Dec. 17, 2013
FRISCO, Texas -
Matt Johnsen may have graduated on Saturday, but he'll have one more award to take back to his native Australia as he was named the Southland Conference Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday.
Johnsen, who helped Lamar to a seventh conference title in eight years this season, is taking home the honor for a second time, previously earning it in 2011. He entered the fall semester with a 3.36 grade-point-average and is leaving Lamar with a degree in kinesiology.
"It's really humbling to be recognized for both my athletic and academic endeavors," Johnsen said. "It is something in which I take great pride. Lamar has a strong tradition of student-athlete honorees, especially in track and cross country, and to be a part of that is really special to me."
On the course, Johnsen established himself as one of the best to wear the LU colors, qualifying for the NCAA National Championships four times and becoming just the fifth Cardinal in school history to earn All-American honors, doing so in 2012. This season, he took home his first conference individual title as Lamar returned to the Southland's cross country mountaintop. He also enjoyed the season as the only male athlete to make the conference's 50th anniversary honor roll before his eligibility had expired.
Tuesday marks the third consecutive time that an LU distance athlete has been recognized as the student-athlete of the year. Joe Wade earned the recognition for both indoor and outdoor track and field seasons in 2013.