Record-breaking Wilkinson headlines MIAC Men's Cross Country awards

Matt Wilkinson set a new 8K MIAC Championship record with a time of 24:37.4.
Matt Wilkinson set a new 8K MIAC Championship record with a time of 24:37.4.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced its men's cross country awards on Thursday. Carleton junior Matt Wilkinson was named MIAC Athlete of the Year, while his coach, Dave Ricks, received Coach of the Year honors. The MIAC also announced its All-Conference, Honorable Mention, and All-MIAC Sportsmanship Teams.

Wilkinson (Jr. | Greenwood, Minn. | Minnetonka) was named MIAC Athlete of the Year after taking individual honors at last Saturday's MIAC Championships. The junior finished in 24:37.4 - the fastest 8K time in MIAC Championship history by nearly seven seconds. He is the third consecutive Knight to win the MIAC individual title and Athlete of the Year honors in men's cross country.

Ricks was honored by his peers with Coach of the Year distinction for the third consecutive cross country season. Under his guidance, the Knights put three runners in the top-10 and all five scorers inside the top-20 of last weekend's MIAC Championship race. Ricks has previously received MIAC Coach of the Year accolades for cross country in 2017 and 2018, and indoor and outdoor track and field in 2018.

In addition to the top individual honors, the MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference and Honorable Mention squads were also recognized. The top 15 finishers in Saturday's MIAC Championship race received All-Conference honors, while finishers 16-25 received Honorable Mention. Carleton, St. Olaf, and St. Thomas each had three runners on the All-Conference Team, while Bethel, Gustavus, and Hamline all had a pair. The 15-runner All-Conference Team was comprised of six seniors, six juniors, and three sophomores. Carleton's Cameron Meikle became just the 10th runner in MIAC men's cross country history to earn four straight All-Conference honors, while fellow Knights Matt Wilkinson and Lucas Mueller joined Gustavus' Andrew Stumbo and St. Thomas' Karl Wachter as three-time honorees. Bethel's Ezekiel Lelinga, Hamline's Frank Gustafson, and St. Olaf's Sam Primozich and Elliot Kadrofske all earned All-Conference accolades for the second time.

As part of a Conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 14th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for Men's Cross Country. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2019 MIAC Men's Cross Country Awards
Athlete of the Year: Matt Wilkinson, Carleton (Jr. | Greenwood, Minn. | Minnetonka)
Coach of the Year: Dave Ricks, Carleton (13th season) 

 2019 MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference Team
 Place Time Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
1. 23:37.4 Matthew Wilkinson Carleton Jr. Greenwood, Minn. | Minnetonka
2. 24:59.0 Lucas Mueller Carleton Jr. St. Paul, Minn. | Nova Classical Academy
3. 25:05.4 Karl Wachter St. Thomas Sr. Shakopee, Minn.
4. 25:07.7 Fernando Benitez Hamline Sr. White Bear Lake, Minn.
5. 25:12.1 Frank Gustafson Hamline Jr. Spicer, Minn. | New London-Spicer
6. 25:18.5 Sean Lonergan St. Olaf Sr. Oak Park, Ill. | Oak Park & River Forest
7. 25:19.6 Sam Primozich St. Olaf Jr. Boulder, Colo.
8. 25:19.7 Cameron Meikle Carleton Sr. Hamilton, Mont.
9. 25:30.4 George McGivern St. Thomas Sr. Eagan, Minn.
10. 25:33.1 Ezekiel Lelinga Bethel Jr. New Brighton, Minn. | Mounds View
11. 25:37.3 Elliot Kadrofske St. Olaf Sr. Okemos, Mich.
12. 25:44.7 Garet Grant Gustavus So. Winona, Minn. | Winona Cotter
13. 25:47.1 Biel Wiel St. Thomas So. St. Cloud, Minn. | Apollo
14. 25:53.7 Andrew Stumbo Gustavus Jr. Boone, Iowa | Ogden
15. 25:56.7 Ike Mendel Bethel So. Sioux Falls, S.D. | Lincoln

 2019 MIAC Men's Cross Country Honorable Mention
 Place Time Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
16. 26:00.0 Zach Haire St. Thomas Fy. Breckenridge, Minn.
17. 26:02.4 Trey Collins Saint John's Sr. Pentywood, Mont. | Royalton
18. 26:03.1 Arne Ellefson-Carnes St. Olaf Fy. Juneau, Alaska | Douglas
19. 26:04.8 Stephen Lavey Carleton So. Cedar Grove, Wis. | Cedar Grove-Belgium
20. 26:07.5 Ben Santos Carleton So. Boulder, Colo.
21. 26:10.4 Noah Johnson Gustavus So. Stillwater, Minn.
22. 26:10.7 Macallister Karrick St. Thomas So. Hopkins, Minn.
23. 26:11.1 Zak Sather Carleton Fy. Eau Claire, Wis. | Memorial
24. 26:12.0 Eric Wicklund Concordia Sr. Moorhead, Minn.
25. 26:14.2 Thomas Nemanich Saint John's Fy. Red Wing, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Men's Cross Country Sportsmanship Team
Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
Erik Garcia Gonzaga Augsburg Jr. Brooklyn Center, Minn. | Minneapolis South
Jon Sweeney Bethel Jr. Circle Pines, Minn. | Centennial
Edward Hershewe Carleton Sr. Joplin, Mo. | Thomas Jefferson
Jesse Middendorf Concordia So. Sauk Centre, Minn. | Melrose Area
Bridger Pavelka Gustavus Sr. Minnetonka, Minn. | Hopkins
Alex Walsh Hamline Sr. Wahlert, Iowa
Edwin Reyes Herrera Macalester Sr. Sonoma, Calif. | Sonoma Valley
Trey Collins Saint John's Sr. Plentywood, Mont. | Royalton
Ben Borash Saint Mary's Sr. Bowlus, Minn. | Royalton
Matt Paal St. Olaf Sr. Minneapolis, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
Tony Smith St. Thomas Sr. New Prague, Minn.