Athens, GA - Four days after winning her first league title, Georgia junior Kristie Krueger has been named the Southeastern Conference Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year by the conference coaches.
In addition, both freshmen Brandon Lord and Charlie Sparks were named to the All-SEC Freshmen team after being two of the top seven freshmen to finish the men’s 8k. Lord was 38th (25:34.46) while Sparks came across the finish line in 39th (25:38.86) in the 94-man field.
Krueger cruised to a victory and All-SEC First Team honors in the women’s 6k race after clocking the second-best time of her career (20:41.25) to top Auburn senior Hollie Knight (20:49.39). A 2010 indoor All-American in the mile, Krueger has steadily improved from her fourth-place finish in 2009 and 42nd-place finish as a freshman at the SEC meet.
Sarah Madebach, who was the 2007 SEC champion, is the only other Lady Bulldog to be named the SEC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year during the program’s history.
“Kristie has had an excellent year so far and it is nice to see her be recognized by the coaches and the conference,” said Bulldog distance coach Jeff Pigg. “There has been a lot of work that led to her performance and I’m excited to see that work pay off like this.”
Pigg is anxious to watch his men’s team develop, especially since eight of the 10 runners he traveled to SECs are either freshmen or sophomores.
“We had a couple earn All-SEC Freshmen honors last year and then another two this season,” Pigg said. “I think that shows we have a young team with a big-time future. I expect these guys to keep getting better and I’m proud of both of their efforts.”
Georgia cross country returns to action at the NCAA South Regional Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 13.
2010 SEC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Kristie Krueger, Georgia
2010 SEC Women’s Freshman Athlete of the Year
Stephanie Brown, Arkansas
2010 SEC Women’s Coach of the Year
Todd Morgan, Florida
2010 SEC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Barnabas Kirui, Ole Miss
2010 SEC Men’s Freshman Athlete of the Year
Bryan Cantero, Arkansas
2010 SEC Men’s Coach of the Year
Chris Bucknam, Arkansas