Postseason Awards Announced for 2016 NAIA Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday its inaugural NAIA National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 cross country season following the championships in Elsah, Illinois, this past weekend.
National individual champions Jackson Thomas of Bacone (Okla.) and Aminat Olowora of Oklahoma City were named the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Year, respectively.
Grier Gatlin of Southern Oregon and Laurier Primeau of British Columbia earned men’s and women’s National Coach of the Year honors, respectively, in leading their teams to national titles.
NAIA MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
JACKSON THOMAS, BACONE (OKLA.)
Thomas, a senior from Nasschitti, N.M., finished first at the NAIA Championships in 23:50.2. During the regular season, he won the Sooner Athletic Conference individual title.
NAIA WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
AMINAT OLOWORA, OKLAHOMA CITY
Olowora, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria, finished first at the NAIA Championships in 16:24.3. During the regular season, she won the Sooner Athletic Conference individual title.
NAIA MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
GRIER GATLIN, SOUTHERN OREGON
Gatlin, in his 13th year leading the Southern Oregon men, led his team to a first-place finish at the NAIA Championships with 122 points. During the regular season, his men won the Cascade Conference Championships team title with 35 points.
NAIA WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
LAURIER PRIMEAU, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Primeau, in his 2nd year leading the British Columbia women, led his team to a first-place finish at the NAIA Championships with 90 points. During the regular season, his women won the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championships with a perfect score of 15.