico
2009: Mark Wetmore, Colorado
2008: Jon Murray, Texas Tech
2007: Bryan Berryhill, Colorado State

NORTHEAST REGION – Andrea Grove-McDonough, Connecticut
In her fourth year, Grove-McDonough has the 14th-ranked Huskies qualified for their first trip to the national championships following runner-up finishes at the Big East and Northeast regional.

Recent Winners:
2011: Chris Fox, Syracuse
2010: Andy Ronan, Stony Brook
2009: Chris Fox, Syracuse
2008: Ray Tracey, Providence
2007: Andy Ronan, Stony Brook

SOUTH REGION – Karen Harvey, Florida State
The top-ranked Seminoles dominated the competition at the ACC Championships for their fifth-consecutive title and won the South Region for their third-consecutive time. Harvey is in her sixth year leading the team.

Recent Winners:
2011: Steve Keith, Vanderbilt
2010: Karen Harvey, Florida State
2009: Todd Morgan, Florida
2008: Karen Harvey, Florida State
2007: Karen Harvey, Florida State

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lance Harter, Arkansas
After a runner-up finish at the SEC Championships, the Razorbacks came back to win their second-consecutive South Central regional. His 12th-ranked team is making their 25th appearance at the national championships. Harter is in his 23rd year at the helm.

Recent Winners:
2011: Lance Harter, Arkansas
2010: Steve Sisson, Texas
2009: Cathy Casey, SMU
2008: Lance Harter, Arkansas
2007: Jim Bevan, Rice

SOUTHEAST REGION – Kevin Jermyn, Duke
The tenth-ranked Blue Devils came back from a runner-up finish at the ACC Championships to win the Southeast Region for their coach of nine years. 

Recent Winners:
2011: Jason Vigilante, Virginia
2010: Jason Vigilante, Virginia
2009: Kevin Jermyn, Duke
2008: Jason Vigilante, Virginia
2007: Laurie Henes, NC State

WEST REGION – Robert Johnson, Oregon
In his first year leading the Ducks, Johnson has Oregon entering their sixth-consecutive NCAA meet. Ending the regular season ranked second in the nation, Oregon earned victories this fall at both the Pac-12 and West regional.

Recent Winners:
2011: Greg Metcalf, Washington
2010: Greg Metcalf, Washington
2009: Greg Metcalf, Washington
2008: Greg Metcalf, Washington
2007: Peter Tegen, Stanford