NCAA XC National Athletes of the Week (March 3)

NEW ORLEANS – The NCAA spring cross country season is winding down.

Here are those six athletes who stood out from their peers this past weekend 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 – Isai Rodriguez, Oklahoma State

Junior | Ringwood, Oklahoma

Isai Rodriguez used the home course to his advantage.

Rodriguez captured the individual title at the OSU Winter Open this past weekend, pulling away from Patrick Dever of Tulsa, a fellow former NCAA XC top-15 finisher, down the homestretch. It was a two-man race throughout the 8K proceedings before Rodriguez earned the 1.3-second victory over the 2020 American Athletic Conference individual champion.

It has been a bounce-back season for Rodriguez, who finished fourth at the 2018 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships as a freshman. Rodriguez opened the year with a runner-up effort at the Cowboy Jamboree and also finished runner-up at the Big 12 Championships.

This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Oklahoma State has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Anna Pataki, Portland

Redshirt Junior | Miskolc, Hungary

Anna Pataki showed her strength over the final 2K at the West Coast Conference Championships this past weekend in Las Vegas.

Competing at Craig Ranch Regional Park, Pataki covered the final 2K of the 6K race in 6:45.8, as she pulled away from a pair of BYU athletes for the individual victory. She crossed the finish line in 19:56.0, 8.4 seconds ahead of runner-up Aubrey Frentheway of BYU. Pataki earned the 14th individual title in program history, but just the third since 2007. 

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

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Mason Jones, Florida Southern

Senior | Titusville, Florida

Mason Jones ended his collegiate career on top.

Jones, the senior from Titusville, Florida, captured the Sunshine State Conference title on Saturday in his final cross country race. He covered the 8K course in 25:49.41 for a 12.41 second margin of victory over second place. Jones became the first Moccasin athlete since 2010 to win a SSC crown and the 11th overall in program history.

It was a steady upwards progression for Jones on his way to his SSC title. He finished sixth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore and was the SSC runner-up his junior year.

This is the first time in program history a male athlete from Florida Southern has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season.

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Paige Patterson, Saint Leo

Junior | Edmonton, Alberta

Paige Patterson took advantage of the opportunity to race.

Toeing the starting line for the first time in a year, Patterson took home top honors at the Sunshine State Conference. She covered the 6K grass circuit in 22:34.9 for an eight second victory over the next best finisher.

Patterson is the third Lion to win a conference title and the first since 2017.

This is the third time in program history a female athlete from Saint Leo has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season. Patterson joins Colett Rampf, who won the honor during the 2016 and 2017 season.

NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Liam Galligan, Franciscan (Ohio)

Senior | Springfield, Pennsylvania

Liam Galligan pulled away from the pack at the PAC Championships – and kept going.

Galligan cruised to a 19-second victory this past weekend in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, covering the 5K tract at Saint Vincent College in 15:58. He was one of four Barons in the top-10.

This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Franciscan (Ohio) has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season.

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Amelia Lorrey, Centre

Senior | Kittery Point, Maine

Amelia Lorrey capped her senior season in a big way.

Lorrey ended up on top of the podium at the SAA Championships this past weekend in Rome, Georgia, as she covered the 6K tract at Berry College in 23:22.4. It was a near 46-second win for Lorrey, who led the Colonels to a perfect 1-2-3-4-5 sweep in the individual standings.

This is the second time that Lorrey has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season. Lorrey previously earned the honor on February 17.