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Cal Poly runner earns Big West Conference Freshman of the Year A - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Cal Poly runner earns Big West Conference Freshman of the Year Award; Conover Named Coach of Year

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Following the conference championships this past weekend, Cal Poly’s Sierra Brill and Mark Conover won Big West Cross Country Awards announced Thursday. Brill was selected as the Women’s Freshman of the Year, while Conover earned Men’s Coach of the Year.

Brill is the ninth Mustang in 13 years to collect the women’s freshman plaque. A graduate of Lowell High School in San Francisco, Brill took sixth place at the Big West Championship (Oct. 28), running UC Riverside’s 6k course in 20:49.5 — No. 1 among freshmen.

Additionally, earlier this fall, Brill was fourth (first among freshmen) at the UC Santa Barbara Lagoon Open on Sept. 2 (with a 5k time of 18:15.26), before taking 38th at Oregon’s Dellinger Invitational on Sept. 29 (20:10.4).

Her performance at the conference championships helped the Mustangs take second, in a finish tied for the closest the Big West has seen in 35 years: 45-47.

Conover, who coached the Mustang men’s squad to its 27th conference title all-time (15th in the Big West), is now a 17-time Big West Coach of the Year — most in conference history.

The men’s team claimed its second straight crown, with 29 points (26 ahead of the rest of the field).

The regular season also saw the Mustangs receive Big West Athlete of the Week certificates on Sept. 5 and Oct. 3 (senior Swarnjit Boyal) and Sept. 12 (junior Peter Cotsirilos), with other victories coming at the dual opener vs. the Gauchos and Fresno XC Invite on Sept. 9.

The remaining yearly awards went to UC Davis senior Thomas Madden (Men’s Athlete of the Year), UCSB senior Jenna Hinkle (Women’s Athlete of the Year), and Gauchos Yousef Baddour (Men’s Freshman) and Pete Dolan (Women’s Coach).

Cal Poly is now training for the NCAA West Regionals, hosted by Washington at Seattle’s Jefferson Park Golf Course, on Nov. 10.

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