Redshirt senior Erik Barkhaus (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) has been named the Western Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Week after his performance at last Friday's UW/SU Open, announced Tuesday by the conference office.
Barkhaus won the 4.5-mile race with a time of 22:22.28, half-a-second ahead of the second-place finisher. Barkhaus shaved almost 11 full seconds off his time from the 2011 edition of the event, in which he ran as an unattached runner while redshirting last year during the cross country season.
He represented Seattle University in a collegiate cross country meet for the first time since the 2010 Great West Conference Championships, where he earned First Team All-Great West recognition after finishing in third place in the conference meet. This is the second time Barkhaus has won a weekly conference award in cross country, previously earning Great West Conference Runner of the Week honors Sept. 22, 2010.
"What a great way to start of the season. We are working hard to maximize Barkhaus's fifth year. This summer he ran more mileage than he's ever run before and continues to work at a higher level than he ever has. He's tired, but very strong and fit right now. Our hope is that we will encounter very few bumps in the road and that his determination and hard work will pay off greatly at the end of the season," Seattle U head coach Trisha Steidl said.
Barkhaus will be one of the Redhawk runners heading to South Bend, Ind., for the National Catholic Championships, hosted by the University of Notre Dame at the Notre Dame Golf Course Friday, Sept. 14. The next race for those not making the trip to Notre Dame will be the Sundodger Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington at Lincoln Park in West Seattle Saturday, Sept. 15.