Men's Runner of the Week: Ethan Kern, Kentucky
Following a top-25 finish in 2020 SEC Championships, Kentucky's Ethan Kern came back even stronger in the first meet of the 2021 season, finishing first overall in the men's 6K race at the Missouri Opener. Kern won the race with a time of 17:36.9 to finish first among a field that included runners three other SEC schools.
Men's Freshman Runner of the Week: Cooper Atkins, Auburn
Auburn's Cooper Atkins helped the Tigers win their first race since 2017 with a fourth place finish at the Foothills Invitational. Atkins finished the 5k in 15:35.32 to place as the top freshman finisher in a field of 119 total runners. The next closes freshman at the meet finished in 10th place.
Women's Runner of the Week: Lauren Gregory, Arkansas
Arkansas' Lauren Gregory won the Missouri Opener in 16:54.4 over a 5,000m distance, leading the Razorbacks to a perfect score of 15 points. Gregory's splits in her victory included 3:23.0, 3:21.9 (6:44.9), 3:32.1 (10:17.0), 3:21.4 (13:38.4), and 3:16.0. Leading in the first 1k, Gregory was third and fifth at the next pair of 1k splits among the Arkansas pack. After moving back into the lead position at 4k, Gregory improved her half a second lead to four seconds over the final 1k.
Women's Co-Freshman Runner of the Week: Carmie Prinsloo, Arkansas
Arkansas' Carmie Prinsloo placed fourth in the Missouri XC Opener, posting a time of 17:10.5 on the 5,000m course. Prinsloo, who led at 2k and was runner-up at 3k, moved from seventh to fourth place over the final 1k of the race. Her splits in the race included 3:23.3, 3:21.4 (6:44.7), 3:32.0 (10:16.7), 3:28.6 (13:45.3), and 3:25.2. She was the top freshman finisher.
Women's Co-Freshman Runner of the Week: Gemma Goddard, Texas A&M
Gemma Goddard led Texas A&M to an overall victory at the Aggie Opener on Wednesday. She made her collegiate debut by winning the 4.1k with a time of 14:26.8. After sitting in ninth place halfway through the race, Goddard jumped eight spots to claim the victory.