Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for Division III Indoor Track & Field Announced

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 9, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – On Wednesday, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the USTFCCCA Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division III indoor track & field 2011 season. Several of the athletes and coaches will be on hand for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships set for this upcoming weekend, March 11-12, in Columbus, Ohio, on the campus of Capital University.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Justin Allen – Buffalo State
Allen, a sophomore from Mt. Vernon, N.Y., has another busy weekend ahead of him, as the only male student-athlete entered in both the 55 meters and the 400 meters. Earlier this season, he earned State University of New York Athletic Conference Athlete of the Year honors after capturing top honors in the 200 meters, the 400 meters, and as a member of Buffalo State’s 4×400-meter relay – all in new SUNYAC records – and finishing third in the 55 meters. Allen also earned an Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III title in the 200 meters.

CENTRAL REGION – Mike Hutton – St. Thomas (Minn.)
The junior from Apple Valley, Minn., helped lead St. Thomas to the 2011 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 23¾-point performance at the conference championships. Hutton won the 600 yards and the 800 meters, ran a leg on the winning 4×400-meter relay, and also contributed to the distance medley relay’s fourth-place performance. Hutton ranks fifth among declared competitors in the 800 meters heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, with a season-best converted time of 1:52.14.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Jake Waterman – Wabash
Waterman, the 2011 North Coast Athletic Conference champion over 800 meters, earned the season’s second-fastest time in the event with a best of 1:50.87. The performance also ranks among the top-ten all-time indoor performances in the 800 meters in NCAA Division III. The sophomore from Noblesville, Ind., also anchored Wabash’s conference silver medalist 4×400-meter relay squad to help Wabash win their first-ever NCAC team championship.

MIDEAST REGION – Eric Woodruff – Moravian
Woodruff earned 2011 Landmark Conference Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors after winning conference titles in the 55 meters and 200 meters and running a leg of the winning 4×200-meter relay. He capped an undefeated regular season in the 55/60 meters with a win at the recent Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championships. A senior from Brodheadsville, Pa., Woodruff is the top-ranked competitor in the 55 meters heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships with a season-best clocking of 6.37 seconds.

MIDWEST REGION – Drew Clark – Principia
The junior from Hopkinton, Mass., reset a pair of Principia school records this season with performances in the 800 meters and the mile. Clark’s best times of 1:52.34 and 4:10.51 in the respective events both rank among the season’s top-ten recorded times. His 800-meter best was also a personal best by nearly six seconds. He will focus on the 800 meters at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, where he is ranked sixth among declared competitors.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Ben Scheetz – Amherst
Scheetz will be the only competitor to attempt the 400/800-meter double at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, and he has an excellent chance at pulling it off. The junior from Lancaster, Pa., has the top entering times in both events, at converted times of 47.97 seconds in the 400 meters and 1:48.68 in the 800 meters. His raw 800-meter best ranks as the second-best performance all-time in NCAA Division III Indoor competition.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Kevin Cunningham – McMurry
Cunningham has the fourth-fastest time in NCAA Division III in the 400 meters at 48.67 seconds. That time is also the fastest recorded in the South/Southeast Region in the event. Cunningham will pull double duty at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, as he also runs the anchor leg for McMurry’s top-ranked 4×400-meter relay squad. He is a junior from Brownwood, Texas.

WEST REGION – Emmanuel Bofa – Whitworth
Bofa, a senior from Puyallup, Wash., earned the third-best qualifying mark in the 800 meters with a season-best converted time of 1:51.13. He is the only track competitor from the West Region to earn a qualifying mark during the Indoor season, and he also tops the West Region performance lists in the 400 meters.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Craig Van Leeuwen – Ramapo
A junior from Little Falls, N.J., Leeuwen enters the NCAA D-III Championships as the No. 2 seed in the pole vault with a season’s best of 17-¾ (5.20m) obtained in winning the NJAC title and topping the conference meet record. Leeuwen finished second at the ECAC Championships and was sixth overall at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational versus a field of nothing but D-I and D-II competition.

CENTRAL REGION – Ethan Miller – Central (Iowa)
Miller, a junior from Seymour, Iowa, enters the NCAA meet in three events and is the nation’s top seed in the long jump and pentathlon with bests of 24-1¾ (7.36m) and 3,876 points, respectively. In addition, Miller is tied as the No. 9 seed in the high jump with a season’s best of 6-8¾ (2.05m). Miller was the IIAC Champ in the pentathlon and open long jump and added a second-place in the triple jump and a third in the high jump.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Kevin Phipps – Baldwin-Wallace
Phipps, a senior from Pataskala, Ohio, is entered in both the shot put and weight throw for the NCAA Championships. His season bests of 56-1 (17.09m) places him as the third seed in the shot put and of 62-3¼ (18.98m) as the eight seed in the weight throw. Phipps also recorded meet records with the weight at the All-Ohio D-III meet and OAC Championships. Phipps was the Co-OAC Field Athlete of the Year, winning a conference title with the weight and runner-up with the shot.

