Stanford's Donaghu, Parsons named Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO - STANFORD fifth-years Ella Donaghu and Alek Parsons were named the 2020-21 Pac-12 Women's & Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the Conference office announced ahead of the Pac-12 Championships. The awards, which are presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, were established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Donaghu (Portland, Ore.) carries a 3.68 grade-point average as a human biology major and earned CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-America honors in track & field and cross country in 2019-20.
She helped Stanford to the 2019 Pac-12 Cross Country championship with a runner-up finish, then went on to win the NCAA West Regional for her third All-West Regional selection (2016, 2017, 2019) before earning All-America status with an eighth-place showing at the NCAA Championship in which the Cardinal placed third. She has twice been named USTFCCCA National XC Athlete of the Week this season following victories at the Florida State Winter Classic and UNLV Battle Born Challenge.
Parsons (Ogden, Utah) boasts a 3.80 GPA in environmental systems engineering while being a two-time NCAA All-American and All-West Region honoree in cross country.
He helped Stanford to a Conference title in 2017 by placing 21st, then improved to fourth overall as the Cardinal repeated as league champion in 2018. He has also twice finished in the top 40 of the NCAA Championships to earn All-America accolades (34th 2019; 30th 2018).
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 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, 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 2007-08 academic year.
Women's Cross Country: Megan Bounds, Arizona; Annie Boos, California; Rachel McArthuer, Colorado; Paige Carter, UCLA; Bella Williams, Utah; Allie Schadler, Washington.
Men's Cross Country: Victor Ortiz-Rivera, Arizona; Ben Harper, California; Paxton Smith, Colorado; Jackson Mestler, Oregon; Gavin Parpart, Washington.