ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State's Michael Krsnak and Oakland's Brittni Hutton were named the 2012 Summit League Cross Country Athletes of the Year as voted on by the league's head coaches. Both were crowned the 2012 Summit League Cross Country individual champions and earned their first Athlete of the Year honor.
Krsnak becomes the first runner in South Dakota State school history to earn Cross Country Athlete of the Year. He was also the first Jackrabbit to win the individual Summit League title and be named the championship MVP. The Rapid City, S.D., native led SDSU to its third team league title in four years with a first-place finish and 8k time of 25:06.4, four seconds ahead of the runner-up. During the regular season, the first team all-league honoree and two-time Athlete of the Week recorded four top-10 finishes, including winning the Bison Invitational, placing second at the SDSU Classic and fifth at the Roy Griak Invitational. He posted the league's fastest 10k time this season (30:37.7) and was ranked third in the 8k (24:47.8).
Hutton, the 2012 Summit League Women's Cross Country Champion, Championship MVP and a first team all-league honoree, ranked in the league's top-three in the 4k, 5k and 6k this season: first in the 4k (14:33.7), second in the 6k (21:09) and third in the 5k (17:42). The senior was the Golden Grizzlies top finisher in all six races she competed in, including three first-place finishes (Golden Grizzly Open, IPFW Invitational and against Detroit) and won a league-best three Athlete of the Week honors. At The Summit League Championships, she claimed her first career league title with a 6k time of 21:49.8 and was named the championship MVP. The Highland, Mich., native became the second runner in OU history to garner the Athlete of the Year award as Kristie Kieffer earned it twice, in 2000 and 2003.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 144,000 at nine universities, four of which are located in top 58 U.S. metro populations (Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Omaha). Member institutions include: Fort Wayne (Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 54 All-Americans, 37 Academic All-America selections and seven NCAA Championships. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org to "See The Summit" or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.