Two Big 12 cross country coaches and three student-athletes have been awarded USTFCCCA Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year honors for the 2012 cross country season in Division I, as voted by the division's coaches.
Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka has been named the Mountain Region Men's Athlete of the year. Iowa State's Betsy Saina and Texas' Marielle Hall have earned Women's Athlete of the Year honors for the Midwest and South Central Region's, respectively.
Texas coach John Hayes earned the South Central Region Men's Coach of the Year accolade while Iowa State coach Corey Ihmels garnered the Midwest Region Women's Coach of the Year honor for the third straight year.
Men's Athlete of the Year (Mountain Region)
Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech
A junior transfer from Thika, Kenya, is undefeated this season in five races. He took the Mountain region crown in 29:36, clearing the field in that 10k race by 19 seconds. He won the Big 12 crown by over a minute and was the top man at the Chile Pepper Invitational by more than that - winning that 10k in 28:52.
Women's Athlete of the Year (Midwest Region)
Betsy Saina, Iowa State
Saina, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, led the Cyclones to the regional win with a win of her own. She covered the 6k regional course on a blustery day in 19:51, four seconds ahead of defending champion Aliphine Tuliamuk of Wichita State. Saina won the Big 12 title earlier this year in leading the team to a second-straight conference crown. She also claimed victory at the Roy Griak Invite and was second at Wisconsin's adidas Invitational.
Women's Athlete of the Year (South Central Region)
Marielle Hall, Texas
A junior from Haddonfield, N.J., Hall won the South Central in 20:30, nearly five seconds ahead of teammate Sara Sutherland. It marked the first time a Longhorn has won the regional crown. She placed sixth at the Big 12 Championships and won the Grass Routes Run Festival earlier this fall.
Men's Coach of the Year (South Central Region)
John Hayes, Texas
This season, the fifth-ranked Longhorns raced to their second-consecutive South Central Regional title. Hayes is in his fifth season leading the Texas men.
Women's Coach of the Year (Midwest Region)
Corey Ihmels, Iowa State
The Cyclones hope to continue their streak of victories, having already won this year's Big 12 and Midwest region titles. The sixth-year coach has his team ranked third leading into their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA meet.