Cheserek, D’Agostino, Wetmore & Treacy Earn National Awards for Division I Cross Country

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

November 26, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday its National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division I Cross Country season following the championships in Terre Haute, Ind., this past weekend, as voted on by the nation’s coaches.

NCAA Division I Cross Country individual champions Edward Cheserek of Oregon and Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth were named on Tuesday the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Year, respectively.

Mark Wetmore of Colorado and Ray Treacy of Providence earned the Bill Dellinger National Men’s Coach of the Year and the Peter Tegen National Women’s Coach of the Year, respectively, in leading their teams to national titles.

Men’s National Athlete of the Year


Courtesy: Image of Sport

Edward Cheserek, Oregon

Cheserek did more than win a national championship, an impressive feat in its own right. In just his first NCAA championship race, the first-year man from Newark, N.J., dethroned the undefeated defending national champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech to become the first true freshman in his first year out of high school to claim the individual title since Indiana’s Bob Kennedy in 1988. He traversed the sloppy LaVern Gibson Championship Course — which ran 110 meters short of 10-kilometers to avoid staring in the mud — in Terre Haute, Ind., in 29:41.1, 18 seconds ahead of Kithuka.

After Kithuka made a move to break free of Cheserek mid-way through the race and looked to be well on his way to a second consecutive title, Cheserek made a devastating move of his own in the final two kilometers to overtake and pull away from Kithuka for the win. Behind his effort, the Ducks finished fifth in the team race.

Recent Winners:
2012: Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech
2011: Lawi Lalang, Arizona
2010: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2009: Sam Chelanga, Liberty
2008: Galen Rupp, Oregon
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The title avenged his loss to Kithuka earlier this season in a fourth-place finish at the Pre-National Invitational on the same course. He also won titles at the Pac-12 Championships and the West Region Championships, along with winning his collegiate debut at the Boston College Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown.

 

 

Women’s National Athlete of the Year


Courtesy: Image of Sport

Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth

D’Agostino finished third at the NCAA Championships in 2011 and runner-up a year ago, and she completed the pattern and her collegiate cross country career with the individual title in 2013 in 20:00.3. The senior from Topsfield, Mass., bided her time through the first two-thirds of the six-kilometer race — shortened by 110 meters to avoid starting in the muck — in Terre Haute, Ind., before overtaking Iona’s Kate Avery for the lead.

Once she took the lead she didn’t look back, crossing the line more than three seconds ahead of Boise State’s Emma Bates in 20:03.9 and more than five seconds faster than Avery after handling the sloppy start/finish straight on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course with relative ease.

Recent Winners
2012: Betsy Saina, Iowa State
2011: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2010: Sheila Reid, Villanova
2009: Angela Bizzarri, Illinois
2008: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech
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The title caps an undefeated season that also included wins at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, the Ivy League Championship and the Northeast Regional Championship.

 

Bill Dellinger Men’s National Coach of the Year


Courtesy: Colorado

Recent Winners
2012: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2011: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
2010: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2009: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
2008: Vin Lananna, Oregon
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Mark Wetmore, Colorado

Wetmore’s Colorado Buffaloes had to overtake both the No. 1 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the defending national champion No. 2 Oklahoma State Cowboys to claim the NCAA Division I Cross Country team title in 2013, which is exactly what they did. The Buffaloes posted a winning score of 149 points — the highest in Division I men’s history — to down Northern Arizona with 169 points.

Led by first-year runner Ben Saarel in ninth place, Wetmore guided a race-best four CU runners to All-American honors and led the Buffaloes to their fourth title in his 19-year tenure as head coach in Boulder, Colo.

His Colorado squad was ranked No. 1 in the nation following a win at the Pre-National Invitational on the same course in Terre Haute, and emerged victorious at the Pac-12 Championships.

 

Peter Tegen Women’s National Coach of the Year


Courtesy: Providence

Recent Winners
2012: Robert Johnson, Oregon
2011: Chris Miltenberg, Georgetown
2010: Gina Procaccio, Villanova
2009: Gina Procaccio, Villanova
2008: Greg Metcalf, Washington
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Ray Treacy, Providence

Treacy’s Providence women began the season atop the preseason National Coaches Poll and finished it atop the podium at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships holding their first-ever national title in the sport. His Friars produced a race-best three All-Americans en route to winning over Arizona, 141-197.

In his 30th season at the helm of the Friars’ program, he guided Emily Sisson (seventh), Laura Nagel (27th) and Sarah Collins (39th) to All-American honors for the second consecutive season.

The 2013 campaign for Treacy’s Providence squad also includes wins at the Big East Championships and the Northeast Regional Championships.