BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 9, 2022)-----The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday announced its 2022 Indoor Track and Field Awards, recognizing outstanding performances during the indoor season, as voted on by the league's 15 head coaches. The men's award recipients include Brandon Miller of Texas A&M (Runner of the Year); Kyle Garland of Georgia (Field Athlete of the Year); Hillary Cheruiyot of Alabama (Freshman Runner of the Year); Luke Brown of Kentucky (Freshman Field Athlete of the Year); and Chris Bucknam of Arkansas (Coach of the Year).
The women's award recipients include Kentucky's Abby Steiner (Runner of the Year); Florida's Jasmine Moore (Field Athlete of the Year); Arkansas' Sydney Thorvaldson (Freshman Runner of the Year); Georgia's Elena Kulichenko (Freshman Field Athlete of the Year); and Arkansas' Lance Harter (Coach of the Year).
It was previously announced that Ole Miss' Mario Garcia Romo and Kentucky's Steiner were voted the SEC Indoor Track and Field Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Miller is the NCAA leader in the 800m with a time of 1:45.24 at the SEC Championships. He scored 11.25 points at the championship and set the American collegiate record and SEC meet record with his 800m time. He is undefeated in his 800m races this season. He ranks third all-time on the collegiate performer list.
Garland won his third straight SEC heptathlon after scoring a meet record 6,205 points. He posted four victories out of his seven events en route to a 419-point conference win. Garland also became the No. 5 all-time collegiate performer with his effort at the SEC Championships.
Cheruiyot placed second and was the only freshman on the 3,000m podium at the SEC Championships, earning second team All-SEC and All-Freshman honors. Cheruiyot also set the 3,000m school record with a time of 7:48.74 and ran on Alabama's school record DMR (9:22.43). Brown broke the school record in the triple jump three times this season. His best triple jump of the year and current school record of 16.28m/53-5 ranks 12th in the NCAA this season and stands third best among freshmen.
Bucknam led Arkansas to its 25th SEC Indoor Championship and third in a row. The Razorbacks scored 86 total points. Steiner broke the America record with a time of 22.09 in the 200m to win the SEC crown. She won her third 200m SEC gold medal and her first 60m bronze at the SEC Championships. She is a three-time USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week honoree this season. Moore won the SEC long jump and triple jump titles and is the NCAA record holder in the triple jump. She also leads the nation in both events entering the NCAA Championships. Moore is a four-time SEC indoor champion. Thorvaldson was the top freshman at the SEC Championships in the 3,000m and 5,000m. She posted career best times of 9:07.95 and 16:00.14 in the 3,000m and 5,000m, respectively. Thorvaldson ranks No. 9 in the 5k and No. 11 in the 3k on the Razorbacks' all-time list.
Kulichenko was the top freshman finisher in the high jump with a clearance of 1.82m/5-11.5. She also won the Samford Invite earlier this year with a mark of 1.83m/6-0, which is tied for 15th nationally. She has placed in the top-four in each of her meets so far this season. Harter guided Arkansas to its 12th all-time SEC Indoor Championship and eighth in a row by scoring 127.5 total team points.
SEC teams will compete in the NCAA Championships Friday and Saturday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
2022 SEC Indoor Track and Field Awards
Men's Runner of the Year: Brandon Miller, Texas A&M
Men's Field Athlete of the Year: Kyle Garland, Georgia
Men's Freshman Runner of the Year: Hillary Cheruiyot, Alabama
Men's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Luke Brown, Kentucky
Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Mario Garcia Romo, Ole Miss
Men's Coach of the Year: Chris Bucknam, Arkansas
Women's Runner of the Year: Abby Steiner, Kentucky
Women's Field Athlete of the Year: Jasmine Moore, Florida
Women's Freshman Runner of the Year: Sydney Thorvaldson, Arkansas
Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Elena Kulichenko, Georgia
Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Abby Steiner, Kentucky
Women's Coach of the Year: Lance Harter, Arkansas