Six Honored as Division II National Indoor Track and Field Athletes and Coaches of the Year
By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA
March 12, 2009
NEW ORLEANS – On Monday the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced the Division II Regional Indoor Track and Field Athletes and Coaches of the Year. On Thursday, the Association named the Division II National Indoor Track and Field honorees. Three men and three women received the annual honor on the eve of the Division II Indoor Championships.
Those honored were Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, Pinar Saka, Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, Katelin Rains, Women’s Coach of the Year, Jerry Baltes, Men’s Track Athlete of the Year, Aaron Braun, Men’s Field Athlete of the Year, Joe Kindred, and the Men’s Coach of the Year, Jud Logan.
Rains and Logan are receiving the national honor for the second consecutive year, as Rains was the 2008 Women’s National Athlete of the Year, and Logan the 2008 Men’s National Coach of the Year.
All of the student-athletes honored are ranked in the top five in the events that they will compete in at the Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
The 2009 USTFCCCA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Athletes and Coaches of the Year:
Pinar Saka – University of Nebraska at Omaha
Saka scored an impressive 30.5 points at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championship meet. She leads Division II in both the 200 meters (24.23) and 400 meters (53.34). The native of Istanbul, Turkey is a member of UNO’s 4×440 meter relay team which is ranked fourth in Division II.
Katelin Rains – Minnesota State University
Rains, a senior from Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, qualified in three events for the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships. She was named the NSIC Field Athlete of the Year after winning both the pole vault and long jump with new conference records, and finished second in the triple jump at the conference meet. Rains holds the nation’s best pole vault (14’5.25") and is ranked fifth nationally in both the long (19’4.75") and triple jumps (39’0.25").
Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State University
Now in his tenth season, Baltes has led his women’s indoor track teams to a stunning 10 consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. All told, Baltes has been named the conference’s Coach of the Year 21 times in his tenure across all three sports. The Lakers will look to improve upon their 6th place finish at last year’s Indoor Championships. GVSU qualified 13 individuals and two relays for the 2009 indoor championship.
Aaron Braun – Adams State College
Braun is the NCAA leader in mile (4:03.85) and 2nd behind teammate Brian Medigovich in the 5,000 (13:55.40). He also ran the mile on the NCAA-leading (9:49.94) and RMAC Champion DMR team. Braun is a junior from Fort Collins, Colorado.
Joe Kindred – Saint Augustine’s College
Kindred, a senior from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, is one of the top men’s jumpers entered in the NCAA Division II Championships. He is ranked first nationally in the long jump, second in the high jump and third in the triple jump. He was the high jump champion in the CIAA this year, and was the runner-up in both the long and triple jumps.
Jud Logan – Ashland University
Logan led the Eagles to their first men’s indoor conference title in nine years and was named the GLIAC Men’s Coach of the Year. He has nine individuals and one relay qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships. His athletes currently hold the top marks in the pole vault, shot put, and weight throw. This is Logan’s fourth year as the head track and field coach at Ashland.