MIDEAST REGION – Justin Gewirtz – Albright
Gewirtz, a senior from North Wales, Pa., is tied as the No. 5 seed in the high jump for the NCAA Championships with a season’s best of 6-9 (2.06m) set in winning the conference title and notching a new meet record in the MAC. Gewirtz was second in the high jump at the ECAC D-III meet.

MIDWEST REGION – Issac Vasquez – UW La Crosse
Vasquez, a sophomore from Arcadia, Wis., earned NCAA automatic qualifiers in winning WIAC titles in both the long and triple jumps. With a leap of 24-¼ (7.32m), Vasquez is the No. 2 seed in the long jump and at 48-2½ (14.69m) he is set as the No. 6 seed in the triple jump. Vasquez was named WIAC Field Athlete of the Year for his jump double win at the conference meet.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Bryan Kolacz – Keene State
Kolacz, a senior from Brentwood, N.H., is the nation’s leader in the weight throw, sporting a season’s best of 65-9 (20.04m) – a mark that is second all-time in NCAA Division III. Kolacz won weight throw titles at the All-New England D-III, NECIAAA, ECAC D-III, and Little East Championships this season.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Chrys Jones – Centre
The senior from Harrodsburg, Ky., is the nation’s leader in the triple jump with a season’s best of 50-3½ (15.33m) that is almost a foot better than the rest of the D-III competition this season. Jones is undefeated this season and has won 14 of 15 competitions dating back to the 2009 indoor season.

WEST REGION – Sam Wright – Whitworth
Wright, a freshman from Spokane, Wash., finished the season as the No. 1 shot man in the region and in the nation’s top 20 with a season’s best of 52-2 (15.90m).

Men’s Head Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Eugene Lewis – Buffalo State
Lewis led Buffalo State to their first indoor SUNYAC and ECAC championships as well as a national top-ten national ranking. Buffalo State has will have four entries into the NCAA Championships and this year the squad has broke the ECAC 4×200 record, three SUNYAC Championship records (200, 400, 4×400), and six school records (200, 400, SP, WT, 4×200, 4×400).  His athletes also achieved the best D-III times this season in the 200 and 4×200. The team ended the regular season ranked third in region.

CENTRAL REGION – Ted Bulling – Nebraska Wesleyan
Competing as an independent, Bulling led the Prairie Wolves to a No. 7 national ranking in D-III.  Additionally, NWU has been ranked No. 1 in region for the entire season in the team rankings.  NWU will have five entries in the NCAA Championship meet with Elliott Bulling entering the meet as the No. 1 seed in the shot put.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Clyde Morgan – Wabash
Morgan directed Wabash College to their first ever NCAC Conference Championship. Wabash had 21 All-Conference Performances and five individual champions. The team ended the regular season ranked No. 19 in the national computer rankings.  Wabash will be represented at the NCAA Championship meet by sophomore Jake Waterman who is ranked second in the 800 and junior Kevin McCarthy, ranked fourth in the same event.

MIDEAST REGION – Tom Donnelly – Haverford
The Haverford College Fords claimed the Centennial Conference Championship and completed the regular season ranked No. 1 in the region.  Haverford will be represented at the NCAA Championship meet by Anders Hulleberg, a senior competing in the 5000 meters.

MIDWEST REGION – Frank Gramarosso – North Central (Ill.)
The CCIW conference champions, North Central is ranked No. 1 nationally heading into NCAA Championships. Gramarosso’s squad will have 13 entries in eight different events at the NCAA Championship. Gramarosso works primarily with the sprinters, which includes the No. 3 ranked 4×400 relay and ten All-CCIW performers.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Erik Nedeau – Amherst
Nedeau led Amherst to a fourth-place finish at the ECAC Championships.  His Lord Jeffs enters the national meet with the No. 1 400, 800, and DMR seeds. The school’s DMR squad clocked the best time D-III history with a 9:52.11 at Boston University’s Valentine Invitational. The team is ranked third heading into the NCAA Championships.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Nate Hoey – Washington and Lee
Washington and Lee University placed second at ODAC Championships with 78 points. W&L athletes won the 200, 400, 800, and the 4×400 at the conference meet and had a total of nine All-ODAC (top three) finishes.

