USTFCCCA Announces Division III Indoor Track & Field Regional Honorees

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

March 11, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – Defending NCAA indoor champions Marie Borner, Willy Kaul and Caitlin Schetter, and 2008 runner-up Jake Winder are among the 48 men’s and women’s regional athletes and coaches of the year for the 2009 Division III indoor track and field season, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.

The USTFCCCA selects the top track athlete, field athlete, and coach for the eight regions in Division III track and field.

Borner, a junior at Bethel University, owns the nation’s second fastest time in the mile run (4:52.14) and the seventh fastest time in the 800 meter run (2:12.68). Borner will look to defend her mile national title from last season at the upcoming NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. Borner is the Women’s Central Region Track Athlete of the Year.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh senior Willy Kaul was named the Men’s Midwest Track Athlete of the Year after the stellar indoor season he has compiled. Kaul, from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, owns the fastest time in the country this year in the 5,000 meters (14:12.64). Kaul was the 5,000 meter champion last year.

Schetter, a senior at Wisconsin-La Crosse, owns the best long jump mark in Division III at 19’5.5” and is ranked third in the triple jump (39’2.5”) heading into the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Schetter was the 2008 NCAA Champion in the long jump and is the 2009 Women’s Midwest Field Athlete of the Year.

After finishing second a year ago in the men’s pole vault North Central (Illinois) senior Jake Winder, the 2009 Men’s Midwest Field Athlete of the Year, will look to take home is first NCAA title. Winder holds the highest clearance in the pole vault this year (18’0.5"). He was the CCIW Champion for the second straight season and also finished ninth at the USATF Indoor Nationals.

The 2009 Division III Men’s and Women’s Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Melissa Scorse – State University College at Brockport
Scorse earned the seventh slot on the NCAA Performance List in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.17 seconds. She also took home individual titles at the State University of New York Athletic Conference Championships in the 55 meter dash and the 200 meters, posting a conference record in the former. Scorse is a sophomore from Pittsford, New York.

CENTRAL REGION – Marie Borner – Bethel University
Borner owns the nation’s second fastest time in the mile run (4:52.14) and the seventh fastest time in the 800 meter run (2:12.68). Her time in the mile is a new school record, and she looks to defend her national title from last season at the upcoming NCAA Division III Indoor Championships.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Lauren Bergstrom – Calvin College
Bergstrom, a senior from Rochester, Minnesota, posted the second best time in Division III this year in the 800 meters, clocking in at 2:10.65. She also runs on the distance medley relay team for Calvin, which owns the seventh fastest time in the country.

MIDEAST REGION – Laura Paulsen – Johns Hopkins University
Paulsen is ranked fifth in the mile (4:55.92), 14th in the 5k (17:27.48), and is the anchor on the third fastest distance medley relay squad (11:51.64) headed into the championships. She scored 24 points at the Centennial Conference championships and anchored the winning 4×800 meter relay which broke the conference record.

MIDWEST REGION – Amanda LaRocca – Illinois Wesleyan University
LaRocca scored an impressive 44 points at the CCIW championships, winning titles in the 55 meter dash, the 55 meter hurdles, and the long jump. She placed second in the high jump and finished third overall in the 200 meter dash. She ranks third nationally in the 55 meters (7.11). LaRocca was named the 2009 CCIW Track Athlete of the year.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Lauren Philbrook – Williams College
Philbrook is a senior co-captain at Williams. She won the New England Division III Championship 5,000 meter race by 33 seconds in 17:06.31, which is an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Her 5,000 meter mark is the best time on the NCAA Division III performance list.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Robin Yerkes – Roanoke College
Yerkes, a junior, was the ODAC Champion in the 55 meters, the 200 meters, and the 400 meters, and she anchored the winning 4×400 meter relay team. Her time in the 55 meters at the ODAC Championships tied her own conference meet record. She is ranked second in the 400 meters with at time of 57.04.

WEST REGION – Marci Klimek – Linfield College
Klimek, a junior from Phoenix, Oregon, has lead Linfield this season with season bests performances that include 10:14.81 in the 3,000 meters, 18:02.30 in the 5,000 meters, and 5:11.54 in the mile.

