BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southeastern Conference student-athletes Henry Lelei of Texas A&M and Cally Macumber of Kentucky, along with Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter each have earned recognition from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, which on Tuesday announced its Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2012 cross country season.
Lelei was named the USTFCCCA South Central Region Men’s Athlete of the Year, Macumber was tabbed the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Athlete of the Year and Harter was honored as the South Central Region Women’s Coach of the Year.
Lelei, the 2012 SEC Men’s Runner of the Year, earned regional recognition after winning the 2012 SEC Cross Country Championships in a Percy Warner Park course-record time of 23:29.95 (8K) on Oct. 26, besting the field by 18 seconds. He then claimed his second South Central region crown, winning this year’s race by five seconds ahead of McNeese State’s David Rooney. Lelei, who posted the top 8K time in the SEC during the 2012 regular-season, was fourth at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and second at the Notre Dame Invitational.
Macumber, the 2012 SEC Women’s Runner of the Year, garnered the regional award after winning Kentucky’s first SEC individual title since 1989 by navigating the 6K course in a time of 20:23.29. She then claimed victory in the NCAA Southeast Regional by more than three seconds in front of Duke’s Juliet Bottorff. Macumber has placed among the top-10 in every meet in which she has competed this year, including an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Pre-National Meet. She held the top 5K and 6K times in the SEC during the 2012 regular season.
Harter led his No. 12 Arkansas women’s squad to its second consecutive NCAA South Central Regional title last weekend. His team finished as the runner-up at the 2012 SEC Championships and will make its 20th NCAA Championship appearance in Harter’s 23-year tenure, and the program’s 25th NCAA appearance overall.
The 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships take place on Saturday at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The women’s 6K race is scheduled for a 12 p.m. ET start, while the men’s 10K race will begin at 1:15 p.m. ET. A live Webcast will be available on NCAA.com.
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Men’s Athletes of the Year
Great Lakes Region: Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin
Mid-Atlantic Region: Travis Mahoney, Temple
Midwest Region: Chris O’Hare, Tulsa
Mountain Region: Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech
Northeast Region: Mitch Goose, Iona
South Region: Jakub Zivec, Florida State
South Central Region: Henry Lelei, Texas A&M
Southeast Region: Soufiane Bouchikhi, Eastern Kentucky
West Region: Lawi Lalang, Arizona
Women’s Athletes of the Year
Great Lakes Region: Juli Accurso, Ohio
Mid-Atlantic Region: Nicky Akande, Villanova
Midwest Region: Betsy Saina, Iowa State
Mountain Region: Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP
Northeast Region: Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth
South Region: Violah Lagat, Florida State
South Central Region: Marielle Hall, Texas
Southeast Region: Cally Macumber, Kentucky
West Region: Jordan Hasay, Oregon
Men’s Coaches of the Year
Great Lakes Region: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
Mid-Atlantic Region: Patrick Henner, Georgetown
Midwest Region: Steve Gulley, Tulsa
Mountain Region: Eric Heins, Northern Arizona
Northeast Region: Ricardo Santos, Iona
South Region: Bob Braman, Florida State
South Central Region: John Hayes, Texas
Southeast Region: Rick Erdmann, Eastern Kentucky
West Region: Rob Conner, Portland
Women’s Coaches of the Year
Great Lakes Region: Mike McGuire, Michigan
Mid-Atlantic Region: Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State
Midwest Region: Corey Ihmels, Iowa State
Mountain Region: Paul Pilkington, Weber State
Northeast Region: Andrea Grove-McDonough, Connecticut
South Region: Karen Harvey, Florida State
South Central Region: Lance Harter, Arkansas
Southeast Region: Kevin Jermyn, Duke
West Region: Robert Johnson, Oregon