By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sam Atkin of Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been named the NAIA Men's Cross Country National Runner of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Atkin was chosen for his performance during the week of Oct. 14 – 20 and was selected out of a pool of conference, independent, and unaffiliated grouping award winners.
Atkin, a junior from Lincolnshire, England, placed first among collegiate runners at the Inland Empire Championships at Lewis-Clark State’s home course in Lewiston, Idaho. Atkin, who was paced by 2012 NAIA national runner-up Greg Montgomery, a graduate of College of Idaho, ran the 8-kilometer course in 23:25 finishing 14 seconds behind Montgomery but nearly 30 seconds ahead of his nearest collegiate competitor. Atkin’s mark shattered the Warriors program record and led No. 4 Lewis-Clark State to the team title. The Warriors, who had four runners place among the top 15 individuals, outpaced a nine-team field that included current No. 8 Eastern Oregon and No. 22 College of Idaho.
With this week’s selection, Atkin becomes the first athlete to earn multiple Runner of the Week awards in 2013. The last runner to claim multiple honors was Evans Kirwa of Embry-Riddle (Fla.), who was the Runner of the Week three times in 2012.
For the complete player of the week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Nathan Meeuwenberg , Milligan (Tenn.); Alex Stephens, Bryan (Tenn.); Wayne Smith, William Jessup (Calif.); Eric Avila, Southern Oregon; Isaac Updike , Eastern Oregon; Eric Alldritt, Concordia (Ore.); Justin Holden, Corban (Ore.); Stephen Duley, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.); Tyler Herber, Huntington (Ind.); Sancho Ridesatthedoor, Carroll (Mont.); Jace Kalbfleisch, Great Falls (Mont.); Johnny Rutford, Nebraska Wesleyan; Nicolos Jones, Tougaloo (Miss.); Etaslon Kabura, Graceland (Iowa); Laird Goertzen, Bethel (Kan.); Seth Prince, Indiana East; Matt McKenzie, St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.); Jonathan Gears, Cumberlands (Ky.); Jeff Austin, York (Neb.); Nate McNamara, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Michael Lessor, Viterbo (Wis.); Jacob Reeves, Bethel (Tenn.); Paul Freese, Loyola (La.); Michael Holt, Bethel (Tenn.); Dylan McCoy, William Carey (Miss.); Jordan Travis, Spring Hill (Ala.); Doug Mumme, Belhaven (Miss.); Jacob Alplund, Northwood (Fla.); Alex Kitchin, Concordia (Mich.); Noah Roper, Lourdes (Ohio).
2013 Men's Cross Country Composite Award Winners
Week 1 (September 18): Mike Blaszczyk, St. Francis (Ill.)
Week 2 (September 25): Sam Atkin, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Week 3 (October 2): Eric Avila, Southern Oregon
Week 4 (October 9): Paul Adams, Oregon Tech
Week 5 (October 16): Adam Godwin, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 6 (October 23): Sam Atkin, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)