DAVIS, Calif. — Graduate student Thomas Madden won the 2017 Men’s Athlete of the Year award as announced by the Big West Conference on Thursday, Nov. 2, based on his two 8K race performances for UC Davis thus far this season.
Madden, a Front Royal, Va., native, made an immediate and significant impact on the UC Davis cross country team entering into the 2017 season. After departing from the University of Virginia as a graduate transfer, Madden chose to pursue the remainder of his graduate study at UC Davis, similar to teammate Jon Horvath, who is also a current graduate student.
Starting off his UC Davis cross country debut at the UC Riverside Invitational, Madden finished fifth overall in the men’s 8K event with a time of 24:09.0, which was just five and a half seconds behind the second place finisher’s time from Southern Utah that day. This debut race also earned him the Big West Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honor, as announced by the USTFCCCA on Sept. 19.
It was not until the Big West Conference Championships on Oct. 28 when Madden got the opportunity to tie up his running shoes to race again for the Aggies. Despite the six-week break from competition, it seemed to do him well as his 24:13.7 8K time that day won him the first-place title in the individual event. The second place finisher from Cal Poly did not cross the line until nearly eight seconds after Madden.
The Biomedical Engineering graduate student has become the first men’s UC Davis cross country runner, since Jonathan Peterson back in 2010, to win both the Athlete of the Year honor and the individual title in the Big West Conference Championships 8K race.
Peterson, a 2010 UC Davis graduate, won his conference race with a time of 23:40.2, beating the second-place finisher that day by 17 seconds. That being said, Madden’s conference-winning time topped Peterson's by nearly 32 seconds.
Alongside Madden, both the men’s and women’s squads are preparing for their next race at the Putah Creek Reserve Course in Davis, Calif., where they will host the Doc Adams Open on Saturday (Nov. 4), starting at 10:00 a.m.
— #GoAgs —