NORMAL, Ill. - Brogan Austin joined elite company Saturday afternoon when it was announced he had earned the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Elite 18 award for men's cross country.
The Elite 18 Award Program was first established by the Missouri Valley Conference in the fall of 2010 to honor excellence and achievement in academics and athletics. The honor is given to the highest achieving student-athlete when combining athletic finish at the MVC Championship and cumulative grade-point average.
"Brogan is very dedicated and works extremely hard in and out of the classroom," Drake head cross country coach Dan Hostager said. "It's great for him to be recognized for his academic achievements as well as his athletic accomplishments. With all of the MVC schools competing, they only give out one of these awards."
Austin finished third at the MVC Championship this past weekend in Normal, Ill. He holds a 3.58 grade-point average with a double-major in math and education.
"It was just an unexpected surprise," Austin said. "It is nice to be recognized for all of the hard work I put in outside of practice."
Each winner is chosen from nominated student-athletes who have met an athletic performance threshold, which in cross country is a top-10 finish at the MVC Championships.
Elise Sigg of Illinois State won the award for the women.
Hostager does not think this is the end of the possible accolades for Austin in the future.
"There are a lot of big things ahead for this young man with his outstanding work ethic," Hostager commented.