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Eric Theiss – State University College at Oneonta
A senior from Saratoga Springs, New York, Theiss currently sits in the number one national slot in the 400 meter dash, posting a time of 48.12 seconds. Additionally, he anchors the nation’s top-ranked 4×400 meter relay. Theiss also placed fourth and eighth at the State University of New York Athletic Conference Championships in the 200 meters and the 55 meter dash, respectively.

CENTRAL REGION – Brian Sames – University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Sames, a senior from Shakopee, Minnesota, posted the nation’s third best mark in the 800 meters (1:52.70) and fourteenth fastest time in the mile run (4:13.17). He has set four school records this season for St. Thomas. Sames also runs on the St. Thomas distance medley relay squad that owns the nation’s top time this season (9:58.31).

GREAT LAKES REGION – James O’Brien – Ohio Northern University
A senior from Pemberville, Ohio, O’Brien has enjoyed a highly successful 2009 indoor track & field season. O’Brien leads all competitors in the 800m heading into the indoor track & field championships with a best time of 1:50.60. He also ran a leg on Ohio Northern’s 4x400m relay throughout the indoor season and anchored the Polar Bears’ distance medley relay at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.

MIDEAST REGION – Tony Dipre – Allegheny College
Dipre is ranked number three in the country this season in the mile run, posting a time of 4:10.63. He also anchors the team’s distance medley relay, which is third on the NCAA Performance list. Dipre, a junior from Twinsburg, Ohio, finished second in the mile at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Willy Kaul – University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Kaul, a senior from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has had a busy indoor season. At the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, Kaul won the mile, the 3000 meter run, and ran on the winning distance medley relay for the Titans to earn WIAC Track Athlete of the Year honors. Kaul currently leads all competitors in the 5000 meter run with a best of 14:12.64, and he will also compete as a member of the Titan’s second-ranked distance medley relay at the championships.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Stephen Headley – Springfield College
A junior from Wilbraham, Massachusetts, Headley is ranked first on the performance list in the 55 meters (6.26) and has gone undefeated in all of his competitions this season. He was the New England Division III Championship winner in the 55 meters with a time of 6.32 seconds. His national leading time is also a school record.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Ricky Flynn – Lynchburg College
Flynn won both the mile and 5,000 meters at the ODAC Championships for Lynchburg. His time in the 5,000 meters (14:32.58) is ranked fourth on the NCAA performance list. His best time this year in the mile was 4:14.25. Flynn is a junior from Gaithersburg, Virginia.

WEST REGION – Emmanuel Bofa – Whitworth University
With an automatic qualifying mark of 1:52.54, Bofa is the second-ranked competitor in the 800 meters entering the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. Bofa achieved that mark in a second-place finish at the Vandal Collegiate Invite. He is a junior from Puyallup, Washington.

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Alyssa Pirinelli – St. Lawrence University
Pirinelli is currently ranked first on the NCAA performance list in both the shot put (47’7.75") and the weight throw (57’11"). She was the Liberty League and NYSCTC Conference champion in both events and was presented with performer of the meet awards at both conference championships. Pirinelli is a junior from North Tonowanda, New York.

CENTRAL REGION – Leah Kay – Concordia College, Moorhead
Kay is currently ranked fifth in the women’s pentathlon with a best score of 3,314 points. She was the runner-up at the MIAC Championships in the pentathlon. Additionally, she is anked 13th in Division III in the high jump (5’5.25"). Kay is a junior from Dassel, Minnesota.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Aubrey Loy – Mount Union College
Loy, a junior from North Canton, Ohio, was named the 2009 Ohio Athletic Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet. Loy won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump as she took all-conference honors in both events. Loy is currently ranked fifth on the NCAA performance list in the long jump (18’5").

MIDEAST REGION – Jessie Belden – Haverford College
A senior from Brookfield, Connecticut, Belden was the Centennial Conference champion in the long jump and the high jump, as well as being a member of three conference winning relays. She was named the 2009 Centennial Conference Championships Most Outstanding Field Performer of the meet. Her pentathlon score of 3,478 points is the top score this year in the NCAA.

