Women’s Division II Region Outdoor Award Winners Released

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

May 20, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Friday winners of regional awards for the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season. As selected by coaches in the respective regions, sixteen female student-athletes earned awards as a track or field Athlete of the Year while 16 USTFCCCA members earned plaudits as a coach or assistant coach of a women’s team.

Most of the award winners will participate in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships to be held next weekend, May 26-28, in Turlock, Calif. Cal State Stanislaus will serve as host on at their home Al Brenda Track at Warrior Stadium.

2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field – Region Award Winners

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Neely Spence – Shippensburg
The junior from Shippensburg, Pa., set a new NCAA Division II all-time best in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:33.83. Spence won PSAC Championships in the 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, and 5,000 meters to score 30 team points. Spence will focus her efforts on the 5,000 meters at next weekend’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in which she has the top-ranked entering time.

CENTRAL REGION – Kristi Buerkle – Bemidji State
Buerkle has the fourth-fastest entering time in the 400 meters heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division II Championships, an automatic-qualifying time of 54.66. Buerkle won the 200 meters and 400 meters at the NSIC Championships and ran on the school’s second-place 4×400-meter relay and fourth-place 4×100-meter relay. She is a senior from Stacy, Minn.

EAST REGION – Shannon Gagne – New Haven
Gagne has national top-ten performances this season in the 200 meters and 400 meters, and she is the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and as a member of New Haven’s 4×100-meter relay. A senior from Meriden, Conn., Gagne will compete in both the 200 meters and the 400 meters at this weekend’s NCAA Division II Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Monica Kinney – Grand Valley State
Kinney, a junior, capped a strong regular season with a GLIAC championship in the 1,500 meters. Earlier in the season, she recorded the second-fastest times in NCAA Division II in both the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters, and she will compete in both events at this weekend’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Kinney is from Walker, Mich.

SOUTH REGION – Camille Clemmons-James – Benedict
Clemmons-James, a junior from Columbia, S.C., captured three school records during the 2011 regular season, rewriting the school bests for 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. Her time in the 400 meters ranks fifth overall in NCAA Division II headed into the Championships. At the 2011 SIAC Championships, she finished second in the 100 meters and fourth in the 200 meters.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Judith Riley – Lincoln (Mo.)
The junior from Manchester, Jamaica, was high point winner at the MIAA Championships with 30 team points. She broke the conference record in winning the 100-meter hurdles, and she also scored individual wins in the 100 meters and 200-meters. Riley has the top-ranked time in the 100 meters heading into the NCAA Division II Championships, and she will also compete in the 200 meters and as a member of Lincoln’s top-ranked 4×100-meter relay.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Kate Griewisch – Lenoir-Rhyne
Griewisch reset the Lenoir-Rhyne record books this season with her performances in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, and 10,000 meters. She will focus on the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, an event in which she has the sixth-fastest entering time. Griewisch is a junior from Banner Elk, N.C.

WEST REGION – Sarah Porter – Western Washington
The senior from Hockinson, Wash., will attempt the distance double at this weekend’s NCAA Division II Championships, as she has the fastest-entering time in the 10,000 meters and the third-fastest time in the 5,000 meters, a new school record. Porter won the 2011 GNAC title in the 10,000 meters and finished second in the 1,500 meters, breaking another school record in the process.


Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Xahnn George-Reid – Johnson C. Smith
George-Reid, a sophomore from Clarendon, Jamaica, scored a wind-aided season’s best in the long jump of 19-6¼ (5.95m) on the final weekend of the season to claim a spot as the seventh seed into the NCAA Championships. George-Reid also finished the season in the nation’s top 20 in the high jump with a 5-7 (1.70m) clearance. In the CIAA Championships, George-Reid claimed a third place finish in the long jump and sixth in the high jump.

CENTRAL REGION – Mary Theisen – Winona State
Theisen, a sophomore from Eau Claire, Wis., enters the NCAA Championships as the top-ranked athlete in the discus, having claimed a throw of 176-3 (53.72m) to win the NSIC title. Theisen also qualified for the NCAA meet in the shot put and will be the sixth seed with a season’s best of 49-5 (15.06m). Theisen was also the winner of the NSIC shot put crown.

EAST REGION – Alyssa Hudgins – Georgian Court
Hudgins, a sophomore from Highland Park, N.J., finished the season as the region’s number one discus thrower with a season’s best of 138-3 (42.14m) and ranked second in the shot put and fourth in the hammer throw. Hudgins was the CTC champ of the shot put and discus and runner-up with the hammer.

MIDWEST REGION – Sam Lockhart – Grand Valley State
Lockhart, a sophomore from Lansing, Mich., is entered in the NCAA Championships with top four seeds in both the shot put and discus. In the discus, Lockhart has the nation’s second-best throw of 171-11 (52.42m) and claimed a GLIAC title in the event. With the shot, Lockhart put to a mark of 49-10 (15.19m) and was the conference runner-up in the event.

SOUTH REGION – Antoinette Oglesby – Fort Valley State
Oglesby, a senior from Athens, Ga., is entered in both the long and triple jumps at the NCAA Championships. Her season’s best in the triple jump of 42-2¾ (12.87m) won the collegiate division of the Penn Relays and is the No. 2 seed for the NCAA meet. In the long jump, Oglesby claimed a jump of 19-6¼ (5.95m) in the final weekend of the season to rank seventh in the country.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lindsay Lettow – Central Missouri
Lettow, a junior from Urbandale, Iowa, qualified and is entered in a meet-best five events for the NCAA Championships. Among the five events is the heptathlon in which she is the national leader by over 300 points after scoring a season-best 5,610 points in March. Field-event wise, Lettow has also qualified for the NCAAs in the long jump, in which she is the fifth seed, and the high jump, where she has cleared 5-8 (1.73m).

