The Big 12 has announced its 2016 Cross Country postseason honors, as selected by the league’s head coaches following the NCAA Championship. This is the first year that the coaches have voted on runner and newcomer of the year.
Hassan Abdi of Oklahoma State takes home the Men’s Runner of the Year award after finishing in third place at the Big 12 Championship (25:39) and clocking a 30:10.1 time in the 10K at the NCAA Championship. His 16th place finish was the highest by a conference competitor.
Kansas’ Sharon Lokedi is the Women’s Runner of the Year thanks to her first place finish at the Big 12 Championship (20:18). Lokedi took home the first individual championship for the Jayhawks in conference history. At the NCAA Championship Lokedi finished fifth (19:52.2) marking the highest place finish for KU since 1965. It was also the top finish by a Big 12 Student-athlete.
Newcomer honors went to Thomas Pollard of Iowa State and Michelle Magnani of Oklahoma State who each finished strong in the top-15 at the Big 12 Championship. Pollard finished in 45th place at the NCAA Championship which was the third-highest placing by a freshman in the men’s competition. Magnani took 13th place at the NCAA Midwest Regional (20:32.6) and also competed in the NCAA Championship.
Coach of the Year honors went to Dave Smith (Oklahoma State) for the men and Andrea Grove-McDonough (Iowa State) for the women after both led their team to Big 12 championships and an appearance in the NCAA Championship. Smith has been named Men’s Coach of the Year for nine straight years wile Grove-McDonough picks up her third honor in the last four years.
2016 BIG 12 CROSS COUNTRY HONORS
2016 Big 12 Runner of the Year
MEN: Hassan Abdi, Oklahoma State
WOMEN: Sharon Lokedi, Kansas
2016 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year
MEN: Thomas Pollard, Iowa State
WOMEN: Michelle Magnani, Oklahoma State
2016 Big 12 Cross Country Coach of the Year
MEN: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
WOMEN: Andrea Grove-McDonough, Iowa State