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NEW ORLEANS, LA - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its regional awards Tuesday afternoon.
Penn State cross country and track & field head coach John Gondak was announced as Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, while sophomore All-American Tessa Barrett earned Mid-Atlantic Regional Athlete of the year honors. Award winners were voted upon by USTFCCCA member coaches.
Gondak received Mid-Atlantic Region indoor track & field Men's Head Coach of the Year in 2015 during his first year as the head coach and director of the Penn State cross country and track & field programs. During his time as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions, Gondak collected five Mid-Atlantic Assistant Coach of the Year awards.
This is the second-consecutive year Gondak has earned USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic honors after receiving the award last year when his team took the Mid-Atlantic title following their championship run at the Big Ten Championships in Chicago, Ill.
Barrett, a 2015 cross country All-American, has claimed three individual meet titles, while helping her team collect three team wins during the 2016 season. The Waverly, Pa. native led the Lions to a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, MN before leading them to their second-consecutive Mid-Atlantic championship on her home course in University Park this past weekend.
The Penn State women's cross country team will compete in the NCAA Championships for the seventh time in the past eight years Saturday Nov. 19th in Terre Haute, IN.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.