EKU's Korir Named OVC Male Athlete of the Year

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- The Ohio Valley Conference announced today that Eastern Kentucky University senior cross country All-American Jacob Korir has been named the 2006-07 OVC Male Athlete of the Year. He will receive his awards from Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, OVC Commissioner, at the League’s annual Honors Luncheon on June 1 in Nashville.

Korir becomes the seventh Eastern Kentucky athlete to win the Male Athlete of the Year award and the first since Markus Thomas (football) received the accolade in 1993. The Nairobi, Kenya native earned All-American status for the second straight year after finishing seventh at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships. He won the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Southeast Regional, completing the 10K run in 30:03.10, which was 20 seconds better than Josh McDougal of Liberty who had not been defeated in two years. Korir was named the OVC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year for the third time after capturing his third consecutive league individual title in 2006. He was a member of the 2006 cross country squad that earned the OVC Sportsmanship Award.

Jacksonville State University outside hitter Abbey Breit became the first Jacksonville State student-athlete to be named OVC Female Athlete of the Year and just the fifth volleyball player to earn the award. The Louisville, Ky., native earned her second straight OVC Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2006 after leading the Gamecocks to a 24-5 overall record and a perfect 16-0 mark. She was selected to the All-OVC first-team for the third time and was an honorable mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Breit was one of 14 players in the country to be selected to the CVU Stellar Spikers First-Team, which honored the top impact players in the country that exhibited both excellence and balance on the court.

The OVC first awarded a Male Athlete of the Year award in 1977 and gave out the first Female Athlete of the Year in 1981.

Eastern Kentucky OVC Male Athlete of the Year Award Winners

1978-79 -- James Tillman (basketball)
1981-82 -- George Floyd (football)
1982-83 -- Steve Bird (football)
1984-85 -- Chris Sullivan (football)
1986-87 -- Fred Harvey (football)
1992-93 -- Markus Thomas (football)
2006-07 -- Jacob Korir (cross country/track and field)