Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year named
SAN FRANCISCO - ARIZONA Wildcats Sam Macaluso and Stephanie Bulder were named the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the Conference office announced on Wednesday. The award, which is presented in each of the 22 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
A native of West Windsor, N.J., Sam Macaluso has established himself as one of the top distance runners in the program. He has been Arizona’s most consistent competitor this season and was the team’s top finisher at the prestigious Wisconsin adidas Invitational, crossing the finish line in 94th place in a field that included 38 teams, 19 of which were ranked. Macaluso was forced to run the last 4k of the 6k race with just one shoe after losing one early in the competition.
Macaluso is a senior on the Tucson campus, majoring in management information systems. He boasts a 3.57 grade point average. He has earned Academic All-Pac-12 accolades in both cross country and track and field, and was also an United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree in 2013 and 2014. On the track, he also scored for Arizona at the 2013 and 2014 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, running in the 5k.
Macaluso is the first-ever men’s Wildcat to earn the honor in the eight-year history of the award.
Stephanie Bulder is the second-straight women’s Wildcat to receive the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in women’s cross country after former teammate Elvin Kibet won the award last year. Bulder was a member of last year’s Pac-12 Women’s Cross Country Championship squad. It was the first time ever Arizona had won the title. She went on to help her team place second at the NCAA Championships, also a program best. Bulder has been the team’s leader this season on the cross country course. This season, she has been among the top three finishers on the team in every meet that she has run, including posting the team’s top time twice.
Bulder is equally successful in the classroom, boasting a 3.97 grade point average in molecular and cellular biology. She has a USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree in 2013 and 2014, also earning first team Academic All-Pac-12 nods those same 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 & !eld, women’s track & !eld, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2008-09 academic year.
Both Macaluso and Bulder lead their Wildcats to the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships this Friday, Oct. 31 at the Metropolitan Links Golf Course in Oakland, Calif. The course opens to fans at 9 a.m., with women's race beginning at 10 a.m., followed by the men’s race at 11 a.m. Admission to the event is free to spectators. Fan parking will be provided in the Economy Lot at Oakland Airport and a shuttle bus will take fans to the course. Cost for parking plus shuttle is $12 and is cash only. For more information on the Pac-12 Championships, please visit www.pac-12.com/xcchamps.