👟 Gibbens Named Big 12 Conference Cross Country Newcomer of the Year
IRVING, Texas – Kansas cross country freshman Chandler Gibbens has been named the Big 12 Conference Men’s Newcomer of the Year, the Big 12 Conference Tuesday afternoon, making Gibbens the first Jayhawk to be named the league’s newcomer of the year since 2014, when junior transfer Jacob Morgan earned the title.
From Columbia, Missouri, Gibbens was one of six postseason award winners from across the league, as Kansas was one of four teams represented among the honorees.
To begin the 2019 cross country season, Gibbens competed unattached in both the Bob Timmons Classic (Aug. 31) and the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic (Oct. 5) at the Jayhawks’ home course, Rim Rock Farm. Gibbens claimed the 6K title at the Bob Timmons Classic, crossing the finish line in 19:15.6 and then went on to place fifth in 8K at the Rim Rock Classic with his time of 25:55.0.
In his first official race as a Jayhawk, Gibbens was KU’s first finisher at the Pre-National Invitational (Oct. 19), crossing the finish line in 24:14.2 to place 33rd among a field of 257 of some of the best runners in the nation in the Men’s 8K Blue Race. He helped lead the men’s team to a top-20 finish at Pre-Nationals, where they placed 19th out of 38 teams with 532 points.
For the second-straight meet, Gibbens was the Jayhawks’ first runner to cross the finish line at the Big 12 Championship on Nov. 2. His 8K time of 24:06.0 propelled Gibbens to a 12th-place finish, earning him a place on the All-Big 12 Team. Gibbens was one of only two freshmen to make the team, helping the Jayhawks to a fourth-place finish with 92 points.
At the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 15, the Jayhawks ran to a third-place team finish, which marked the men’s highest finish at a Regional meet since 2006, when the team placed second overall to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Gibbens was one of three Jayhawks to place in the top-25, earning All-Region honors, and was joined by senior Dylan Hodgson (14th place, 31:14.3) and junior Ben Butler (20th place, 31:19.7) on the All-Region Team.
2019 Big 12 Cross Country Awards
Men’s Runner of the Year: Edwin Kurgat, Iowa State**
Women’s Runner of the Year: Cailie Logue, Iowa State**
Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Chandler Gibbens, Kansas
Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Ceili McCabe, West Virginia
Men’s Coach of the Year: Martin Smith, Iowa State**
Women’s Coach of the Year: Dave Smith, Oklahoma State**
** Unanimous Selection
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes
"Even though Chandler is just a freshman, he has been our leader throughout the year. He's a great competitor, a great guy. This honor is well deserved for all the hard work he's put in this season. "Stanley Redwine // Head Coach, Kansas Cross Country