Befitting the teams’ sweep of their races on Saturday, Kentucky men’s and women’s cross country has collected a pair of awards as Matt Duvall was named Southeastern Conference Men’s Co-Runner of the Week and Athena Young was tabbed the SEC Women’s Freshman Runner of the Week.

Courtesy UK Athletics

Running his first collegiate race, Duvall bested a field of 40 runners to win the 8,000-meter Commodore Classic at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.  Duvall, from Pickerington, Ohio, showed excellent capacity for a freshman, taking the lead in the latter stages, then holding off his competition with a sprint finish at the end.  In the process, he also led the Wildcats to the team victory.

Duvall ran the course in 24:34.5, the best time of the two 8k SEC meets of the weekend.  He became the first Wildcat to post an individual win since Brennan Fields claimed the Bluegrass Invitational in 2018 and it is UK’s first team triumph since the Alabama Crimson Classic in 2016. 

Courtesy UK Athletics

Making her initial collegiate appearance, Young was the first freshman across the finish line – placing sixth overall – at the Commodore Classic.  Young, from Morgantown, West Virginia, was steady throughout the race, navigating the 6,000 meters in 21:34.0. She placed second among the UK contingent, behind senior Jenna Gearing, as the Wildcats notched their first team win since the 2018 Bluegrass Invitational. 

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Tony Neely


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