Drenth and Madrigal Claim Post-Season Conference Honors
Drenth named Coach of the Year; Madrigal tabbed as Freshman of the Year.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Director of cross country and track & field Walt Drenth has been named Big Ten Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second-straight year, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Additionally, freshman David Madrigal was tabbed Big Ten Menâ€™s Freshman of the Year for only the fourth time in program history, and first since 2000.
Drenth takes home Coach of the Year honors after coaching the Spartans to their second Big Ten title in as many years, and fourth overall. This marks the second time he has earned the distinction, as previously winning the award in 2010. Drenthâ€™s recognition marks the third time an MSU coach has been named the conferenceâ€™s Coach of the Year, as Jim Stintzi earned the first award in 2001 after MSU captured the 2001 Big Ten Championship.
Madrigal earns Freshman of the Year honors after leading his team at the conference championships with a career-best time of 24:27 to place him 24th overall in the race. The Durand, Mich., native has been a stable force for the Green and White all season long, competing in each of the teamâ€™s major races this fall.
Madrigal opened the season with a 20th-place showing at the Spartan Invitational before joining the team at the Roy Griak Invitational with 75th- place finish. Madrigal finished his pre-conference racing with the Wisconsin adidas Invitational as he clocked a time of 25:15.5.
Also recognized by the conference were seniors Joe Dimambro and Carlie Green as MSU's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipients.
The two Spartans join 21 other cross country athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated strong citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the academic year.
Green finished third for the Spartans, and ninth overall, with a time of 20:36 at last weekendâ€™s Big Ten Championships, hosted by Illinois. Green earned all-conference honors as a second-team recipient for the second time in her career.
Dimambro placed second on the team, crossing the finish line with a time of 24:34 for 32nd place overall. Dimambro has been a leader for the Spartans all season long in helping the young group of runners during each race.
After winning the 2011 Big Ten Championship, the women find themselves ranked 12th in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association weekly poll. This marks the highest ranking for the Green and White since Nov. 4, 2008, when the Spartans found themselves ranked 10th nationally.
The Spartans return to action Nov. 12 for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional hosted by Toledo University.