WEST REGION – Toby Schwarz – Whitworth
Schwarz’s Whitworth program ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in the region. The Pirates have an automatic national qualifier in Emanuel Bofa in the 800m who is entering the national meet with the third best mark of 1:51.13. 

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Markus Allen – Buffalo State
The fifth-year coach produced 1 four qualifiers in the sprinting events for the NCAA Championships. His sprinters scored 92 points of 136 at the SUNYAC championships and 64 of 77 at the ECAC Championships helping Buffalo State to titles in both meets.  Allen’s athletes set an ECAC-Championship record in the 4×200, three SUNYAC championship records and four school records.

CENTRAL REGION – Guy Mosher – Central (Iowa)
Central was first in the IIAC with Mosher’s athletes scoring most of the team’s points. In his 20th year coaching the sprints, jumps, and multi-events, Mosher has athletes qualified in three events – pentathlon, long jump, high jump – with top marks in the long jump and pentathlon.  

GREAT LAKES REGION – Jarrod Davis – Baldwin-Wallace
Jarrod’s athletes finished out the regular season with two performers in the national top 20 in the weight throw as well as three in the nation’s top 30 in the shot put. Kevin Phipps qualified in both events for the NCAA Championships. The four-year veteran had throwers scoring 44 points in the All-Ohio D-III Championships and 45 points in the OAC Indoor Championships.

MIDEAST REGION – Jason Headman – Allegheny
The Gators finished third at the NCAC meet with help from the distance runners of this first-year coach. His men broke four school records and had four provisional qualifying marks and the DMR making the field NCAA Championship field.

MIDWEST REGION – Tim Winder – North Central (Ill.)
One-third (4 of 12) of the NCAA Championship pole vault field is coached by Winder including top-ranked Peter Geraghty (17-1½, 5.22m). Tim is in his 18th year with the Cardinals.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – John Adamson – Amherst
John led the Amherst 4×400 to victories at the D-III NEICAAA and ECAC Championships, as well as qualifying for the NCAAs. The top national seeds in the 400 meters (Ben Scheetz) and DMR entries are also mentored by this sprints, hurdles and jumps coach.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Patty Ley – Christopher Newport
Patty’s distance athletes scored 51 points, including a 1-2-4 finish in the 800, to lead the Captains to second place at the Mason-Dixon Conference Championships. She has one national qualifier in the 800 to go along with two school indoor records.

WEST REGION – Jeff Rahn – Whitworth
Jeff is the distance coach for the Pirates team that currently has automatic national qualifier Emmanuel Bofa in the 800m with a time of 1:51.13 and is ranked third in the nation. Jeff is in his 14th year at Whitworth.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Wendy Pavlus – St. Lawrence
Pavlus enters this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships with the fastest time in the 5,000 meters, a converted time of 16:57.71. Her season-best time was set in winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III championship in the event; the time is also an ECAC record. The senior showed her range in winning Liberty League Championships in the 800 meters and the mile earlier this season. Pavlus is from Tupper Lake, N.Y.

CENTRAL REGION – Keelie Finnel – Coe
Finnel, who recorded one of the season’s top five times in the 400 meters, will focus on the 800-meter event at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. She is the top-ranked competitor in the event, with a season-best time of 2:10.62. She also runs anchor leg on Coe’s fifth-ranked 4×400-meter relay. Finnel, a junior from Francis Creek, Wis., scored 17½ team points at the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, finishing in the top three in two individual events and as a member of two relay squads.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Rachel Boerner – Calvin
The senior from Bergenfield, N.J., recorded the second-fastest time this season in NCAA Division III over 400 meters, a season-best of 56.38 seconds. At the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Indoor Invitational, Boerner had a hand in 22½ team points. She won the 60 meters and the 200 meters and ran a leg on the Knights’ winning 4×400-meter relay to help lead Calvin to the women’s team title.

MIDEAST REGION – Kenyetta Givans – Swarthmore
Givans, a junior from Conshohocken, Pa., rewrote the Swarthmore record books with a win in the Centennial Conference 55-meter hurdles. Her NCAA-qualifying time of 8.29 seconds ranks ninth among Division III competitors on the season. She also finished third in the conference’s 55-meter sprint event and has a season-best time of 7.45 seconds. Givans accumulated a total of four individual titles in the 55/60-meter hurdles over the course of the 2011 Indoor season.

