Adams State College senior cross country runner Ryan McNiff has been named as the Paw Print Male Athlete of the Year for the 2010-2011 academic school year.
McNiff started the season as being the first collegiate finisher at the Joe I. Vigil Open before being the first D-II runner in the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder, Colo.
He was also the Rocky Mountain Athletic conference Champion and Runner of the Year as he led the Grizzlies to their sixth straight and 33rd overall RMAC team championship. After being the sixth overall and third Grizzly runner at the Central Regional Championship, he was the Grizzlies second runner and finished sixth at the NCAA Division II Championship as the Grizzlies won their third straight and eighth overall D-II title. He became just the eighth runner in ASC history to be named All-American four times.
So far in the track season, he leads the D-II ranks in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 3:42.49 while ranking seventh in the 5,000 meter run.
As was the same with Athlete of the Week honors, the Athlete of the Year was selected by a vote of media members and ASC athletic administrators. Deray Wilson finished second in the voting while Rocco DeLorenzo, Alex Estes, Luke Cragg, Luke McPeek, David Powers, Kevin Bertrand, Issac Pacheco and Jared Machado were all nominees.