Georgia cross country sophomore Sam Drop has been voted the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Regional Women’s Athlete of the Year.
Drop, a native of Durham, Conn., becomes the Lady Bulldogs’ first winner of the award since Kristie Krueger earned the honor in 2010. Like Krueger, Drop won the NCAA South Regional title after clocking a personal-best 6k time of 19:40.9 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on November 10.
Led by Drop’s victory, the Georgia women advanced to their first NCAA Championships since 2012 and earned an invitation to their first Nationals as an automatic qualifier since 2007. This will be the Lady Bulldogs’ eighth trip to the NCAA Championships in program history.
Drop has led her team at two meets this year and been Georgia’s second-best finisher in the four other meets that the Lady Bulldog regular scorers traveled to. In addition to her South Regional championship, she also topped UGA at the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky., by taking 13th. Drop also earned All-SEC First Team honors by taking fifth at the SEC Championships and was runner-up at the season-opening Western Carolina Festival and the Bulldog SEC Preview in Athens.
Her twin sister, Jessica Drop, led the Lady Bulldogs in Georgia’s other four meets this year, including wins at the first two meets of the season and a fourth-place showing at SECs. Jessica Drop joined her sister with All-Region honors at the South Regional after taking third.
The Lady Bulldogs race in the 6k NCAA Championships in Louisville on Saturday at 10:45 a.m.