Stanford's Stutzman, Arizona's Kibet Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year

LOUISVILLE, Colo. -- STANFORD’s Tyler Stutzman and ARIZONA’s Elvin Kibet were named the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the Conference office announced on Saturday at the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. The award, which is presented in each of the 22 sports the Conference sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

A native of Charlottesville, Va., Tyler Stutzman helped Stanford to a second-place finish at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships and is looking to lead the Cardinal at this year’s event in Colorado. He earned a spot on the All-West Region team after his 10th-place individual finish, which also helped Stanford win the NCAA West Region title last year. Stutzman is also a three-time outdoor track and field All-America and two-time first-team indoor All-America. He was a Pac-12 Athlete of the Week in 2012 after sweeping to middle-distance victories in the Big Meet against California and is seventh on Stanford’s all-time indoor mile list.

Majoring in political science with a 3.32 grade point average, Stutzman was named second team Academic All-Pac-12 cross country in 2012 and also earned a spot on the second team on the outdoor track and field academic squad. He was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) academic teams in cross country and outdoor track and field during the 2012-13 academic season, as well.

Elvin Kibet of Eldoret, Kenya, has led the Wildcat women to the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking this season and boasts the ranking heading into the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday. With her pacing the team, UA enters the Conference championships having won four meets it competed in this season, including first-place finishes at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational and the Wisconsin Invitational. Kibet also claimed the individual win at the Roy Griak earlier this season. She has helped to spark the Arizona women’s program that has made four-consecutive NCAA Championships appearances, finishing as high as sixth (2012) during that span. She earned her first-career All-America nod last year when she placed in the top-20 at the national meet.

Kibet boasts a 3.79 grade point average in public health. She has earned a spot on the Academic All-Pac-12 cross country team the last two years.

In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2008-09 academic year.