Corey Ihmels (Iowa State) and Dave Smith (Oklahoma State) have been selected as the 2012 Big 12 Cross Country Coaches of the Year, as voted by the league's coaches. This is the second consecutive honor for Ihmels and the fifth-straight accolade for Smith.
Ihmel's women's team claimed its second-straight Big 12 Championship with an impressive performance. Iowa State runners Betsy Saina and Meaghan Nelson claimed the top two spots while three other Cyclone women earned All-Big 12 honors en route to a team score of 34. Saina took home the individual crown with a time of 20:06.8, while Nelson followed four seconds later. Freshman Crystal Nelson claimed eighth-place and was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year with a time of 20:47.6.
The Iowa State women have won four consecutive team meets this season and are ranked No. 2 in the nation as they look to continue that streak at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship on Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo. Under Ihmels, the women's team has won the Midwest Regional each of the last two seasons and recorded top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a seventh-place showing in 2011.
The Cowboys have won five-straight Big 12 Championships under Smith. In last week's meet, Oklahoma State took five of the top eight spots on the individual leaderboard to earn 24 points. The Cowboys were led by senior Girma Mecheso who finished second with a time of 23:58.1. Juniors Shadrack Kipchirchir and Tom Farrell took home third and fourth, respectively, while Kirubel Erassa and Shane Moskowitz recorded top-10 finishes to help Oklahoma State finish 32 points ahead of second-place Texas.
Under Smith's watch, the Cowboys have finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships every year of his tenure, including national titles in two of the last three seasons. Smith started as an assistant coach for the men's team in 2002 and took over as head coach in 2006.