By Patrick Dunn
NOVEMBER 21, 2018
NORMAN – University of Oklahoma freshman Haley Herberg was named the 2018 Big 12 Cross Country Women's Newcomer of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
“The immediate thing we learned about Haley was that she has an incredible mindset," said OU head coach Jim VanHootegem. "She enjoys every aspect of her running, the practices, the meets, and the bond with teammates. She also embraces competition. We are extremely proud of her. She is a great Sooner.”
Herberg concluded her freshman season with the Sooners at last weekend's NCAA Championships in Madison, Wis., with a 78th-place finish in the 6K, crossing the line in 20:56.9. The California native claimed four top-five individual finishes to go along with All-Big 12 Conference honors and All-Region recognition from the USTFCCCA in her debut campaign.
“When we were recruiting Haley Herberg, we saw her being this type of athlete for us and we feel like she came in and performed at the ability that we expected, and we celebrate that with this accomplishment,” said OU associate head cross country coach Kevin Ondrasek.
She finished all four of her 6K competitions in 2018 in less than 21 minutes, with her best time coming in a third-place effort at the Big 12 Championship, where she clocked a 20:05.9. Herberg advanced to the NCAA Championships with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional, earning an auto-bid as an individual with a time of 20:26.7.