McDonnell and Sandfort Earn SEC Cross Country
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head coach John McDonnell and Razorback freshman Jason Sandfort earned league honors on Tuesday as the Southeastern Conference announced its 2001 cross country awards.
McDonnell earned his seventh consecutive SEC Male Cross Country Coach of the Year award after leading the Hogs to their 28th straight league title including their 11th consecutive SEC cross country championship. Arkansas finished third at the NCAA Championships. McDonnell shared the award with Alabama head coach Joe Walker.
For McDonnell, the award was the 10th SEC cross country coaching accolade including the last seven in a row. It also marked the 34th time he has been has been selected for conference coach of the year honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
“Anytime you are recognized by other league coaches it means something,” McDonnell said. “Joe Walker did a good job at Alabama this year and was deserving. I’m just proud of the way our guys responded this year and I think we will definitely be a team to watch next year.”
Sandfort was selected as the 2001 SEC Cross Country Male Freshman of the Year. The West Plains, Mo., native was the league’s top freshman finisher at both the SEC (7th) and NCAA Championships (32nd). Sandfort earned All-America honors and was the first UA freshman to finish in the top ten at the conference meet since 1990.
“I’m happy for Jason because he did a great job for us all year,” McDonnell said. “The honor is well deserved. He got better with every race and really helped us at both the conference and national meets. He has a bright future at Arkansas.”
Sandfort’s selection marked the second straight freshman cross country honor for the Razorbacks. Chris Mulvaney won the SEC Male Freshman of the Year in 2000.
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