Iowa State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia captured the 2021 Big 12 Cross Country individual honors in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
On the men’s side, the Cyclones swept the honors with Wesley Kiptoo taking home Runner of the Year, Ryan Ford earning Newcomer of the Year and Jeremy Sudbury being named Coach of the Year.
For the women, West Virginia’s Ceili McCabe secured Runner of the Year, Iowa State’s Ashley Tutt acquired Newcomer of the Year and Oklahoma State’s Dave Smith picked up Coach of the Year.
Kiptoo repeats as the Runner of the Year in the Big 12 which marks the fifth-consecutive season an Iowa State student-athlete has won the award. The 2021 Big 12 Cross Country Champion capped his campaign by leading the Cyclones to a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. Kiptoo finished second as an individual at the national meet and keyed the Cyclones’ best team finish since 1994. The native of Marakwet, Kenya also took home individual titles from the Nuttycombe Invitational and the NCAA Midwest Regional this season. Kiptoo was named the Men’s Athlete of the Year in the Midwest region by USTFCCCA, earning The Bill Bergan Award.
Ford made an instant impact for the ISU men adding depth to the lineup that proved vital in the postseason. The senior transfer from UT Martin was in the Cyclones’ top five in four of the five meets this season. The Huntsville, Alabama native capped the 2021 campaign by finishing 47th overall at the NCAA Championships. Ford also garnered All-Big 12 and NCAA All-Midwest Region honors by placing 12th and 14th at the meets, respectively.
In his first season as Iowa State’s head cross country coach, Sudbury guided the program to a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, the school’s best finish since 1994. He coached a pair of individuals to All-America honors in Kiptoo and Thomas Pollard. His team’s depth was also on display during the postseason, as the Cyclones had all five of their scorers finish in the top-50 at nationals. Sudbury’s squad featured seven All-Big 12 finishers and five All-Region honorees. Sudbury was awarded the Roy Griak Award for coach of the year in the Midwest Region by USTFCCA.
McCabe completed the regular season undefeated and finished in third place as an individual at the NCAA Championships, the best finish in Mountaineer program history. The junior won WVU’s first Big 12 Championship individual title. She also finished first at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals while becoming the first Mountaineer to win the Regional Championship since 2002. McCabe led the team to a second-place finish, giving the program an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships and was named All-Region. McCabe was named the Women’s Athlete of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region by USTFCCA.
Tutt proved to be one of the nation’s most impactful transfers this season. The senior was Iowa State’s second finisher in all five meets she competed in. Tutt placed fifth at the Big 12 championship and ninth at the NCAA Midwest Regional to garner both All-Big 12 and All-Region honors. Tutt’s 50th place finish at the NCAA Championships was essential in helping the Cyclone women break into the top-10 of the team standings and secure the program’s best finish since 2014. Tutt is the seventh Cyclone to earn the newcomer award.
Smith led the Cowgirls to a Big 12 Championship along with a second-place finish at the Midwest Regionals. The Cowgirls went on to place 13th at the NCAA Championships with Taylor Roe placing fifth in the field. This is Smith’s third Big 12 Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honor after winning the award in 2015 and 2019, and his 11th overall honor.
2021 Big 12 Cross Country Awards
Men’s Runner of the Year: Wesley Kiptoo, Iowa State
Women’s Runner of the Year: Ceili McCabe, West Virginia
Men’s Newcomers of the Year: Ryan Ford, Iowa State
Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Ashley Tutt, Iowa State
Men’s Coach of the Year: Jeremy Sudbury, Iowa State
Women’s Coach of the Year: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State
Press Release: Big 12 Conference Communications