Nov. 21, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off the team's best season performance in school history, Arizona State cross country runner Lisa Aguilera was named the women's cross country West Region Athlete of the Year, while Sun Devil coach Walt Drenth was honored as the women's cross country West Region Coach of the Year.
Aguilera, a junior, led the ASU female harriers to their third consecutive berth to the NCAA Championships, winning the West Regional individual title Nov. 11 and helping the Sun Devils to a school best second-place team finish. In doing so, Aguilera became the first ASU woman to win a meet title in a championship race.
Just over a week later, it was Aguilera who paved the way for the Sun Devils at the NCAA Championships Nov. 20, placing fifth overall (also a school record) and becoming the third ASU woman to earn All-America honors.
Drenth, in his fifth year at the helm of the ASU cross country program, continues to guide the Sun Devils to unprecedented heights. This year, his women's team recorded the highest school finishes at the West Regionals (second) and the NCAA Championships (sixth), while matching the previous record finish of second at the Pac-10 Championships. Under the tutelage of Drenth, the ASU women have climbed from a 23rd-place finish at nationals in 1998, to a 12th-place finish in 1999, to this year's record sixth-place performance in Ames, Iowa.