NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's cross country senior Hannah Wittman (Lindenhurst, Ill.) was named the Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year in a vote by league's head coaches, announced on the eve of the cross country championship. She becomes the first BU runner to earn the award.
In three races this season the Lindenhurst, Ill., native was not only the top finisher on her Belmont team but earned OVC Runner of the Week honors after each meet. She opened the season with a victory at the Belmont Opener, topping the field of 91 competitors. The senior was then 13th overall in a field of 244 at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic before placing 10th at the Greater Louisville Classic in a field of 213 runners. She finished that race with an OVC-best 5K time of 17:12.72, which is almost eight seconds better than any other league competitor this season.
Wittman was named OVC Scholar Athlete of the Year, the conference's highest honor for an individual, last week for her achievements during the 2014-15 season.
"We are so excited for Hannah on being awarded 'Female Athlete of The Year' as a senior. She is so deserving of this honor and is the epitome of what our program is all about," said Assistant Coach Ashley Casavant. "She is relentless in her training, works hard every day and is constantly willing to do whatever it takes to get better. We could not be more proud of Hannah's continued progress."
"We are so proud of Hannah and all her accomplishments over the past four years," said Belmont's Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Jeff Langdon. "She will be sorely missed as a frontrunner and team leader."
Wittman and the rest of the Bruins return to action on Saturday, October 31 at the OVC Cross Country Championship in Murray, Ky.
2015 OVC Cross Country Athletes of the Year
Male Athlete of the Year: Erick Rotich, EKU
Female Athlete of the Year: Hannah Wittman, Belmont
Male Freshman of the Year: Declan McManus, Belmont
Female Freshman of the Year: Kaitlyn Shea, Southeast Missouri