LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Chandler Gibbens was announced as the Division I National Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday afternoon.
Gibbens impressed the entire country with his performance at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, in which he placed first out of 155 competitors and won by two seconds over Hillary Cheruiyot of Alabama. Gibbens completed the 8K course in 23:08.4, surpassing his previous personal best in the event by 31 seconds as he maintained an outstanding 4:38 mile pace throughout the race.
The win at Notre Dame marked the second career cross country victory for Gibbens and first of the season. He previously won the 6K at the 2022 Bob Timmons Classic. He has also won 11 track and field events so far in his Kansas career.
“It means a lot to win this,” said Gibbens. “There are a lot of great runners and performances every week, so it is definitely a big honor and it is really special to represent Kansas and my team on a national scale. It’s also a good feeling because this shows that my training is going in the right direction to set me up for a great end to the season”
Last season, Gibbens broke the Kansas all-time record in the 5K, previously held by Jim Ryun, by racing to a time of 13:28.71. After winning two Big 12 Championships in the 5K and 10K, Gibbens qualified for the NCAA Championships.
“This award is a great reflection of Chandler’s hard work, commitment to his team and perseverance of individual goals,” added Assistant Coach Michael Whittlesey. “This definitely gives a spark to the program and his teammates as to what we can accomplish. However, this is just the first meet for him with the focus on the championship races at the end of the year.”
This is the first time in Kansas cross country program history that a male or female athlete has received this honor.
Gibbens will be back in action at the Pre-Nationals Invite in Charlottesville, Virginia on October 14.