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Best in the West

Mar 19, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford cross country swept the West Region awards from the U.S. Track and Cross Country Collegiate Coaches Association.

Charles Hicks and Ella Donaghu earned top runner honors and J.J. Clark was named Coach of the Year for both men's and women's cross country. With no regional championship meets this season, the honors were based on conference and national results. 

Hicks, a redshirt freshman, was second at the Pac-12 Championships and 14th at the NCAA Championships. He was the top placer from a West Region school (there eight regions nationally) in both races. 

Hicks also was the freshman to win the award, also known as the John Chaplin Award, since Oregon's Edward Cheserek in 2013. Hicks is the eighth Stanford male to win the honor and first since Maksim Korolev in 2014. 

Donaghu earned the women's award for the second consecutive season. She was second at the Pac-12 Championships, and 10th at the NCAA Championships and first among the Pac-12 and West Region in that race. Donaghu became the first Stanford woman with multiple top-10 NCAA finishes since Arianna Lambie in 2005-07.

This is the eighth time a Stanford woman has won the award. Donaghu becomes the first multiple winner since Lambie, a neighbor of Donaghu in Portland, Oregon, won in 2005 and 2006.

Clark, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field, led Stanford's teams to a sweep of the Pac-12 men's and women's titles. Stanford also was the only program to place both teams among the top-five at the NCAA Championships. The women were third and the men fifth. 

Clark mainly coaches the women's team and Ricardo Santos mainly coaches the men, but both are involved in both programs, attending both practices daily. The Coach of the Year awards are in Clark's name, but Santos also shares in the honors.

This is the second consecutive West Region Women's Coach of the Year honor, also known as the Tom Heinonen Award, for Clark, who took over directorship of Stanford's track and cross country programs in the summer of 2019. The men's West Coach of the Year honor is known as the Dean Miller Award.