MIDWEST REGION – Amanda Laesch – North Central (Ill.)
Laesch put on a middle-distance clinic at this year’s College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Indoor Championships, winning the mile, the 3,000 meters, and the 5,000 meters for a total of 30 team points. Her performance earned CCIW Track Athlete of the Year honors. Laesch, a senior from Wheaton, Ill., will compete in the 5,000 meters and as a member of North Central’s fifth-ranked distance medley relay at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Portia Jones – MIT
Jones will attempt a unique double at this year’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, as she is ranked third among entrants in the 55-meter hurdles and ninth in the 400 meters. The junior from Queens, N.Y. is accustomed to competing at a high level in multiple events; at the recent New England ICAAAA Division III Indoor Championships, she competed in three individual events and two relays, finishing first or second in four of those five events.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Dira Hansen – Christopher Newport
Hansen, a junior from Culpeper, Va., is the 2011 Mason-Dixon Conference Indoor High Point scorer. Her busy meet included a win in the 800 meters, second place in the 400 meters, and second place as a member of the CNU 4×400-meter relay. Her best time in the 800 meters of 2:13.67 ranks eighth among declared competitors at this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships and is a CNU school record.

WEST REGION – Tonya Turner – Whitworth
Turner ranks 13th in the mile headed into this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. The only female athlete from the West Region to earn a qualifying mark in a track event, she recorded a season-best converted time of 5:00.83. Turner is a senior from Spokane, Wash.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Emma Dewart – Ithaca
Dewart, a junior from Barker, N.Y., will enter the NCAA Championships in four events which includes the pentathlon as the top seed. Dewart is also entered in the 55-meter hurdles (No. 12 seed), high jump (No. 12 seed), and long jump (No. 8 seed). Dewart notched a seaosn’s best of 3,565 in the pentathlon and was the Empire 8 Champion in the high and long jumps.

CENTRAL REGION – Janey Helland – Gustavus Adolphus
A senior from Mapleton, Minn., Helland is the No. 2 seed in the pentathlon for the NCAA Championships, having scored 3,512 points in winning a MIAC conference crown. Helland will also be in the national meet in the long jump as the No. 4 seed, notching a season’s best of 18-9¼ (5.72m) and in the high jump as the No. 19 seed. Helland was undefeated in the long jump and pentathlon this season so far.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Ashley Bault – Marietta
Bault, a junior from Atwater, Ohio, is also qualified for three events for the NCAA Championships, including pentathlon, high jump, and long jump. Bault is the No. 10 seed in the pentathlon with a season’s best of 3,260. Bault notched nearly 70 percent of the points scored by Marietta at the All-Ohio D-III meet. At the OAC Championships, Bault won the high and triple jumps and added a runner-up performance in the long jump.

MIDEAST REGION – Abigail Schaffer – Moravian
Schaffer, a junior from Easton, Pa., enters the NCAA Championships as the co-No. 1 seed in the pole vault, having earned her season’s best of 13-6¼ (4.12m) last weekend at the ECAC D-III meet. Schaffer was the pole vault champ at the Landmark Conference Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Mindy Harrington – Carthage
A senior from Spring Grove, Ill., Harrington is the top seed in the shot put for the NCAA Championships, having recorded a season’s best of 51-11¾ (15.84m) last weekend. In addition, Harrington will be the No. 3 seed at the national meet in the weight throw thanks to toss of 60-1 (18.31m). Harrington was named CCIW Co-Field Athlete of the Year with titles in both events and a league record in the shot.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Karin Fisher – MIT
Fisher, a senior from Belvedere, Calif., will enter the NCAA meet as the co-No. 1 seed in the pole vault with a season’s best and No. 2 all-time D-III vault of 13-6¼ (4.12m) set in winning the ECAC D-III crown last weekend. Fisher also won titles in the All-New England D-III and NEICAAA D-III meets.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Dira Hansen – Christopher Newport
Hansen, a junior from Culpeper, Va., scored 3,309 points in the pentathlon last weekend to earn a No. 7 seed in the pentathlon for the NCAA Championships. In addition, Hansen will compete in the open 800 meters at the NCAA Championships this weekend.

WEST REGION – Catherine Street – Linfield
A junior from Wilsonville, Ore., Street is the nation’s No. 3 seed in the pole vault with a season’s best of 12-11¾ (3.96m), a mark that was set last weekend at the University of Washington.

Women’s Head Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Eugene Lewis – Buffalo State
Lewis was named the SUNYAC Coach of the Year after guiding his team to conference championship. His squad won five of 16 events, finished runner-up in three events, and recorded additional thirds in two events to post 124 points. The Bengal women will send two to the national championships, including the national No. 1 seed Erica Johnson in the 55 meters.  Three school records have fallen this season and his athletes also recorded the fastest D-III 4×200 (ECAC record) and third fastest D-III 200 in the country in 2011. The group also was a third-place team at the ECAC D-III meet.

