Oklahoma State and West Virginia collect Big 12 Cross Country Yearly Awards

Oklahoma State and West Virginia obtained the 2022 Big 12 Cross Country yearly individual honors in a vote by the league’s head coaches.Ceili McCabe earned the Women’s Runner of the Year award for the second consecutive year and Oklahoma State took the remaining awards as Alex Maier (men’s runner), Fouad Messaoudi (men’s newcomer) and Natalie Cook (women’s newcomer) all won individual awards. OSU head coach Dave Smith rounded out the awards for Oklahoma State as he was chosen for both the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year.

McCabe became the first Mountaineer to repeat as Big 12 Runner of the Year. The two-time Big 12 Cross Country Champion concluded her season with All-American honors and a record 24th place finish at the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Before the championships, the redshirt junior had won every race that she had competed in that season, including the Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Championship. McCabe set a course record at EP “Tom” Sawyer State Park earlier in the season at the Lou Cross Country Classic.

Maier secured his first career Runner of the Year award. He kicked off the season with a win at the Cowboy Jamboree that included each of the top-four finishing teams at the NCAA Championships. The senior won his first Big 12 individual title by over 15 seconds to lead the Cowboys to their third consecutive team title. After an All-Region performance at the NCAA Midwest Regionals, Maier finished fifth overall at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American honors. The Flower Mound, Texas native finished with a time of 28:58.2, which surpassed the previous course record, and led the Cowboys to a second-place overall finish after a tiebreaker decided the NCAA title.

Cook made an instant impact as a true freshman as she opened her collegiate career with a win at the Cowboy Jamboree, which included three teams that ended up competing in the NCAA Championships. Cook continued a successful season with fourth and second-place finishes at the Big 12 Championships and NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, respectively. The Cowgirls finished with first-place team finishes in both races with the help of the Flower Mound, Texas native. She wrapped up her season at the NCAA Cross Country Championships with a seventh-place finish to earn All-American honors and a time of 19:46.3, which shattered the previous course record and set a personal best for the 6K by 25 seconds. Cook was the second-highest placing freshman in the field as she led the Cowgirls to their first top-four finish in program history.

After two impressive races, Messaoudi was selected as the Men’s Newcomer of the Year. In his season debut, Messaoudi finished sixth overall and was the fourth scorer for the Cowboys at the Big 12 Championship with a time of 24:14.8. In his second meeting and first career 10K, the sophomore placed 12th overall at the NCAA Championships. His time of 29:10.8 surpassed the previous course record as he was the third scorer for the NCAA runner-up Cowboys.

Smith achieved Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year after guiding both teams to the NCAA Championships site. Smith earned both awards in the same year for the third time in his career. In his 14 years at Oklahoma State, he has now won Men’s Coach of the Year 11 times and Women’s Coach of the Year five times. Smith coached the Cowgirls to their first top-four finish at the NCAA Championships in program history while leading the Cowboys to their highest overall finish since 2012 with a runner-up finish. Under the oversight of Smith, the Cowboys won their third straight Big 12 Championship while the Cowgirls won their second consecutive.

2022 Big 12 Cross Country Awards

Men’s Runner of the Year: Alex Maier, Oklahoma State

Women’s Runner of the Year: Ceili McCabe, West Virginia

Men’s Newcomers of the Year: Fouad Messaoudi, Oklahoma State

Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Natalie Cook, Oklahoma State

Men’s Coach of the Year: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State

Women’s Coach of the Year: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State