Nov. 1, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference has announced its individual award winners for men’s cross country. Wisconsin’s Mohammed Ahmed earned Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors, while Badger head coach Mick Byrne reeled in his fourth consecutive Coach of the Year award and Michigan State’s David Madrigal was named Freshman of the Year.
Ahmed takes home Athlete of the Year laurels after finishing in first place individually to lead Wisconsin to the Big Ten Championship. The Badger junior set a conference record by finishing the 8,000-meter course in 23:18. Ahmed’s award marks the 11th Athlete of the Year honor in Wisconsin history and the second in as many years as fellow Badger Landon Peacock earned the honor a year ago.
After guiding Wisconsin to its 13th consecutive and 45th overall Big Ten title, Byrne collects his fourth straight Coach of the Year award. Byrne’s squad finished tied for the second-lowest winning team score in championships history as the Badgers closed the competition with 17 team points. The award marks the 11th consecutive season that concluded with a Wisconsin coach earning the honor.
Madrigal led all Big Ten freshmen at the conference championships, placing 24th en route to Freshman of the Year laurels. The Spartan newcomer is the fourth Michigan State runner to earn the award all-time and the first since Steve Padgett in 2000.
The Big Ten also recognized 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found below.
Athlete of the Year: Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin
Coach of the Year: Mick Byrne, Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: David Madrigal, Michigan State
Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Jordan Hebert, Illinois
Zach Mayhew, Indiana
Cameron Rieger, Iowa
Zach Ornelas, Michigan
Joe Dimambro, Michigan State
Paul Hilsen, Minnesota
Brad Doering, Nebraska
Taylor Williams, Ohio State
Tyler Corkedale, Penn State
Stephen Schulz, Purdue
Michael Brice, Wisconsin