Pac-10 Announces Cross Country Honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - ARIZONA'S Stephen Sambu swept the major cross country awards. He was voted Pac-10 Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year and Pac-10 Men's Newcomer of the Year. On the women's side, OREGON's Jordan Hasay was named the Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year, while WASHINGTON's Katie Flood was selected the Pac-10 Women's Newcomer of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
A junior from Kaptagat, Kenya, Sambu is the first-ever Pac-10 runner to sweep the Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors in the same season. The newcomer award was established in 2000, while an Athlete of the Year has been selected since 1975. Sambu was the top Wildcat at the Pac-10 Championships, placing fifth overall at the Pac-10 Championships with a time of 23:06.77. He nearly took top honors at the NCAA West Regional, placing second with a time of 29:57.95, just .06 seconds behind the winner. At the NCAA Championship, he nearly brought home the individual crown, placing second with a time of 29:26.5, just over four seconds behind the national champion.
Hasay, a sophomore from Arroyo Grande, Calif., was the top overall winner at the Pac-10 Championships, posting a time of 19:44.95 in the 6k race, leading the Ducks to a tie for third in the team standings, just six points out of first place. She again took top honors at the NCAA West Regional, beating the competition by almost five seconds, posting a time of 20:01.90, as UO placed second in the team competition, just five points back of the winner. At the NCAA Championships, Hasay was third overall with a time of 20:13.0, the best showing by a Duck since 1991. Hasay was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year in 2009. She is the fifth UO runner to win the athlete of the year award and the first since 1991. Hasay is also a finalist for the Honda Award, presented to the nation's top cross country runner.
Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Flood had a solid postseason performance. She was the top Husky finisher at the Pac-10 Championships, finishing sixth with a time of 20:13.15. She was, again, the team's top runner at the NCAA West Regional, claiming sixth place with a time of 20:17.03, leading UW to a team victory. She was sixth out of all Pac-10 runners at the NCAA Championships and was the top UW finisher with a time of 21:11.0 for 78th place overall.
Also announced were the Conference Coach of the Year honors. Stanford's Jason Dunn was honored as the Pac-10 Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second-straight year and the second time in his career. He led the Cardinal men to a victory at the Pac-10 Championships, second place at the west regionals and fourth at the national meet.
Arizona's James Li was voted the coach of the year on the women's side. Li is the second coach in the history of the Wildcat women's program to win the honor and the first since 2001. Li's Wildcats placed second at the Pac-10 Championships, the women's team's highest finish at the competition since 2001 and were just three points away from first place. At the west regional, Arizona was fourth overall and followed up with an 11th-place showing at the national championship meet, the highest-placing Pac-10 women's team.