Pac-12 announces 2019 cross country honors
Colorado Sweeps Trio of Men’s Awards
Stanford’s O’Keeffe, Clark Earn Women’s Athlete, Coach of the Year
Washington’s Smart Named Women’s Freshman of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced on Tuesday the recipients of the 2019 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country All-Conference honors. COLORADO swept the men’s awards as Joe Klecker was named Athlete of the Year, Kashon Harrison earned Freshman of the Year and Mark Wetmore was voted Coach of the Year. For the women, STANFORD’s Fiona O’Keeffe and J.J. Clark garnered Athlete and Coach of the Year accolades, respectively, while WASHINGTON’s Mel Smart collected Freshman of the Year honors.
It marks the first time since 2009 and seventh time since three honors were first awarded in 1999 that one program swept the trio of men’s awards.
Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Joe Klecker, Sr., Colorado
Klecker (Minnetonka, Minn.) is the first Colorado recipient of the Pac-12 Men’s Athlete of the Year honor after he became the first Buffaloes’ runner to capture the individual title at the Conference Championships on Friday. The now three-time First Team All-Pac-12 performer (2017-19) also led CU to the second league title of his career (2016, 2019) and the Buffs’ seventh in nine seasons since joining the Conference in 2011. Klecker will now set his sights on a third consecutive NCAA Mountain Regional individual title as well as the NCAA Championships.
Men's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Kashon Harrison, Colorado
Harrison (Fruitland, N.M.) joins current teammate and now four-time All-Pac-12 performer John Dressel as the only Colorado runners to claim the Men’s Freshman of the Year award. Harrison was the second-best finisher for CU and seventh overall, the best finish for a freshman at the Championships since Dressel placed fifth in 2015.
Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Fiona O’Keeffe, Sr., Stanford
O’Keeffe’s (Davis, Calif.) victory sparked a 1-2-3 individual finish and Stanford’s first women’s team title since 2010. She is the Cardinal’s league-leading 11th individual champion and is now a three-time First Team All-Pac-12 performer along with a fifth-place effort in 2018 and seventh in 2017.
Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year – Mel Smart, Washington
Smart (Perth, Australia) is the fourth Washington woman to garner Freshman of the Year honors, joining Tori Tyler (2005), Christine Babcock (2008) and Katie Flood (2010). Her fifth-place finish at the Championships is the best for a freshman since current Huskies’ teammate Katie Rainsberger also placed fifth in 2016.
Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year – Mark Wetmore, Colorado
Wetmore earns his seventh Pac-12 Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honor and his 10th Pac-12 Coach of the Year award in total including his three women’s recognitions from 2015-17. With his men’s team title on Friday, Wetmore has led his CU program to 11 Conference titles since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. His seven men’s and 10 combined Coach of the Year awards are tied for the third-most in league history trailing only Vin Lananna (14 total/8 men’s, Stanford/Oregon) and Bill Dellinger (11 men’s, OREGON).
Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year – J.J. Clark, Stanford
In his debut season with Stanford, Clark led the Cardinal to one of the most dominating performances in women’s Championships history as its 27 points were tied for the fifth-fewest in the 34-year history of the event and the fewest since Washington’s record-setting mark of 15 in 2008. Stanford’s strong performance is even more impressive when taking into consideration its final four scorers, who all finished in the top 13, are juniors. It marks the 13th all-time women’s Coach of the Year honor for the Stanford program, but the first since 2007.
2019 PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY HONORS*
|MEN’S ALL-PAC-12||WOMEN’S ALL-PAC-12|
|First Team||First Team|
|Robert Brandt, Sr., UCLA||Ella Donaghu, Jr., Stanford|
|Kashon Harrison, Fr., Colorado||Jessica Lawson, Jr., Stanford|
|Andrew Jordan, Sr., Washington||Fiona O'Keeffe, Sr., Stanford|
|Joe Klecker, Sr., Colorado||Katie Rainsberger, Sr., Washington|
|Alex Ostberg, Sr., Stanford||Mel Smart, Fr., Washington|
|Thomas Ratcliffe, Jr., Stanford||Poppy Tank, Jr., Utah|
|Cooper Teare, Jr., Oregon||Bella Williams, Jr., Utah|
|Second Team||Second Team|
|Colin Burke, Sr., UCLA||Holly Bent, So., Colorado|
|John Dressel, Sr., Colorado||Susan Ejore, Sr., Oregon|
|Eduardo Herrera, Jr., Colorado||Sarah Feeny, Sr., Utah|
|Alec Hornecker, Jr., Colorado||Julia Heymach, Jr., Stanford|
|Jackson Mestler, Jr., Oregon||Sage Hurta, Sr., Colorado|
|Garrett Reynolds, Sr., UCLA||Shona McCulloch, So., Washington|
|James West, Sr., Oregon||Jordan Oakes, Jr., Stanford|
|Men's Athlete of the Year||Women's Athlete of the Year|
|Joe Klecker, Sr., Colorado||Fiona O’Keeffe, Sr., Stanford|
|Men's Freshman of the Year||Women's Freshman of the Year|
|Kashon Harrison, Fr., Colorado||Mel Smart, Fr., Washington|
|Men's Coach of the Year||Women's Coach of the Year|
|Mark Wetmore, Colorado||J.J. Clark, Stanford|
* - All-Conference teams determined by order of finish at the Pac-12 Championships.