Byrne, Wilson claim yearly Big Ten Awards with regionals on horizon

Byrne, Wilson claim yearly Big Ten Awards with regionals on horizon

MADISON, Wis. – UW Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mick Byrne has unanimously been named Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, while Micah Wilson was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year, the Big Ten announced on Wednesday.

The announcement comes after Wisconsin dominated last Friday’s Big Ten Championships, scoring 19 points and placing six runners in the top-10.

For Byrne, it is his 13th Big Ten Coach of the Year award and sixth consecutive. Friday’s championship marked his 13th Big Ten Title, as Byrne broke a tie with UW legend Martin Smith to become the winningest coach in conference history. 

“Championships are hard to win,” Byrne said at the Big Ten Championships. “Our athletes get excited about making history, and you see the results.” 

Wilson picks up Big Ten Cross Country Freshman of the Year honors after two strong races. At the Big Ten Championships, he placed 10th, covering the 8K Zimmer Championship course in 24:39.0. His efforts earned him second-team All-Big Ten accolades. Wilson also finished 14th during September’s Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational, with the St. Charles, Illinois, native crossing in 23:58.1 over the 8K Chicago course.

Wilson is the 14th Badger all-time and second consecutive to win the award as Adam Spencer took home the accolade in 2022. He joins an elite group of former Badger national champions and All-Americans who have earned the rookie award, including Morgan McDonald, Jackson Sharp, Malachy Schrobilgen and Jason Casino, among others. 

Additionally, sophomore Josh Truchon and senior Vivian Hacker represented Wisconsin for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Hacker finished in the top-30 at Big Ten Championships while Truchon won the Badger Classic back in September. 

UW will next race at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship. The Badgers host the event at the Zimmer Championship Course on Friday, Nov. 10. The women’s 6K begins at 11:30 a.m. with the men’s 10K race to start at 12:30 p.m.

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