Pac-12 announces cross country honors
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced today the recipients of the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country All-Conference honors. On the men’s side, OREGON’s Edward Cheserek was named Athlete of the Year, while WASHINGTON’s Colby Gilbert was tabbed Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and COLORADO’s Mark Wetmore was voted the Coach of the Year. For the women, ARIZONA STATE’s Shelby Houlihan was named Athlete of the Year, while STANFORD’s Elise Cranny was tabbed Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and OREGON’s Robert Johnson was voted Coach of the Year.
Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) took home his second-consecutive Pac-12 Cross Country individual title, breaking away from the pack at the five-kilometer mark to finish the race with a mark of 23:23. He also won at the ISU Pre-National Invitational, the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, and the Bill Dellinger Invitational. The four meet victories extend his streak of consecutive first-place finishes at cross country meets to seven, dating back to 2013. The sophomore, who also took home the NCAA Cross Country Championship last year, joined Steve Prefontaine (1970-71) and Jim Hill (1982-83) as the only runners in Oregon history to win back-to-back Pac-12 titles.
Colby Gilbert (Vancouver, Wash.), who redshirted last season, was the highest freshman finisher at this year’s Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, coming in at 17th with a time of 24:11. He was one of five Huskies to finish in the top 25, which led UW to a fourth-place team finish, the best for the program since 2009. Gilbert has been a consistent runner for the Dawgs, as he posted top-75 finishes in the Washington Invitational (51st, 24:36) and the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (53rd, 24:21).
Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) won the women’s Pac-12 Cross Country individual title with a time of 19:59. It marked her third top-three finish on the season as she also took home first in the Roy Griak Invitational and placed third at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Houlihan, who took home the NCAA title in the outdoor 1500-meter as a junior, had previously finished in the top 10 three times as a Sun Devil, coming in eighth in 2011 and 2012 before finishing fourth in 2013.
Elise Cranny (Longmont, Colo.) finished four seconds behind Houlihan for a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, with a mark of 20:03. The freshman took home first place at the Washington Invitational in her first-ever collegiate cross country meet, then followed with a seventh-place finish and a personal record of 19:53 at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
Mark Wetmore takes home Men’s Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row after leading the Buffs to capture the men’s Pac-12 team title for the fourth year in a row, recording a score of 30 with five runners finishing in the top eight. Colorado has been unanimously ranked first in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association all six weeks of the 2014 season. Wetmore’s men’s teams have won four NCAA team titles since 2001, including the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Robert Johnson coached the Oregon women to their second Pac-12 title in three years, with the last coming in 2012 when the Ducks also claimed the NCAA crown. Seven Ducks finished in the top 20 of this year’s championship race, with all five scorers crossing the finish line within 11 seconds of each other, giving Oregon 54 points to take home the crown. It is Johnson’s third year as the head coach of the program and 10th overall with the Ducks.
|Edward Cheserek, So., Oregon|
|Eric Jenkins, Sr., Oregon|
|Ammar Moussa, Jr., Colorado|
|Pierce Murphy, Jr., Colorado|
|Joe Rosa, Jr., Stanford|
|Blake Theroux, Sr., Colorado|
|Connor Winter, Jr., Colorado|
|Michael Atchoo, Sr., Stanford|
|Tyler King, Jr., Washington|
|Maksim Korolev, Sr., Stanford|
|Sean McGorty, So., Stanford|
|Aaron Nelson, Sr., Washington|
|Ben Saarel, So., Colorado|
|Chris Walden, Jr., California|
|Athlete of the Year: Edward Cheserek, So., Oregon|
|Freshman of the Year: Colby Gilbert, Fr., Washington|
|Coach of the Year: Mark Wetmore, Colorado|
|Maddie Alm, Jr., Colorado|
|Frida Berge, Fr., Oregon|
|Erin Clark, So., Colorado|
|Elise Cranny, Fr., Stanford|
|Shelby Houlihan, Sr., Arizona State|
|Bethan Knights, Fr., California|
|Maddie Meyers, Jr., Washington|
|Alli Cash, Fr., Oregon|
|Emma Fisher, Fr., Stanford|
|Molly Grabill, Jr., Oregon|
|Molly McNamara, Sr., Stanford|
|Waverly Neer, Jr., Oregon|
|Abby Regan, Sr., Washington State|
|Kelsey Smith, Sr., UCLA|
|Athlete of the Year: Shelby Houlihan, Sr., Arizona State|
|Freshman of the Year: Elise Cranny, Fr., Stanford|
|Coach of the Year: Robert Johnson, Oregon|
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