trackbound cross country awards - USA Athletics Scholarships

trackbound cross country awards


Another exciting collegiate cross country season came to an end last weekend, and now that the dust has settled we have had time to reflect and select our 2015 XC award winners. This year the categories are dominated by two well-known British recruiting schools – New Mexico and Tulsa.

Male athlete of the year – Marc Scott (Tulsa)

The Tulsa man won four of his five races this season, and he is also our athlete of the year for 2015. Whilst the wait for a British male winner of the NCAA XC goes on, 10th place is hugely respectable and with remaining track eligibility to come, Marc Scott clearly belongs on the top table of collegiate endurance athletes.

Female athlete of the year – Alice Wright (New Mexico)

With the talk post-race being about whether New Mexico are potentially the greatest ladies collegiate team ever,  the fact that Brits contributed so strongly is a major positive. Alice Wright improved from 20th last year to 5th this year at NCAA’s and has been one of the key players in the success of the Lobo ladies this year.

Male newcomer of the year – Luke Traynor (Tulsa)

We said in our NCAA preview that Luke Traynor had been solid all season in his first semester at Tulsa. With a 34th place in Kentucky, that ‘solid’ label can now be upgraded to ‘excellent’. Very few newcomers freshmen or otherwise achieve All-American in their first semester, and Traynor was able to do just that.

Female newcomer of the year – Rhona Auckland (New Mexico)

Yes we know that she arrived in Albuquerque as a European Cross Champion and Word Cross top 20 athlete. However, it is not always easy just to pack your bags, move across the world and fit straight in to already a very competitive team – not to mention doing this all at altitude. Whilst individual glory may have to wait, she became an instant team player and finished a solid 13th in her first NCAA cross.

Most improved male – Michael Vennard (Boise State)

Although 93rd in Kentucky was not quite the breakthrough that the Boise Brit was hoping for, a season should not be judged entirely on one race and Vennard has had a good year. 17th at Wisconsin and 5th in the competitive Mountain West Conference meets are results significantly better higher level than where he was during his freshman campaign last year.

Most improved female – Molly Renfer (New Mexico)

A new school this year for the Harvard transfer and Molly Renfer has emerged almost as a new athlete. Having never previously qualified for an NCAA cross prior to 2015, the fifth year senior has made huge improvements since switching the East coast for the mountains – culminating in 24th place finish and All-American accolade in Kentucky.

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