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GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel, the 2015 NCAA individual national champion, has been selected as this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Year, while Justin Knight of national team champion Syracuse earned ACC Men’s Performer of the Year honors in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
In addition, Syracuse’s Chris Fox was voted the ACC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for a third straight season, while Virginia’s Todd Morgan was tabbed as the Women’s Coach of the Year.
Seidel, a senior from Hartland, Wisconsin, became the first ACC performer since North Carolina’s Shalane Flanagan in 2003 and the seventh overall to capture the NCAA women’s individual title. Seidel completed the 6k course at Louisville, Kentucky, in 19:28.6, five seconds ahead of Boise State’s Allie Ostrander (19:33.6).
A 19th place finisher at last year’s NCAA Championships, Seidel, the USTCCCA Performer of the Year and the Honda Sport Award winner for Cross Country, also placed first at the Great Lakes Regional and at the ACC Championships with a 6k time of 19:36.2.
Knight, a sophomore from Vaughan, Ontario, led the Orange to its second national team title and first since 1951 with a fourth-place time of 29:46.1 in the NCAA National Championships. Knight led the way for the Orange, with teammates Colin Bennie and Martin Hehir right behind, in eighth and ninth, respectively.
The 2014 ACC Freshman of the Year, Knight also captured the individual title at the NCAA Northeast Regional and finished second at the ACC Championships with a 6k time of 23:24.4.
Both Knight and Seidel earned All-America honors in addition to their ACC accolades
Fox, who has been at helm of the Syracuse program since 2005, led the Orange to their first NCAA title since 1951 and its third top-five finish since placing fourth in 1957. In addition to his ACC honors, Fox was named the National USTFCCA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. For the third year in a row and sixth time in seven seasons, Fox was also named USTFCCCA Northeast Region Men's Coach of the Year.
Fox led the Syracuse men to a No. 2 ranking during the regular season and a third straight ACC title. The ACC crown was the third straight conference champion for the Orange and its sixth conference title in seven seasons.
Morgan, in his fourth year at Virginia, led the Cavalier women to their first ACC Championship since 1982 and third overall. The Cavaliers used that as a springboard to a first-place finish in the NCAA Southeast Regional, and closed out the year by finishing 15th at the NCAA Championships.
The Cavaliers have placed in the top 15 at the NCAA Championships in each of the past three years.