NCAA XC National Athletes of the Week (Nov. 24)

NEW ORLEANS – The fall segment of the NCAA Division I Cross Country season drew to a close this past weekend with Saturday’s running of both the Mid-American Conference Championships and the Southern Conference Championships.

Here are those individuals who stood out the most from those meets and were named National Athletes of the Week on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.

National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 12 collegiate cross country athletes, when applicable (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and three NJCAA divisions).

Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.

The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.

NCAA DIVISION I MEN – Josh Park, Ohio

Senior | Amherst, Ohio

It’s good to be first.

Josh Park won the individual title at the Mid-American Conference Championships this past weekend in Bowling Green, Ohio. He covered the 8K tract at the Bowling Green Cross Country Course in 23:57.9, which was the fastest time in meet history in the past 17 years.

Park, now a two-time individual champion at the MAC Championships, was in a pack with two other runners through 6K and then pulled away in crunch time for a three-second victory.

This is the first time that an athlete from Ohio has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Kailee Perry, Bowling Green

Sophomore | West Liberty, Kentucky

Bowling Green went without a women’s individual champion at the Mid-American Conference Championships for 25 years before this past weekend.

Kailee Perry changed all that in the span of 20 minutes, 41 seconds.

Perry captured the Falcons’ first individual title at the MAC Championships since 1995 after leading from the gun and pushing the pace from there. The freshman led by three seconds at the 1-mile split, double digits at the 2-mile split and then 12 seconds at the 5K mark. Perry eventually won by 11 seconds over 2019 individual champion Ashley Tutt of Northern Illinois, who also finished top-50 at the NCAA Championships last year.

This is the second time this season that Perry has been named National Athlete of the Week. Perry previously earned the honor on November 10 after winning the Falcon Invitational.