Blackwell, Ozanich Claim Distinction as D-III’s National Women’s Athletes of the Year

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

June 2, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Thursday that Methodist’s Ruby Blackwell and UW-Oshkosh’s Holly Ozanich are the organization’s National Women’s Track & Field Athletes of the Year for the 2011 NCAA Division III outdoor season.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Ruby Blackwell, Methodist

Blackwell, a sophomore from Fredericksburg, Va., was the national champion in the 200 meters at the NCAA Championships, clocking 24.19 for the victory. Blackwell also second in the 100 meters (11.88), only behind teammate Ashlynn Chavis (11.84). The duo also teamed up to help Methodist take the 4×100 relay in 46.16.

Blackwell also won Mason-Dixon Conference championships in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and as a member of the 4×100-meter and 4×4000-meter relay squads earlier in the season. In total, she earned a total of 33 team points at the meet when adding a second-place showing in the 100 meters.

Past Winners:
2011: Ruby Blackwell, Methodist
2010: Marie Borner, Bethel (Minn.)
2009: Sumer Rohrs, Frostburg State
2008: Rachel Anderson, Illinois Wesleyan
2007: Marcia Taddy, UW-Platteville
2006: Amanda Kuca, Concordia Moorhead

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Holly Ozanich, UW-Oshkosh

Ozanich, a senior from Green Bay, Wis., won the NCAA hammer throw title for the second-straight year. With a toss of 200-0 (60.95m), Ozanich secured victory, smashed the previous stadium record, and moved her to second all-time in NCAA Division III history. Three of Ozanich’s throws would have topped the rest of the field, but her best of the day was good enough for a win of over six feet. UW-Oshkosh has now won the women’s hammer throw at the last five NCAA Championships. Ozanich also took second in the shot put at the national meet, passed up only by teammate Jecel Gerner in the fifth round.

Ozanich won the hammer throw and shot put at the talent-laden WIAC Conference meet and also placed third in the discus.

Past Winners:
2011: Holly Ozanich, UW-Oshkosh
2010: Ellie Sitek, UW-Oshkosh
2009: Ashley Hutson, Hardin-Simmons
2008: Amy Reed, Messiah
2007: Jillian Crandall, UW-River Falls
2006: Robyn Jarocki, UW-Oshkosh