CU Buffs’ Kaitlyn Benner named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year

Daniel Petty / THE DENVER POST
Colorado senior Monarch alum Kaitlyn Benner

Colorado senior Kaitlyn Benner has been named the Pac-12 Women’s Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced today prior to the racing of the conference championships. The award, which is presented in each of the 23 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

“It’s definitely a really big honor to get it in track because there are a lot more people than there were in cross country,” said Benner. “It’s nice to get rewarded for all the hard work through athletics and academics.”

Benner is a senior distance runner with a 3.955 GPA in Chemical and Bio-engineering with a minor in Engineering Management. She was named the Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2017. Benner was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American Third Team last year and is a two-time CoSIDA All-District First Team member. She is also a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic First Team member in track.

On the track, Benner is a six-time All-American, including a three-time cross country All-American. She recently was a First Team All-American in last year’s 10,000 as she finished seventh in a time of 33:13.38.

Benner owns four top-10 marks in school history. She is eighth in CU history in both the indoor 3,000 and 5,000, seventh in the outdoor 5,000 and third in the 10,000 with her runner up finish at the Pac-12 Championships last year in 32:45.05.

This is the second-straight Pac-12 Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year honor that Colorado has received. Last year Ben Saarel took home the honor as the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The Buffaloes now have three such honors in school history after John Souza was named the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2018.