2019 NCAA DI Cross Country National Awards
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2019 NCAA Division I Cross Country season were announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) following the conclusion of the national championship meet.
Awards were voted on by member coaches based on results from both the postseason and during the regular season.
Scroll below to find out more about each of our winners.
USTFCCCA National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.
Men’s National Athlete of the Year
Edwin Kurgat, Iowa State
Kurgat, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, capped an undefeated season with an individual title at the NCAA DI Cross Country Championships this past weekend. It was in Terre Haute, Indiana, where Kurgat shot into the lead in the final 1K of the race and won by four seconds in 30:32.7. Kurgat also won individual titles at the Midwest Region Championships, the Big 12 Cross Country Championships, the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational as well as at the John McNichols Invitational earlier in the season.
This is the fourth time since the turn of the century that an athlete from the Big 12 won this award (Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech; Dathan Ritzenhein, Colorado; Jorge Torres, Colorado).
Women’s National Athlete of the Year
Weini Kelati, New Mexico
Kelati, a junior from Leesburg, Virginia, found her stride in the postseason and never looked back. She put a bow on an amazing season with an individual title at the NCAA DI Cross Country Championships this past weekend in Terre Haute, Indiana. Kelati took the lead halfway through the 6K race and eventually won by nearly 10 seconds in 19:47.3. She also routed the field at the Mountain Region Championships, the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships as well as at the Joe Piane Invitational earlier this season.
This is the second time in the past three years that an athlete from New Mexico won this award (Ednah Kurgat, 2017).
Bill Dellinger Award
Men’s National Coach of the Year
Ed Eyestone, BYU
Eyestone, in his 20th year as head coach, led the Cougars to the program’s first-ever team title at the NCAA DI Cross Country Championships this past weekend. BYU, just third in the Mountain Region Championships, stored up plenty of fuel for the 10K course in Terre Haute, Indiana, as the Cougars started hard and kept the pedal to the floor, eventually winning with a total of 109 points. The victory margin of 54 points was the largest of the year for the Cougars, who also won the West Coast Conference Championships, Pre-National Invitational and BYU Autumn Classic.
This is just the second time since 1978 that a coach from BYU won this award. Sherald James, who coached Eyestone when he ran at BYU, earned the honor in 1993 when he led the Cougars to a runner-up finish at NCAAs.
Peter Tegen Award
Women’s National Coach of the Year
Lance Harter, Arkansas
Harter, in his 30th year as head coach, led the Razorbacks to the program’s first-ever team title at the NCAA DI Cross Country Championships this past weekend. Arkansas had four All-Americans as it outdistanced BYU, 96-102. The Razorbacks completed an undefeated season that also featured victories at the South Central Region Championships with a perfect 15-point score as well as top team honors at the SEC Cross Country Championships, Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, Chile Pepper Festival and John McNichols Invitational.
This is the first time that a coach from the SEC has won the Peter Tegen Award.