Pac-12 announces 2022 cross country honors
Stanford sweeps trio of men’s awards
Colorado's Hertenstein earns Women's Athlete of the Year
Stanford's Stewart the Women's Freshman of the Year
Colorado's Wetmore named Women’s Coach of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced on Wednesday the recipients of the 2022 Men’s and Women's Cross Country All-Conference honors. Stanford swept the men’s awards as Charles Hicks was named Athlete of the Year for the second time, Robert DiDonato earned Freshman of the Year and Ricardo Santos was voted Coach of the Year. For the women, Colorado's Bailey Hertenstein garnered Athlete of the Year accolades, while Stanford's Riley Stewart collected Freshman of the Year honors and CU's Mark Wetmore was selected by his peers as Coach of the Year.
It marks the eighth time since three honors were first awarded in 1999, and record fourth for Stanford, that one program swept the trio of men’s awards (Colorado - 2019; Stanford - 2022; 2009, 2002, 2000; Oregon - 2008, 2007, 2006).
Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Charles Hicks, Stanford
Hicks, who took the lead for good around 3K to win his second consecutive individual Pac-12 Championship in a course-record 22:30.9 on Friday, is Stanford's ninth Men's Athlete of the Year overall and the second two-time winner (Grant Fisher - 2017, 2018). Other Cardinal to be named Men's Athlete of the Year include Chris Derrick (2009), Ryan Hall (2003), Grant Robison (2002), Donald Sage (2001), Jonathon Riley (2000) and Marc Olesen (1985).
Second at his debut Pac-12 meet in March 2021 to win Pac-12 Freshman of the Year accolades that season and now a two-time individual champion, Hicks is the 10th in Conference history to win back-to-back Men's Athlete of the Year awards (Hicks, STAN - 2021, 2022; Fisher, STAN - 2017, 2018; Edward Cheserek, ORE - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016; Lawi Lalang, ARIZ - 2011, 2012; Robert Cheseret, ARIZ - 2004, 2005; Meb Keflezighi, UCLA - 1996, 1997; Josephat Kapkory, WSU - 1992, 1993; Marc Davis, ARIZ - 1989, 1990; Jim Hill, ORE - 1982, 1983; Henry Rono, WSU - 1976, 1977).
His performance led No. 1 Stanford to a commanding team victory on Friday. The Cardinal finished with only 22 points, the third-lowest total in Pac-12 history (Stanford - 19 - 2002; Stanford - 21 - 2000) and its 39-point victory over second-place Colorado (61 points), was the largest gap since Stanford's 2003 championship (69 points over Oregon).
Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Bailey Hertenstein, Colorado
Hertenstein is the second consecutive Colorado recipient of the Pac-12 Women’s Athlete of the Year honor and third overall after she became the third Buffaloes’ runner to capture the individual title at the Conference Championships last Friday. Last season it was Abby Nichols, and CU's Dani Jones was named Women's Athlete of the Year in both 2017 and 2018 following her individual Conference titles. It's the first time one school has had two different student-athlete win consecutive Women's Athlete of the Year accolades since 2002 and 2003 in Stanford's Alicia Craig and Sara Bei.
Hertenstein and teammate Emily Covert, traded leads throughout Friday's championship race until Covert took the lead at the 4K mark with Hertenstein in third. In the final stretch, Hertenstein passed Utah's Emily Venters for the win in a new course record of 19:11.3. That pass led to a tie between CU and Utah with 66 points, the Buffs ultimately winning based on the NCAA tiebreaker, with four of their top five crossing ahead of Utah's comparable runners.
Men's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Robert DiDonato, Stanford
DiDonato's Men's Freshman of the Year honor is the sixth for Stanford all-time. He joins previous Cardinal awardees Charles Hicks (2021), Thomas Ratcliffe (2016), Miles Unterreiner (2009), Neil Davis (2002) and Donald Sage (2000). DiDonato was Stanford's seventh finisher, coming in 19th overall.
Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Riley Stewart, Stanford
Stewart is Stanford's record ninth Women's Freshman of the Year, joining Zofia Dudek (2019), Elise Cranny (2014), Cayla Hatton (2012, co), Teresa McWalters (2004), Arianna Lambie (2003), Sara Bei (2001), Victoria Chang (2000) and Erin Sullivan (1999). In her debut season, she was the fourth-best finisher for the Cardinal and 24th overall at the Conference Championships.
Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year – Ricardo Santos, Stanford
Santos guided Stanford to the men's team title at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships - the Cardinal's fourth title in six years and record-tying 16th all-time (Oregon). The No. 1 nationally-ranked Cardinal placed five among the top seven, and six in the top 10, to finish with only 22 points, the third-lowest total in Pac-12 history.
It's Santos' second Coach of the Year award (2020) and the 15th for Stanford all-time.
Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year – Mark Wetmore, Colorado
Wetmore's Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year honor pushes his career total to 13 (5 women's/8 men's), the second-most in Conference history behind Vin Lananna's 14 (Stanford - 6 women's/5 men's; Oregon - 3 men's). His fifth honor on the women's side is third in Pac-12 history, behind Lananna (6) and UO's Tom Heinonen (6).
Wetmore's Buffs won their second consecutive and sixth women's title overall at the 2022 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships. With Friday's crown, Wetmore has led his CU program to 14 Conference championships since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 (8 men's/6 women's).
2022 PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY HONORS*
|MEN’S ALL-PAC-12||WOMEN’S ALL-PAC-12|
|First Team||First Team|
|Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau, STAN||Ella Baran, COLO|
|Aaron Bienenfeld, ORE||Emily Covert, COLO|
|Thomas Boyden, STAN||Zofia Dudek, STAN|
|Charles Hicks, STAN||Bailey Hertenstein, COLO|
|Andrew Kent, COLO||Simone Plourde, UTAH|
|Ky Robinson, STAN||Izzy Thornton-Bott, ORE|
|Cole Sprout, STAN||Emily Venters, UTAH|
|Second Team||Second Team|
|Brian Fay, WASH||Grace Fetherstonhaugh, OSU|
|Isaac Green, WASH||Emilie Girard, ORE|
|Devin Hart, STAN||Neema Kimtai, WSU|
|Noah Hibbard, COLO||Andrea Markezich, WASH|
|Seth Hirsch, COLO||Harper McClain, ORE|
|Vincent Mauri, ASU||Kaylee Mitchell, OSU|
|Austin Vancil, COLO||Sophie O'Sullivan, WASH|
|Men's Athlete of the Year||Women's Athlete of the Year|
|Charles Hicks, STAN||Bailey Hertenstein, COLO|
|Men's Freshman of the Year||Women's Freshman of the Year|
|Robert DiDonato, STAN||Riley Stewart, STAN|
|Men's Coach of the Year||Women's Coach of the Year|
|Ricardo Santos, STAN||Mark Wetmore, COLO|
* - All-Conference teams determined by order of finish at the Pac-12 Championships.