Pac-12 announces cross country honors

Ashley Davis/Pac-12 Conference

Oregon’s Edward Cheserek Named Men’s Athlete of the Year
Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe Named Women’s Athlete of the Year
Colorado’s John Dressel Named Men’s Freshman of the Year
UCLA’s Carolina Johnson Named Women’s Freshman of the Year
Colorado’s Mark Wetmore Named Men’s & Women’s Coach of the Year

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced today the recipients of the 2015 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 for an unprecedented third-straight year, while COLORADO’s John Dressel was tabbed Freshman of the Year. For the women, STANFORD’s Aisling Cuffe was named Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career, while UCLA’s Carolina Johnson was tabbed Freshman of the Year. COLORADO’s Mark Wetmore swept the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year honors.

Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) becomes just the second person all-time to earn the Conference’s athlete of the year honors three times. The only other runner to achieve the feat was Washington State’s Henry Rono who garnered the award in 1976, 1977 and 1979. Cheserek won the Pac-12 individual crown for an unprecedented third-straight year and became only the third person to claim the individual crown three times, joining Rono (1976, 1978, 1978) and former Duck Steve Prefontaine (1970, 1971, 1973). Cheserek won the 2015 Conference meet in a time of 23:06.3, leading Oregon to a third-place finish with 83 points. Cheserek is also a two-time NCAA Champion and will be looking to qualify for the national meet when he races at the NCAA West Regionals on Friday, Nov. 13 in Seattle.

John Dressel (Cobert, Wash.) was the highest freshman finisher in the field at the Pac-12 Championships with a time of 23:19.4, placing sixth to earn first team All-Pac-12 honors. He was also the second Buffalo to cross the finish line, helping the team win its fifth-straight Pac-12 crown. The No. 1 team in the country since the final poll of the 2013 campaign, the Buffs have not lost the men’s title since joining the Conference in 2011. It was only his second official race of the season after making his collegiate debut just two weeks prior at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational where Colorado won the race. Dressel will look to help the two-time defending NCAA Champion Buffs earn a spot at the national meet when he competes at the NCAA Mountain Regional on Friday, Nov. 13 in Albuquerque.

After sitting out the 2014 season because of a fractured back, Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.) made a big comeback and won her second Pac-12 individual crown after winning the 2013 crown. Cuffe won her second-career Conference title with a time of 19:53.1 as No. 11 Stanford placed third in the final team standings with 80 points. Cuffe is a two-time cross country All-American, finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships in 2013. She will look to the NCAA West Regionals on Friday, Nov. 13 to help Stanford earn a spot in the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 21.

Carolina Johnson (Linkoping, Sweden) finished ninth at the Pac-12 Championships, the highest freshman finisher in the field, posting a time of 20:17.5 to earn All-Pac-12 honors, as well. Johnson has made an immediate impact this season for the Bruins, finishing 26th in her first-collegiate meet at the competitive Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in early October. She will also look ahead to the NCAA West Regionals to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships.

Mark Wetmore was voted the men’s and women’s Pac-12 Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches, taking home the men’s honor for the fifth-consecutive year and claiming the women’s accolade for the first time. Wetmore led the Buffaloes to a sweep of the Pac-12 Championships on Friday, Oct. 30, the second time he has done that with the first time being in 2011. The men’s squad has never lost the Pac-12 race, winning the Conference title for the fifth-straight year. The Buffalo men are the No. 1 team in the country and have been since the final poll of the 2013 season. They are also the two-time defending NCAA Champions and look to start defense of that title when CU competes at the NCAA Mountain Regional in Albuquerque on Nov. 13. The women's squad is the No. 2-ranked team in the nation and will also compete at the regional meet in two weeks.

First Team
Edward Cheserek, Jr., Oregon
John Dressel, Fr., Colorado
Sean McGorty, Jr., Stanford
Ammar Moussa, Sr., Colorado
Pierce Murphy, Sr., Colorado
Lane Werley, Sr., UCLA
Izaic Yorks, Sr., Washington

Second Team
Grant Fisher, Fr., Stanford
Travis Neuman, So., Oregon
Morgan Pearson, Sr., Colorado
Joe Rosa, Sr., Stanford
Chris Walden, Sr., California
John Whelan, Jr., Washington State
Michael Williams, So., Washington State

Men's Athlete of the Year
Edward Cheserek, Jr., Oregon

Men's Freshman of the Year
John Dressel, Colorado

Men's Coach of the Year
Mark Wetmore, Colorado


First Team
Kaitlyn Benner, So., Colorado
Alli Cash, So., Oregon
Erin Clark, Jr., Colorado
Aisling Cuffe, Sr., Stanford
Maddie Meyers, Sr., Washington
Waverly Neer, Sr., Oregon
Melanie Nun, So., Colorado

Second Team
Maddie Alm, Sr., Colorado
Frida Berge, So., Oregon
Vanessa Fraser, So., Stanford
Molly Grabill, Sr., Oregon
Carolina Johnson, Fr., UCLA
Hannah McInturff, So., Utah
Marissa Williams, Fr., California

Women'ss Athlete of the Year
Aisling Cuffe, Sr., Stanford

Women's Freshman of the Year
Carolina Johnson, UCLA

Women's Coach of the Year
Mark Wetmore, Colorado

* - All-Conference teams determined by order of finish at the Pac-12 Championships.


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