Leafs News
USTFCCCA Tabs Smith Great Lakes Region Athlete of Year
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Men's Cross Country - Wed, Nov. 16, 2016

NEW ORLEANS — Goshen College men's cross country runner Ryan Smith has been named the NAIA Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

A senior and a native of Albion, Indiana, Smith has broken his own school record three times this fall and owns the top nine times in school history, most recently lowering the bar to 24:41.5 with a 25-second margin of victory at the Crossroads League meet held November 5 in Marion, Indiana. His conference-winning time was the fastest clocking in any NAIA conference east of the Mississippi River and the second-fastest in the nation. The only four-time cross country national qualifier in school history, he also owns the best national placing of any GC runner with a 33rd-place mark last season. If Smith's time at nationals is 26:02 or faster, he will graduate with 32 percent of the program's top 50 performances.

Mike Holman, the head coach at Crossroads League champion Marian, earned Region Coach of the Year honors.

Smith and freshman Steven Cranston, who also picked up all-conference honors with an eighth-place finish in Marion, are Goshen's two national qualifiers in men's cross country: the duo will join the field at the North Farms Cross Country Course in Elsah, Illinois, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.