SOUTHEAST REGION – Katherine Davis – UNC Pembroke
Davis, a senior Hampstead, N.C., finished the season ranked in the nation’s top 25 in the hammer throw with a season’s best of 172-11 (52.72m) and in the top 40 in the discus. Davis helped UNC Pembroke to a second-place team finish at the Southeast Regional Invitational with a title in the discus and a third-place showing the shot put.

 WEST REGION – Na’i Leni – Cal State LA
Leni, a junior from Carson, Calif., is the division’s top-ranked athlete in the shot put heading into the NCAA Championships with a season’s best of 51-1 (15.57m). Leni also is the fourth seed in the discus at the national championships with a year’s best of 168-1 (51.23m). Leni was the CCAA champion of the shot and discus.


Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

In Division II, awards for assistant coach of the year are judged based on both indoor and outdoor seasons.

ATLANTIC REGION – Larry Moore – Johnson C. Smith
The throws coach assisted the Lady Bulls to their first CIAA Team Championship and a fifth national ranking during the outdoor season following a seventh-place finish as a  team at the Indoor NCAA Championships.

CENTRAL REGION – Mike Turgeon – Winona State
During the indoor season, Warrior throwers placed top three in the weight, including six of the top eight, and top two in the shot put at conference. His throwers earned three All-American honors. This outdoor season, Turgeon’s throwers scored 80 points at NSIC Championships including winning three of the four throws events, a conference record in the discus, and scoring six of the top eight places in the discus. The seventh-year coach has seven athletes competing at the Championships including the top ranked discus thrower.

EAST REGION – Mustafa Abdur-Rahim – Southern Connecticut
Abdur-Rahim is in his second season working with the SCSU sprinters and jumpers. At the Northeast-10 Championships, his athletes scored a total of 47 points in the jumps and two have earned entries to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Cory Young – Grand Valley State
GVSU throwers accounted for 30 points of the 83 the Lakers scored for the NCAA Indoor Championships, including a 1-2 finish in the shot put. The fourth-year coach also had athletes go 1-2 in the indoor shot put, and 3-4-7 in the weight throw. Recently, his throwers scored 55 points at the outdoor GLIAC Championships and six will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Kasia Williams – Nova Southeastern
In her first year with the Sharks, Williams coached three champions to help the team finish third at the Outdoor South Regional Championships. Her 4×400-meter team is currently ranked second and the squad’s 4×100 is ranked fourth nationally in addition to the three individual entries to the NCAA Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chris Richardson – Neb.-Omaha
In his fifth year with the Mavs, Richardson had Indoor Conference champions in the four events, including the long, triple, and high jumps as well as the shot put. At the indoor nationals, those four athletes combined for 26 of UNO’s 29 points for an NCAA fifth-place team finish. So far this outdoor season, his athletes have set five UNO school records on route to earning four NCAA entries.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Jason Bryan – Anderson (S.C.)
The middle and long distance coach has one student-athlete competing in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

WEST REGION – Octavious Gillespie-Bennett – Cal State LA
In just his first season with the Golden Eagles, this field event coach had an athlete earn All-American honors in the pentathlon. Leading into the outdoor championships, he has two NCAA Qualifiers in three events, including the national top seed in the shot put. At the recent CCAA Conference Championships, two athletes brought home the title and four earned All-CCAA honors.


Women’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Dave Osanitsch – Shippensburg
Scoring in 18 of 22 events with 34 place winners, Osanitsch’s Lady Raiders claimed the PSAC title. Shippensburg finished the regular season ranked second in the Atlantic region and 14th in the national rankings and will be represented by six entries in the NCAA Championship meet.

CENTRAL REGION – Tracy Hellman – Augustana (S.D.)
Tracy Hellman led  the Augustana Lady Vikings to the NSIC conference title with a school record 162 pts. Hellman coached six individual conference champions. There were five school records set during outdoor season. Hellman’s 13th ranked team will compete with six entries at the NCAA nationals.

EAST REGION – Kevin LaSure – New Haven
LaSure’s Chargers placed second at the NE-10 meet and completed the regular season ranked third in the region.  The New Haven Lady Chargers will have five entries at the NCAA Championship meet.

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State
Jerry Baltes’ GVSU Lakers claimed their 12th-straight GLIAC title with a 126-point margin of victory. Ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA National Rankings, GVSU will be competing with 26 entries at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Steve Guymon – Harding
Guymon’s Lady Bisons won the 2011 South Regional Invitational scoring 220 points with 18 women. The team is ranked fourth in the final rankings of the South Region.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Victor Thomas – Lincoln (Mo.)
Victor Thomas guided the Blue Tigers to the MIAA title winning by 49½ points and was named MIAA Coach of the Year.  Lincoln will be competing with 17 entries at the NCAA Championship meet including seven athletes with automatic times and the top ranked 4×100-meter team in the nation and third ranked team in the 4×400-meter relay.  Lincoln claimed six MIAA Track Athlete of the Week honors during the season. The team ranks No. 1 in the South Central region and No. 2 nationally.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Matthew van Lierop – Mount Olive
Named the Conference Carolinas Coach-of-the-Year, van Lierop guided the Lady Trojans to the Conference Carolinas Championship. Ranked first in the region in the final USTFCCCA ranking, the Lady Trojans established sixteen school records in 2011.

WEST REGION – Karl Lerum – Seattle Pacific
Lerum’s Seattle Pacific Falcons won their second straight GNAC team title by scoring 206½ points. The nationally eighth-ranked Falcons crowned seven GNAC champions and will be represented with eight entries at the NCAA Championship meet.