MIDWEST REGION – Caitlin Schetter – University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Schetter won both the triple jump (38’11.75") and long jump (19’5.5") at the WIAC Championships and was named the 2009 WIAC Field Performer of the Meet. She ranks first in the country in the long jump (19’5.5”) and third in the triple jump (39’2.5"). Schetter is a senior from Kiel, Wisconsin.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Nikki Hay – Springfield College
Hay, a junior from Norwalk, Connecticut, has the best triple jump mark in Division III at 39’3.25". She was the New England Division III Champion in the long jump (18’0.25") and finished third in the triple jump (38’0.25").

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Ashley Huston – Hardin-Simmons University
Huston, a senior from Buffalo Gap, Texas, is the first HSU student-athlete to qualify for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. She qualified in two events; the high jump (5’5.25") and the pentathlon (3,416 points). She is ranked third in the women’s pentathlon.

WEST REGION – Catherine Street – Linfield College
Street, a freshman, is the top women’s pole vaulter in the West Region. She is ranked 11th on the NCAA performance list with a best of 12’2.5". Street is from Wilsonville, Oregon.

MEN’S FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Eric Jones – St. Lawrence University
Jones, a junior from Watertown, New York, owns the #2 spot in the weight throw on the NCAA Performance list with a toss of 18.69m (64’ 4”). He also captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference crown in the weight throw, besting his opponents by over a meter. Jones took second place at the New York State College Track Conference Championships in the shot put.

CENTRAL REGION – Eric Bertelsen – Buena Vista University
Bertelsen won the 2009 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference long jump title with a leap of 25’-2.75” (7.69m). That marks the longest jump in NCAA Division III this season by over a foot and a half. The jump also puts Bertelsen less than half an inch away from equaling the NCAA Division III indoor record in the event. Bertelsen is a senior from Polk City, Iowa.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Obinna Nwanna – Case Western Reserve University
Headed into the first-ever pentathlon contested at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, Nwanna has the best mark in the event with 3723 points. Nwanna scored 22 points at the University Athletic Association championships, finishing second in the 55 meter hurdles, second in the high jump, and third in the shot put. Nwanna is a junior from Maumee, Ohio.

MIDEAST REGION – Chaz Thomas – Haverford College
A senior from Huntington, Thomas helped lead the Fords to the Centennial Conference title with a win in the triple jump, a runner-up finish in the long jump, and a third-place finish in the high jump. He has qualified for the indoor championships in both the long jump (23’-5.25”) and triple jump (48’-2.75”), and he ranks third and fifth in those events headed into the meet.

MIDWEST REGION – Jake Winder – North Central College
Winder, a junior from Joliet, Illinois, has the top pole vault mark in Division III at 18’0.5". He won the CCIW Championship for the second straight season and placed ninth at the USATF Indoor Nationals.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Stephen Morton – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A junior from Lexington, Kentucky, Morton has been a top performer all year in the horizontal jumps as well as the 55 and 200 meters. He has the third best triple jump in Division III at 48’6.75" and the seventh best long jump at 23’3.25". At the New England Division III Championships Morton won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Todd Wildman – Trinity University (Texas)
Although competing in an abbreviated indoor season, Wildman has established NCAA Championship qualifying marks in both the high jump (6’8.25") and the pentathlon (3,483 points). He is ranked seventh in the pentathlon among declared competitors and is ranked ninth in the high jump. Wildman is a senior from Dallas, Texas.

WEST REGION – Cody Stelzer – Whitworth University
Stelzer leads all competitors in the high jump entering the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. Stelzer twice hit the automatic qualifying mark in the event during the season, with a best height of 6’-10.75” (2.10m) achieved at the Runner’s Soul Open. Stelzer is a junior from The Dalles, Oregon.

WOMEN’S HEAD COACHES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Jennifer Potter – Ithaca College
Potter led her Ithaca squad to both the Empire 8 and New York State Collegiate Track Conference titles, a feat the team has not accomplished since 2004. Currently in her sixth season guiding the Bombers, Potter boasts five national qualifiers this season. She coached Ithaca athletes to four school records during this year’s indoor season.

CENTRAL REGION – Marcus Newsome – Wartburg College
Newsome led Wartburg to their seventh straight IIAC indoor title with a new meet record of 276 team points. Newsome’s team is ranked second in the USTFCCCA Indoor Dual Meet Rankings heading into the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Wartburg has qualified ten individuals and two relays for the national meet, and has the top time in the women’s 400 meter dash (55.88) and the 4×400 meter relay (3:46.43).

