NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Junior Nick Laning became the first Vanderbilt man or woman to earn SEC Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, as announced by the conference office on Wednesday and voted on by the league’s head coaches.
In the classroom, Laning, a junior from Barrington, Illinois, has a 3.983 grade point average and is pursuing a degree in civil engineering with a minor in computer science. He was named 2019-20 CoSIDA Academic All-District and was a member of the 2019-20 SEC Academic Honor Roll. Laning also garnered 2019-20 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honors.
Laning is also making his mark as one of the best runners in program history. As a sophomore in 2019, he became the second man in program history and the first since 1966 to earn all-conference honors. He also garnered all-region accolades and was tops on the team at every meet. In addition, Laning was also the second Commodore male to receive SEC Freshman of the Week honors (Sept. 18, 2018).
So far this season, Laning led the team and finished sixth overall (24:55.5) at the season-opening Commodore Classic, was the third overall finisher at the Gans Creek Classic with time of 24:09.0, and was also the first Commodore runner across the finish at the Blazer Classic (24:14.75).
Laning and the Commodores will wrap up the 2020 Fall season with the SEC Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday morning. The men’s race is set to begin at 9:05 a.m. CT, followed by the women at 10 a.m. CT. You can watch live here and follow live results here.
2020 SEC Cross Country Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Nick Laning, Vanderbilt
Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Samantha Drop, Georgia