Mead, Wilson receive cross country accolades

Max Sanders

On the eve of the NCAA National Cross Country championships, individual honors were bestowed on the top runner of the men’s team and the women’s head coach.

Hassan Mead received his second-consecutive U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Cross Country Athlete of the Year award. The award comes as no surprise, as Mead dominated competition in one of the greatest cross country seasons in Minnesota history. Mead won the NCAA Regional title last weekend for the second-consecutive year after also winning the Big Ten individual title for the second-consecutive year.

A two-time All-American in cross country, Mead will compete next Monday along with the rest of the men’s team in Indiana, sight of the NCAA National Championships.

"Hassan is a special athlete," Gophers men’s head coach Steve Plasencia said in a press release. "He continues to work hard to improve his running. He is deserving of the awards that are coming his way. I look forward to Hassan running a great race next week at the NCAAs."

On the women’s side, after guiding the team to its third-consecutive NCAA Midwest Regional title, head coach Gary Wilson was named USTFCCCA Midwest Coach of the Year, also for the third-consecutive year.

"This award has my name on it, but it is truly a team effort," Wilson said in a press release. "I share this honor with my associate head coach Sarah Hesser and an outstanding group of young women in our program."

Wilson’s squad will head to national’s looking to continue its current streak of four straight top-12 NCAA Nationals finishes. The Gophers will enter Monday’s meet ranked No. 13 in the nation.