It may pale beside some other of his recent honors, but the conference put the cherry on a sundae of a season for fourth-year Teage OConnor.
The newly minted All-American was rewarded with UAA Athlete of the Week status, the league announced Wednesday.
After missing out on the action at NCAAs last season while he studied abroad in Greece, OConnor returned to the national stage for his second shot at the 3,000-meter steeplechase after making his first trip as a second-year. While everyone competes with their eyes set on the All-American prize, the veteran was particularly eager to make up for lost time while going after his final shot at the divisions highest honor.
The distance runner toed the line at the Butler Twilight May 6, after qualifying for the meet with a 9:12.74 mark, at the time the fifth-fastest in the nation. Racing against the cream of the crop at the event hosted by Benedictine, OConnor posted a 9:11.27 time that secured eighth place and earned his All-American certificate. A meager 1.16 seconds separated the fifth- through eighth-place finishers.
Still riding high after that feat, the league gave OConnor one more reason to celebrate the end of his days with the Maroons when it awarded him his second Athlete of the Week of the season and the third of his career.