American University cross country student-athlete John Pope was recognized with the 2011-2012 Patriot League Male Sportsmanship Award, conference officials announced Monday.
A three-time Academic All-Patriot League Team recipient, Pope is the first American University student-athlete to win the award since it was created in 2006.
The Carlisle, Pa. native received the honor after demonstrating grace under pressure and respect towards his teammates and opponents during and after competition. He encouraged his teammates to emulate his work ethic and accomplishments. Pope demonstrated great sportsmanship after his ninth place finish at the Patriot League Cross Country Championship to help the men's team to second place, and continued to congratulate and encourage his teammates to do their best during the race.
The sophomore had a strong year for the Eagles and was an All-Patriot League Second Team selection for cross country. He tallied the third-best mark for American at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals with his 46th place finish in his first year competing at the event.
The Patriot League Sportsmanship Award honors student-athletes that uphold the principles on which the League was founded – fairness, equality and excellence in academics and athletics. The awards are open to all Patriot League student-athletes and each of the eight Patriot League institutions is eligible to nominate a male and female for the award.