((TEXAS A&M PRESS RELEASE))
BIRMINGHAM – A pair of Aggies earned SEC athlete of the year honors as voted on by the conference coaches. Deon Lendore was selected as the men’s SEC Runner of the Year for a second consecutive season while Ioannis Kyriazis (John Kyr-ee-azis) was chosen as the men’s SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.
Texas A&M has received three runner of the year honors in the past two outdoor seasons as Lendore and Olivia Ekpone swept those awards in 2014. The honor for Kyriazis is the fourth freshman honor for A&M, and first male recognition, during the three outdoor seasons they have been in the SEC.
Lendore claimed a third consecutive title in the 400 meters at the SEC Championships and heads into the NCAA Championship (June 10-13) as the defending champion. Lendore leads the collegiate ranks with the 44.41 he posted in winning the SEC 400m title and currently ranks third in the world.
The time is also the No. 10 performance on the all-time collegiate list and second best all-time among Aggies, only trialing Lendore’s school record of 44.36 from winning the 2014 SEC title.
In winning a third SEC Outdoor 400m final, Lendore became just the fourth sprinter to accomplish the feat in the conference and the first since 1954-56. Over his career Lendore won seven of the eight conference 400m titles, between indoor and outdoor seasons, sweeping the Big 12 in 2012 while adding SEC sweeps in 2013 and 2014.
Lendore also anchored the Aggie 4x100 to a collegiate-leading victory in the SEC meet, edging ahead at the finish line for a 38.74 decision over LSU’s 38.78 and a 38.87 from Alabama.
In the 4x400 Lendore supplied a split of 44.19 seconds to move A&M from seventh to fourth place. The points the Aggies earned in the final event created a tie for second place in team scoring as A&M totaled 95 points to equal the output by Arkansas.
A steady progression for Kyriazis had him improving by 11-plus feet from his debut winning effort of 245-10 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in March to his 257-3 winning toss to claim the SEC title on his final throw in May. Kyriazis produced four PRs during his campaign as he improved to 247-7 and 248-6 before his near nine-foot improvement to claim the SEC victory.
On the A&M all-time list Kyriazis became the No. 2 performer with the No. 8 performance among the top 10 marks produced by former NCAA Champion Sam Humphreys.
As the top freshman throughout the season in the javelin Kyriazis is currently third among all collegians and has the top mark among the SEC throwers. He defeated the defending SEC Champion and 2014 NCAA runner-up in taking the conference title over Kentucky’s Raymond Dykstra.
Recently Kyriazis bettered defending NCAA Champion Sam Crouser of Oregon during the NCAA West preliminary rounds with a 254-10 effort on his only throw of the competition. Crouser followed with a 246-5 as he took a pair of throws.
2015 SEC OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD HONORS
Men’s Runner of the Year: Deon Lendore, Texas A&M
Men’s Field Athlete of the Year: Marquis Dendy, Florida
Men’s Co-Freshman Runner of the Year: Kenzo Cotton, Arkansas
Men’s Co-Freshman Runner of the Year: Christian Coleman, Tennessee
Men’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Ioannis Kyriazis, Texas A&M
Women’s Runner of the Year: Dominique Scott, Arkansas
Women’s Field Athlete of the Year: Erica Bougard, Mississippi State
Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year: Brooke Feldmeier, Ole Miss
Women’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Keturah Orji, Georgia
Men’s Coach of the Year: Mike Holloway, Florida
Women’s Coach of the Year: Lance Harter, Arkansas
Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Nathanael Franks, Arkansas
Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jeannelle Scheper, South Carolina