Eight Honored as Division II National Athletes and Coaches of the Year

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

May 24, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – At the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Banquet the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced the six National Awards winners for the 2009 outdoor track and field season.

Those honored at the banquet, held on Wednesday evening prior to the start of the championships were: Women’s Track Athlete of the Year – Ashley Puga, Women’s Field Athlete of the Year – Aisha Adams, Women’s Head Coach of the Year – James Reid, Men’s Track Athlete of the Year – Aaron Braun, Men’s Field Athlete of the Year – Joe Kindred, and Men’s Head Coach of the Year – Damon Martin.

Tom Dibbern of Angelo State and Gary Towne of Chico State were selected as the women’s and men’s Assistant Coaches of the Year which was named on Saturday, May 23rd, the final day of competition.

The USTFCCCA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Athletes and Coaches of the Year

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Ashley Puga – Northwest Nazarene University
Puga has gone undefeated all year in the 1500 meters and has only lost once in the 800 meters. She owns the fastest time in Division II in the 800 meters at 2:05.23 and the second fastest time in the 1500 meters at 4:23.17. In addition, her 800 meter time is the sixth fastest ever recorded in NCAA Division II. Puga set school records in the 400 meters, 800 meters and 1500 meters this season and also broke the GNAC conference record in the 800 meters.

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Aisha Adams – Angelo State University
Adams heads into the Division II Outdoor National Championships qualified in four events. Two of those events, the high jump and heptathlon, she is ranked first. She is currently ranked second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. Adams was instrumental in helping Angelo State win the Lone Star Conference meet scoring 44.5 points.

WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

Tom Dibbern – Angelo State University
Dibbern’s athletes hit nine automatic and seven provisional qualifying marks during the 2009 Division II outdoor season. He is responsible for coaching the multis, jumps, javelin, and 100 meter hurdles. Combined, Dibbern-coached athletes scored 137 points and won four individual conference titles at the Lone Star Conference Championships.

WOMEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR

James Reid – Angelo State University
Reid coached the ASU women’s team to a Lone Star Conference record in points scored (331) in winning the women’s team championship. Angelo State has 23 entries and one relay set for the championship meet.

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Aaron Braun – Adams State College
Braun is the NCAA leader in the 1500 meters at 3:39.45 and in the 5,000 meters at 13:36.85. His 1500 time is the fourth-best all-time in Division II and his 5k time is the fifth-best all-time. He was the RMAC Champion in the 1500 meters, and he was named the Men’s RMAC Track Athlete of the Year and the RMAC Championship Athlete of the Meet.

MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Joe Kindred – Saint Augustine’s College
Kindred, a senior from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, is qualified in three events for the Division II Outdoor Championships: the high jump, long jump and triple jump. He has the best high jump mark in Division II at 7’ 5” and is ranked second in the long (24’ 9.75”) and triple jumps (52’ 3.75”). He was the CIAA Conference Champion in all three events and was named the CIAA Men’s Most Valuable Field Event Athlete.

MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

Gary Towne – California State University, Chico
Towne is responsible for coaching the Chico State distance runners. He coaches the top ranked runner in the 800 meters in Michael Wickman. In addition to Wickman, who is qualified in two events (800 and 1500 meters), seven other student-athletes will represent Chico State at the Division II Outdoor Championships in the distance events.

MEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR

Damon Martin – Adams State College
Martin led the Grizzlies to a record sixth-straight RMAC Outdoor title this year, in the process earning RMAC Coach of the Year honors. Martin’s squad has 13 individual entries and two relays set for the national meet.