GREAT LAKES REGION – Derek Stanley – Marietta College
Under Stanley’s tutelage, Marietta athletes have broken 13 school records during this year’s indoor track & field season. Additionally, the Pioneer women improved upon last year’s sixth place finish at the Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Relays, registering a third place score this season. Stanley is currently in his seventh year as Marietta’s head track & field coach.

MIDEAST REGION – Walter Wandall – Moravian College
Wandall’s Moravian women took home this year’s Landmark Conference Indoor Championship. Moravian qualified four female athletes in five events for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Currently in his first full season as the Greyhound head coach, Wandall’s squad is ranked number 12 in the USTFCCCA Indoor Dual Meet Rankings, the highest ranked team from the Mideast Region.

MIDWEST REGION – Chris Schumacher – Illinois Wesleyan University
Schumacher’s women’s team has qualified four athletes in five events plus two relays for the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The Titans won the CCIW Indoor Championships for the second straight year. Schumacher is in his 12th year as head coach of the Titans.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Sean O’Brien – Westfield State College
O’Brien’s Owls won the women’s MASCAC Championship for the third straight year scoring 235 points. Two of O’Brien’s athletes have qualified for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships; Kerry Arouca in the 5,000 meters and Marlee Berg in the high jump and the pentathlon.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Nate Hoey – Washington and Lee University
Hoey guided his Washington and Lee women to the 2009 ODAC Indoor Track and Field Conference Championship for the first time in school history. He has two athletes who will be competing at the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships, and he has guided the W&L women to nine school records this year.

WEST REGION – Dr. Garry Killgore – Linfield College
Killgore, in his 20th season for Linfield, has one national qualifier for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in freshman pole vaulter Catherine Street, who is 11th on the NCAA performance list. He had three women over 11′ in the pole vault.

MEN’S HEAD COACHES OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – John Newman – St. Lawrence University
In his inaugural season at the helm of the Saints, Newman guided his squad to their third straight New York State College Track Conference title, totaling 181 points at the meet. In addition, the St. Lawrence men took home first place at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships.

CENTRAL REGION – Steve Mathre – University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Mathre recently coached his men’s indoor track team to an astounding 25th consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship. St. Thomas currently sits in 8th in the USTFCCCA Indoor Dual Meet Rankings, and Mathre-coached athletes have posted seven qualifying performances this season.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Kris Boey – Ohio Wesleyan University
In his seventh season as Ohio Wesleyan’s head coach, Boey led the Battling Bishop to the North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor title this season – the team’s second in as many years. Ohio Wesleyan is currently ranked 21st in the USTFCCCA Indoor Dual Meet Rankings.

MIDEAST REGION – Dale Fogelsanger – Messiah College
Fogelsanger was named the Coach of the Year this season in the Middle Atlantic Conference. In addition, the Messiah men captured the conference title outright – the first such accomplishment for the school. Fogelsanger brings two qualifiers to this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Fogelsanger has been Messiah’s head coach for 13 years.

MIDWEST REGION – Al Carius – North Central College
Carius guided the Cardinals to their ninth-consecutive indoor CCIW title earlier this season. His Cardinals have eight athletes that have either met the provisional or automatic qualifying mark for nationals.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Fletcher Brooks – Williams College
In his first season at Williams College, Brooks led the Ephs to the 2009 New England Division III title with a score of 145 points. The Ephs continued their successful season one week later with a ninth-place finish at Division I All-New England meet. Williams will be represented at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships by fifth-ranked Mack Chafee in the mile and by its fourth-ranked 4×400 meter relay squad.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Jack Toms – Lynchburg College
Toms led Lynchburg to the ODAC Championship for the 12th year in a row, and his team scored 220 points in the win. Toms is the sprints and jumps coach for Lynchburg and has two athletes qualified for the national championships. He is in his 31st year with the Hornets.

WEST REGION – Toby Schwarz – Whitworth University
Entering his 13th season as Whitworth’s head coach, Schwarz has the Whitworth Pirates aiming for a strong finish to the 2009 indoor track & field campaign. Schwarz’s student-athletes achieved five qualifying marks this season, and four student-athletes will compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. His student-athletes are ranked first in the high jump, second in the 800 meters, and fifth and sixth in the shot put headed into the meet.