Watson Named XC Student-Athlete of the Year
FRISCO, Texas – Lamar senior Matt Johnsen and Oral Roberts junior Samantha Watson have been named the Southland Conference Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Student-Athletes of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.
Johnsen, a Broulee, Australia (Moruya H.S), native, claims his second cross country student-athlete of the year award having previously won the honor in 2011. Johnsen, the 2013 cross country athlete of the year, joins Stephen F. Austin’s Rodney Joseph (2004, 2005) and Southeastern Louisiana’s Henry Rop (2009, 2010) as the only student-athletes to win this award twice.
Johnsen holds a 3.36 grade-point average in kinesiology and played a key component in bringing Lamar its seventh title in eight years. The senior won the 8-kilometer race at the Southland championship in a time of 24 minutes, 38 seconds, ahead of teammate Ash Harrell, who placed second. Johnsen also placed fifth at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas, helping Lamar to a third-place finish. Johnsen finished 79th at the NCAA championship.
Watson, a Schuylerville, N.Y. (Schuylerville H.S.), native, notched second-team all-conference honors after an eighth-place finish at the conference championship. The marketing major with a 3.92 grade-point average, led ORU in every race this season and was the lone representative for the women Golden Eagles at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Ames, Iowa.
The Southland Conference awards committee, which consists of one administrator from each of the 14 member universities, votes for the student-athletes of the year. The student-athlete of the year award is presented to one student-athlete who achieves excellence in both academics and athletics. All nominees shall have earned at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and demonstrated athletics achievement for at least two years at the nominating institution.
Cross country does not select an all-academic team until after the conclusion of the indoor and outdoor track and field season in June.
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