Sept. 11, 2012
IRVING, Texas - A pair of Baylor cross country runners were recognized on Tuesday by the Big 12 Conference as the league's Runners of the Week. JR Hardy and Rachel Johnson became the first BU tandem to sweep the conference's weekly cross country awards since Bo Price and Brittany Brockman both won the accolade on Sept. 14, 2004.
Hardy is the first Baylor men's runner to win the honor as a freshman and the first Bear to earn the recognition since Brad Miles on Sept. 13, 2011. Hardy was the fastest BU athlete on Saturday at the UTA Season Opener with a sixth-place time of 15:22.1. The Austin, Texas product's effort on the three-mile course helped the BU men capture a second-place finish at the event.
It is the sixth time a Baylor men's runner has been honored by the league office.
After also winning the Big 12 honor last week, Johnson becomes the first female BU runner to claim the award in back-to-back weeks since Nicole Jones accomplished the feat in 2007. The Plano, Texas-native ran the two-mile course in 10:50.2 to claim her second straight medalist honor. Johnson, who also won last week's Bear Twilight Invitational, competed against runners from UTA, Texas State and the region's eighth-ranked team, SMU. The sophomore's win, plus top-11 finishes from four other Baylor runners, gave the Bears a second-consecutive team title.
In the 16-year history of the Big 12, BU female runners have been honored 17 times. A Baylor female runner has also won two awards in the same year six times.
The Bears will be off from competition until the women go to the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., and the men head to the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, Calif, on Sept. 29.