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Pac-12 announces 2021 cross country honors

Nov 4, 2021

Colorado sweeps trio of women’s awards
Stanford’s Hicks earns Men's Athlete of the Year
Oregon's Brown the Men's Freshman of the Year

Colorado's Wetmore named both Women’s and Men's Coach of the Year

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced on Thursday the recipients of the 2021 Women’s and Men's Cross Country All-Conference honors. Colorado swept the women’s awards as Abby Nichols was named Athlete of the Year, Hannah Miniutti earned Freshman of the Year and Mark Wetmore was voted Coach of the Year. For the men, Stanford's Charles Hicks garnered Athlete of the Year accolades, while Oregon's Caleb Brown collected Freshman of the Year honors and Wetmore again was selected by his peers as Coach of the Year.

It marks the first time since 2012 and fourth time since three honors were first awarded in 1999 that one program swept the trio of women’s awards (Oregon - 2012; Washington - 2008; Stanford - 2003).

Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Abby Nichols, Colorado
Nichols is the second Colorado recipient of the Pac-12 Women’s Athlete of the Year honor after she became the second Buffaloes’ runner to capture the individual title at the Conference Championships last Friday. CU's Dani Jones was named Women's Athlete of the Year in both 2017 and 2018 following her individual Conference titles. Nichols' performance also earned the senior her first All-Pac-12 first team nod after landing on the second team this past March. Nichols led Colorado to its first team title since 2017 and fifth all-time with the best score for a Pac-12 champion (24 points) since 2008 (Washington - 15).

Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Charles Hicks, Stanford
Hicks, who pulled away with 300 meters left to win his individual Pac-12 Championship by nine seconds on Friday, is Stanford's eighth Men's Athlete of the Year, joining Grant Fisher (2017, 2018), Chris Derrick (2009), Ryan Hall (2003), Grant Robison (2002), Donald Sage (2001), Jonathon Riley (2000), and Marc Olesen (1985). Second at the Pac-12 meet in his debut this past March, Hicks moved up one spot to become the Cardinal's first men's champion since Fisher captured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 and eighth all-time (Elliot Heath - 2010; Derrick - 2009; Ian Dobson - 2003; Robison - 2001, 2002; Riley - 2000; Olesen - 1985).

Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Hannah Miniutti, Colorado
Miniutti joins Holly Bent as the only Colorado runners to claim the Women’s Freshman of the Year award. Bent earned her accolade in 2018 and followed that up with All-Pac-12 second team honors in 2019. In her debut season, Miniutti was the fifth-best finisher for CU and 12th overall at the Conference Championships. 

Men's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Caleb Brown, Oregon
Brown's Men's Freshman of the Year honor is the league-leading ninth for Oregon all-time. He joins previous Duck awardees Charlie Hunter (2018), Cooper Teare (2017), Edward Cheserek (2013), Trevor Dunbar (2012), Luke Puskedra (2008), A.J. Acosta (2007), Diego Mercado (2006) and Jason Hartmann (1999). Brown was Oregon's fourth finisher, coming in 24th overall. 

Women's and Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year – Mark Wetmore, Colorado
Wetmore's two Pac-12 Cross Country Coach of the Year honors pushes his career total to 12, the second-most in Conference history behind Vin Lananna's 14 (Stanford - 6 women's/5 men's; Oregon - 3 men's). It's the third time he's won both women's and men's awards in the same season (2015, 2016) and the eighth time it has happened in the Pac-12. At Stanford, Lananna did it four times (1996, 1997, 2001, 2002) and Peter Tegen once (2005). 

Wetmore's eighth Men's Coach of the Year accolade is tied with Lananna for the second-most all-time, trailing only Oregon's Bill Dellinger (11), and his fourth honor on the women's side is third in Pac-12 history, behind Lananna (6) and UO's Tom Heinonen (6).

Wetmore's Buffs swept the women’s and men’s team titles at the the 2021 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, the fourth time CU has captured both Conference team titles since joining the league in 2011 and first in five years (2011, 2015, 2016). With Friday's titles, Wetmore has led his CU program to 13 Conference championships since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 (8 men's/5 women's).


First Team First Team
Emily Covert, COLO Aaron Bienenfeld, ORE
India Johnson, COLO Eduardo Herrera, COLO
Rachel McArthur, COLO Charles Hicks, STAN
Kaylee Mitchell, OSU Andrew Kent, COLO
Abby Nichols, COLO Ky Robinson, STAN
Emily Venters, UTAH Cooper Teare, ORE
Cara Woolnough, UTAH Austin Vancil, COLO
Second Team Second Team
Zofia Dudek, STAN Leo Daschbach, WASH
Grace Fetherstonhaugh, OSU Brian Fay, WASH
Haley Herberg, WASH Brendan Fraser, COLO
Aneta Konieczek, ORE Stephen Jones, COLO
Hannah Miniutti, COLO Kieran Lumb, WASH
Simone Plourde, UTAH Cole Sprout, STAN
Alessia Zarbo, ORE Charlie Sweeney, COLO
Women's Athlete of the Year Men's Athlete of the Year
Abby Nichols, COLO Charles Hicks, STAN
Women's Freshman of the Year Men's Freshman of the Year
Hannah Miniutti, COLO Caleb Brown, ORE
Women's Coach of the Year Men's Coach of the Year
Mark Wetmore, COLO Mark Wetmore, COLO

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