Scott, Roberts, Pixler, Miller Are Athletes of the Year in Division II
NEW ORLEANS – Saint Augustine’s Josh Scott, Ashland’s Kurt Roberts, Seattle Pacific’s Jessica Pixler, and St. Cloud State’s Heather Miller were recognized Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as recipients of National Athlete of the Year Awards as chosen by the nation’s coaches for the indoor track & field season in Division II.
NATIONAL MALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Josh Scott, Saint Augustine’s
Scott, a junior from Winter Haven, Fla., won NCAA indoor titles in the 200- (20.91) and 400-meter dash (46.05) and claimed championship records in both events. In addition, Scott anchored the 4×400-meter relay team (3:11.80) with a 46.70 split to help the Falcons to their third-straight NCAA crown in the event and it was the second-straight year with Scott at anchor. Scott scored 22½ national team points to help Saint Augustine’s to a runner-up finish. Scott was also the CIAA champion in the 400 meters.
Scott repeated as 200- and 400-meter champ for the second straight year. Scott is the first in Division II to win multiple indoor 200-meter titles and the first since NYIT’s Orville Taylor to win two-straight 400-meter championships.
NATIONAL MALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Kurt Roberts, Ashland
Roberts, a junior from Lancaster, Ohio, won the NCAA Division II shot put national championship, throwing for a meet record 64-11½ (19.80m) on his fifth-round toss. Roberts won the competition by nearly four feet and extended his personal best that is the best in Division II indoor history. Roberts won the GLIAC Championship by over four foot with a 61-1¼ (18.62m) toss. Roberts marks would also rank No. 2 among all collegians in all divisions this season. Roberts’ season best in the weight throw of 60-4½ (18.40m) finished in the top 20 nationally in DII.
NATIONAL FEMALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
Pixler, a senior from Sammamish, Wash., claimed the NCAA indoor title in the mile for the fourth-straight time, clocking 4:46.42 in this year’s triumph to win by over four seconds. Pixler is only the second Division II athlete to have claimed indoor titles in the same event four years in a row (Delloreen Ennis-London, Abilene Christian, 55-meter hurdles, 1996-97-98-99). Pixler also anchored Seattle Pacific’s distance medley relay to a first national title after taking the stick in third place. Pixler would run a 4:41.36 split for the 1600-meter leg to overtake Shippensburg’s Neely Spence for the tape.
Also this season, Pixler won GNAC titles in the three events, including the mile, the 800 meters, and the DMR, claiming meet records in all three.
NATIONAL FEMALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Heather Miller, St. Cloud State
Miller, a senior from Sun Prairie, Wis., won the women’s pentathlon NCAA national title with a NSIC conference record, St. Cloud State record, and meet record of 3,993 points. Miller also earned All-America honors in two other events, placing fourth at the NCAA meet in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. Earlier in the season, Miller also claimed NSIC titles in four events, including the 60-meter hurdles, to score a total of 51½ points at the conference meet.
The USTFCCCA will announce recipients of the National Coach of the Year award on Thursday.