Badgers sweep Big Ten XC Awards

Schrobilgen athlete of the year - again
Badgers sweep Big Ten XC Awards

After winning his second consecutive individual Big Ten Conference title on Sunday, crossing the 8-kilometer finish line in 23 minutes, 35 seconds, Wisconsin sophomore Malachy Schrobilgen was honored as Big Ten Athlete of the Year when the league announced the postseason award winners on Wednesday.

Schrobilgen wasn’t the only Badger to collect Big Ten hardware, as Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Mick Byrne earned his six Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year honor and Morgan McDonald was voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

This is the second year in a row that Schrobilgen, an Oak Park, Illinois, native was voted as the league’s Athlete of the Year. The last person to win back-to-back awards was Minnesota’s Hassan Mead in 2008 and 2009.

Last year, Schrobilgen not only took home the Athlete of the Year but also won the Freshman of the Year award, making him the first Badger to claim both honors in the same cross country season.

In total, Wisconsin has claimed 12 of the past 17 Athlete of the Year awards.

Byrne earned the Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the year after leading the men to their 47th Big Ten title.

While his teams have produced year after year on the course, Byrne has been recognized by his peers with 33 cross country coach of the year honors, including the 2011 National Coach of the Year award from the USTFCCCA.

McDonald enjoyed an impressive Big Ten debut, finishing 12th in 23:56.3. The Sydney Australia, native is the fourth Badger to earn the award in the past six seasons, as Maverick Darling was named the league’s freshman of the year in 2009, Drew Shields took home the honor in 2010 and Schrobilgen was named Freshman of the Year in 2013.

In addition, Russell Sandvold was honored as the Badgers’ men’s cross country Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner, while Gabi Anzalone was the women’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner. The award is given to one student-athlete from each team who has distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

Wisconsin, ranked No. 6 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Coaches’ Poll, host the 2014 NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 14 at the Zimmer Championship Course.