Gauson and Johnson among Southland's top honorees

GO CARDINALS <b>Matt Johnsen</b>
Matt Johnsen

Nov. 7, 2013

FRISCO – Following dominating performances at last week’s Southland Conference Championships, Darren Gauson swept Coach of the Year honors, and Matt Johnsen picked up Athlete of the Year as the league announced its annual awards on Thursday.

Gauson and Johnsen were hardly the only honorees as both Ash Harrell and Leigh Lattimore earned Newcomer of the Year and nine athletes earned a spot on an All-Southland team.

Gauson, who is in his second season with the Cards, became just the second in school history to sweep both the women’s and the men’s coaching awards, joining Sita Waru, who accomplished the feat when the Red and White won the men’s and women’s titles in 2006. Overall, the Scotsman is just the fifth SLC coach in history to take home both awards in a single season.

Johnsen, who had posted three top five SLC finishes before taking home the individual championship last week, further added to his trophy cabinet, which already included an All-American honor last season and an SLC Freshman of the Year award in 2010. The native of Broulee, Australia, is the first LU runner to earn top honors since Samuel Kosgei and Francis Kasagule did so in both 2008 and 2009.

Harrell, who finished second to Johnsen in the men’s race, is the third in program history to take home newcomer honors, joining Kosgei in 2008 and Tallam Kipruto in 2010. Lattimore, runner-up on the women’s side individually, is the first-ever Lady Card to earn such recognition.

Johnsen and Harrell were joined on the All-SLC First Team by Sam Stabler. Ryan Creech and Sean Guiney were named to the Second Team, and Mike Kershaw rounded out the men’s award-winners with an honorable mention.

On the women’s side, Louise Webb grabbed a spot in the first squad, and the duo of Rachel Robinson and Claire Arnold picked up honors in the second group. Kayla de Bondt was an honorable mention.

The Lamar cross country teams will return to action next week at the NCAA South Central Regional in Waco.




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