MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Redshirt junior Jillian Forsey
of the West Virginia University cross country team was named 2016 Big 12 Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the conference announced.
“What a wonderful fall Jillian had,” coach Sean Cleary said. “After missing the 2015 season she returned into the mix without missing a beat. A runner-up finish at both the Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Regionals, to go along with this tremendous academic award. The balance that these exceptional student-athletes exhibit is inspirational. We are very fortunate to have Jillian wearing the Gold and Blue.”
Majoring in exercise physiology, Forsey has maintained a 3.79 grade point average while balancing the commitment of being a Division I student-athlete.
A Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, native, Forsey competed in her third career NCAA Championships and the first as an individual qualifier this season, while also earning runner-up finishes at both the 2016 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals and the Big 12 Championship.
Forsey placed 97th at the national championships with a time of 20:49.8. At the NCAA Regionals, Forsey placed second with a season-best time of 20:09, improving .05 seconds from her previous season-best time. Forsey earned her third career All-Region honor, individually qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
At Big 12s, Forsey crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 20:32, earning All-Big 12 honors, the second of her career. Forsey is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree and also was a member of the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a freshman.
This marks the third Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the Mountaineer cross country team in the five years they have been in the Big 12. Former teammates Kaitlyn Gillespie earned the honor in 2014 and Sarah Martinelli was recognized in 2013.
The Big 12 Conference established its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2012-13. A recipient is named in each of the Conference’s sponsored sports. Each Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport with the winners selected by a vote of the league’s head coaches for that sport, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
The Scholar-Athlete must be a junior or senior (athletic and academic standing), have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher, participate in at least 60 percent of the team’s scheduled contests and reside at the institution for a minimum of one year.