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June 21, 2012

Cross Country Athletes of the Year

By: Jimmy Robertson

Will Mulherin | r-Junior | Yorktown, Va.

After taking a redshirt season last year, Will Mulherin returned to the cross country team and turned in the most impressive season for a Hokie male in more than two decades.

Mulherin did not finish lower than 30th in any of the six races he competed in this year, as he earned his first career All-America honor in the sport with that 30th-place showing at the NCAA Championship meet in a career-best time of 29:58.1 in the 10K race. He became just the ninth cross country All-American at Tech, the fifth male, and the first man since Brian Walter in 1989.

Mulherin advanced to the national meet after earning All-Region honors at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet with a fifth-place finish, the second-best finish ever for a Tech male at the meet (Steve Taylor, third, 1987). He also became just the second Hokie on the men’s side to be a two-time All-ACC runner in cross country (Devin Cornwall) after his seventh-place finish at the ACC Championships. In 2009, he earned All-ACC recognition as well.

His accomplishments were not limited to the course. The mechanical engineering major also garnered Academic All-ACC honors for his efforts in the classroom this past season.

Madalyn Nuckols | Sophomore | Glen Allen, Va.

Saving her best race for last was Madalyn Nuckols, who steadily improved her time in the 6K over the last month of the women’s cross country season.

Nuckols dropped her race time by more than a minute from pre-nationals, and it culminated in her fastest time of the season at the right time – the NCAA Southeast Regional Meet. She finished in a team-best 23rd place in a career-best time of 21:00.5, which was good enough for a spot on the All-Region team.

As a freshman, Nuckols finished 47th at the regional meet in a time of 21:37.5, which was almost the identical time and place she turned in at the 2011 ACC Championship Meet (44th, 21:39.9) just two weeks prior to the regional meet.

Competing against the nation’s best at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational in the middle of October, Nuckols finished second on the team and 74th overall in a time of 22:12.

Her best finish of the season was at the Charlotte Invitational, where she crossed the finish line in 19th place and helped the Hokies win the event.