Sophomore Gabriel Sanchez was named the Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. The Indiana runner is the first recipient of the award this season after winning the Indiana Open on Saturday in Bloomington.
Sanchez won the men’s 8K race with a time of 25:13.94, 12.4 seconds ahead of the next finisher. Despite Sanchez’s first-place finish, the No. 22 Indiana men’s team scored 31 and lost to Miami University who had a low score of 27.
The Indiana Open was Sanchez’s first college cross country race because he contracted COVID-19 and did not participate in any meets last season. Sanchez was state champion and the Gatorade Boys Runner of the Year for Indiana as a high school senior in 2019.
The last Indiana runner to win the Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week award was Kyle Mau in 2019.
Indiana men’s and women’s cross country teams next meet is on Sept. 18 at the John McNichols Invitational at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.