Iowa State's Meaghan Nelson and Baylor's Blake Niccum have been named the 2012 Big 12 Cross Country Scholar Athletes of the Year, as selected by the league's coaches. This is the inaugural year for this conference honor.
A kinesiology major with a 3.77 G.P.A., Nelson finished runner-up in her final two Big 12 Championship appearances while helping the Cyclones win their second consecutive league title in 2012. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-native also earned All-America honors for the second straight year with her 16th-place showing at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Niccum, a junior engineering major from Houston, Texas, finished the semester with a 4.0 cumulative G.P.A. and competed in all six of the Bears' events. Niccum has been named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team each of the last two seasons and is a four-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll selection.
Nominees must be a junior or senior in athletic and academic standings, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2, participation in at least 60 percent of the team's scheduled contests, and a minimum of one year in residence at the institution in order to qualify.