CENTRAL REGION – Marcus Newsom – Wartburg
Coach Newsom’s team has been ranked near the top in Division III for the majority of the season.  They enter the NCAA Championship meet with the most qualifiers (13) and a No. 2 national ranking. Wartburg won the IIAC team title by over 100 points.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Bill Taraschke – Baldwin-Wallace
Taraschke’s Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets claimed the OAC championship with 168 points. BWC were also OAC relay Champions, All-Ohio D3 Champions. The Yellow Jackets competed to a 45-0 Record on the season against D3 competition. Taraschke was voted the Indoor OAC Woman’s Coach of the Year and the team closed out the regular season ranked #1 in region.

MIDEAST REGION – Bobby Van Allen – Johns Hopkins
Van Allen’s Lady Blue Jays won the school’s first ever Centennial Conference indoor team title.  The team closed out the year ranked No. 1 in the region. Johns Hopkins will be represented at the NCAA Championship meet by Christina Valerio in the 5000.

MIDWEST REGION – Kari Kluckhohn – North Central (Ill.)
Kluckhohn led her NCC Cardinals to an impressive 117-point margin of victory at the CCIW Championship meet. NCC had eight CCIW champions and the earned CCIW Coaching Staff of the Year award. NCC is fifth in the National Team Rankings. The Cardinals have six entries in six events in the NCAA Championship meet.
 
NEW ENGLAND REGION – Fletcher Brooks – Williams
Brooks’ Ephs were the New England D-III Champions and are the fifth-ranked team heading into the NCAA Championships. Williams was undefeated versus D-III competition in 2011.  Williams will have seven entries competing in six events at the NCAA meet. Brooks coaches all the field events and his athletes are ranked first and third in the triple jump, tenth in the long jump, 11th in the weight throw and tied for 14th in the pole vault.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – John Curtin – Emory
Emory won the 2011 UAA Indoor Championship with 119½ points.  The Emory staff was voted UAA Coaching Staff of the year. Curtin’s squad closed out the season as the top-ranked team in region.

WEST REGION – Toby Schwarz – Whitworth
Schwarz oversees the distance events in which including Tonya Turner who has qualified of the NCAA Championship in the mile. The Pirate women are the top-ranked region team and will also be represented at the NCAA Championship by Jheri Gates in the high jump.

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Markus Allen – Buffalo State
Allen’s sprinters scored 91 of the team’s 124 points at SUNYAC Champs and all 50 of team’s points at ECACs.  In his fifth year at the program, his athletes recorded the fastest D-III 4×200 of the season that was also a school and ECAC record, the third fastest D-III 200, the top-ranked 55 meters (Erica Johnson), and school records in the 55-meter hurdles and 200 dash.

CENTRAL REGION – Derek Frese – Nebraska Wesleyan
The throws coach had four provisional marks with one athlete making the field in both the weight throw and the shot put (Amanda Brichacek).  Brichacek set the school record in the weight throw with a toss of 57-3¾ (17.47m). 

GREAT LAKES REGION – Matthew Cole – Rose-Hulman
Cole’s sprinters, hurdlers and relays accounted for five titles to lead the Engineers to the inaugural HCAC Indoor Championship. The six-year veteran coach mentored HCAC’s Freshman-of-the-Year and Field Athlete-of-the-Year winners from the 2011 season. His sophomore high jumper (Elizabeth Evans) leads the nation with an automatic mark of 5-7¾ (1.72m).

MIDEAST REGION – Ryan Orner – Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins won their first Centennial Conference Indoor Championship with 140 points in large part to the 53 points scored by Ryan’s distance runners. Orner is in his fourth year with the Blue Jays and has an athlete competing in the 5000 meters at NCAAs. 

MIDWEST REGION – Dennis Rue – UW Whitewater
Coach Rue is in his eighth year coaching the jumps for the Warhawks.  Rue had two athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships in the high jump.   At the WIAC conference meet, his athletes captured three individual titles while scoring 58 of the team’s record total of 99 points.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Nicole Wilkerson – Middlebury
Wilkerson has coached the Middlebury distance runners for ten years. She had three individual NCAA qualifiers and her DMR team that ranks second made the NCAA field. Two of her athletes were New England champions in the mile, 600m, and 4×800.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Patty Ley – Christopher Newport
Patty’s distance athletes scored 34 points, including two titles, to lead team to second place finish at the Mason-Dixon Conference Championships. The Captains have two national qualifiers, two school records, and 20 PRs set by Patty’s athletes this season.  

WEST REGION – Jeff Rahn – Whitworth
Jeff has worked with the Whitworth distance athletes for fourteen years and has a national qualifier in the women’s mile.