OGDEN, Utah - Northern Arizona University cross country newcomer Brian Shrader was named the Men's Co-Athlete of the Week by the Big Sky Conference Tuesday after his winning performance Saturday at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff.
Shrader shares the award this week with Weber State's John Coyle, who won a meet of his own at the Utah State Invitational in Logan, Utah.
"Brian ran a great race this weekend, and this is a great reward for him in his first competition for NAU," said Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Eric Heins, who received news this summer that Shrader was transferring back to his hometown after spending two seasons at Oregon. "He and his teammates ran well as a group through most of the race, so over the last mile we told the guys to try and finish hard to get those competitive juices flowing heading into the season, and he did a great job of that."
Shrader won NAU's annual home meet in decisive fashion, finishing 20 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, and led a dominant Lumberjack squad that placed five runners in the top seven, seven in the top 12, and posted a team score of 20 points in taking their fifth team title in six years.
The 2010 Sinagua High School grad went wire-to-wire for the victory, giving NAU its first individual champion since Diego Estrada took the crown in 2009.
The next event for NAU cross country is the UCLA Invitational, to be held in Santa Clarita, Calif. on Sept. 21.