KU runner Chandler Gibbens named national athlete of the week
photo by: KU Athletics
Fresh off his victory at Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational on Friday, Kansas senior Chandler Gibbens earned the NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week award Monday from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Gibbens finished first in a field of 155 runners at Notre Dame, beating his personal record by more than half a minute and coming in just two seconds before runner-up Hillary Cheruiyot of Alabama and two more before another Crimson Tide runner, Victor Kiprop. Gibbens’ final time on the eight-kilometer course was 23:08.4.
“He knew exactly how he wanted to run the race and executed it perfectly,” assistant coach Michael Whittlesey said in a press release. “The first race of the year is always going to hurt a little bit in the middle and he did a good job of just sticking on the guys and waiting for the end of the race. He ran a fantastic race.”
The result was the first-ever athlete of the week honor for the Kansas cross-country program. Whittlesey called it a “great reflection of Chandler’s hard work, commitment to his team and perseverance of individual goals.”
“It means a lot to win this,” Gibbens said. “There are a lot of great runners and performances every week, so it is definitely a big honor and it is really special to represent Kansas and my team on a national scale. It’s also a good feeling because this shows that my training is going in the right direction to set me up for a great end to the season.”
The Jayhawk men’s team finished 12th of 18 teams of Notre Dame. The women’s team came in sixth of 23 schools at Missouri for the Gans Creek Classic.
Next up is the Pre-Nationals Invite in Charlottesville, Virginia on Oct. 14.