USTFCCCA Announces Region Award Winners for Division II Indoor Track & Field

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 2, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the organization’s region athletes and coaches of the year for the 2012 NCAA Division II indoor track & field season on Friday. Several of the athletes and coaches will be on hand for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships set for next weekend, March 9-10, in Mankato, Minn. NCAA.com will provide live coverage of the national championships.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Josh Edmonds – Saint Augustine’s

Edmonds, a sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., led the Falcons to the 2012 CIAA team title as he won the 200 Meters, 400 Meters, and ran a leg on the winning 4×400 Relay. Edmonds’ best times of 48.25 in the 400 Meters and 21.62 in the 200 Meters rank first and third in NCAA Division II this season, respectively. The 4×400 Relay is also ranked #3 in nation.

CENTRAL REGION – Andrew Graham – Adams State

The senior from Newcastle, England, won RMAC titles in both the 800 Meters and the Distance Medley Relay, running an RMAC record time in the 800 Meters. His season-best time in the Mile of 4:01.43 is the fastest in NCAA Division II this season, and he also helped Adams State achieve the top entering time in the Distance Medley Relay headed into the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

EAST REGION – Selasi Lumax – Southern Connecticut State

Lumax won the 800 Meters in the New England Championships in a meet-record time of 1:47.34. That time was also the fastest in NCAA Division II this season by over two seconds and a school record. He also ran legs on Southern Connecticut State’s top-ranked 4×400 Relay and fourth-ranked Distance Medley Relay. Lumax is a senior from Somerset, N.J.

MIDWEST REGION – John Guagenti – Findlay

Guagenti earned GLIAC Running Event Athlete of the Meet honors after winning conference titles in the 200 Meters and 400 Meters and running a leg on the second-place 4×400 Relay. The senior from Bluffton, Ohio, ranks in the top ten nationally in the 400 Meters and as a member of Findlay’s 4×400 Relay.

SOUTH REGION – Chavis Taylor – Benedict

Taylor, a sophomore from Spartanburg, S.C. led the South Region in the 800 Meters with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:52.67. His season-best mark was set in winning the NCRunners Elite Last Chance Meet.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Laban Sialo – Central Missouri

The junior from Kapsabet, Kenya, earned MIAA High Point Athlete of the Meet honors after scoring 30 points by sweeping the distance races. Sialo set MIAA meet records in the 5000 Meters and 3000 Meters and also won the Mile. Entering the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, he has the fastest time among all competitors in the 5000 Meters, and he also will compete in the Mile.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Felix Duchampt – Queens (N.C.)

Duchampt won the 5000 Meters at the 2012 New Balance Collegiate Invitational in a season-best time of 14:25.97, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. He is a sophomore from Clermont Ferrand, France.

WEST REGION – Tyler Sipes – Grand Canyon

Sipes, a senior from Bloomington, Ill., recorded the fastest time in NCAA Division II this season in the 60 Hurdles with a mark of 7.80 seconds. He also recorded a provisional qualifying mark of 6.90 in the 60 Meters. Earlier this season, Sipes finished 12th at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Christopher Copeland – Saint Augustine’s

A senior from Suffolk, Va., Copeland was the CIAA Champion in the high jump and will enter the NCAA Championships as the No. 6 seed with a season’s best leap of 7-1¾ (2.18m).

CENTRAL REGION – Oliver Harsanyi – Western State

Harsanyi, a junior from Debrecen, Hungary, is the national Division II leader in the high jump by 2½ inches with a leap of 7-5 (2.26m), at altitude from the Air Force Invitational. The season-best mark also is among the nation’s top ten among all collegians in all divisions. He won the RMAC title in the high jump with a meet record clear of 7-2½ (2.20m) and finished as the league’s runner up in the triple jump.

EAST REGION

Matthew Jeune – New Haven

A sophomore from West Haven, Conn., Jeune was the Northeast-10 Champ in the high jump where he cleared his season’s best height of 7-2½ (2.20m), making him one of three No. 2 seeds for the NCAA meet in the event. Jeune placed third at the New England Championships in the event as well this season.

Corey Thomas – Stonehill

Thomas, a junior from Brookline, Mass., is another high jumper with much acclaim this season. Having cleared 7-2¼ (2.19m) in the high jump to win the open New England Championships, Thomas, the defending national champion in the event, will enter the NCAA meet as the No. 5 seed. Thomas was the Northeast-10 runner-up in the high jump and runner-up at Boston U.’s Valentine Invitational.

MIDWEST REGION – Ryan Loughney – Ashland

A senior from Grahamsville, N.Y., Loughney leads Division II in the weight throw with a season’s best mark of 75-5¼ (22.99m), making him the second-best performer all-time in the event’s history in DII. The defending national champ in the event, Loughney has been undefeated against collegiate completion this season, which includes a victory at the GLIAC Championship.

SOUTH REGION – Andrew Cole – Alabama-Huntsville

Cole, a senior from Madison, Ala., qualified for the NCAA Championships in the high jump with a school record leap of 6-11 (2.11m) and enters the national meet as the No. 12 seed.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Darius Walker – Central Missouri

Walker, a senior from Lee’s Summit, Mo., enters the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed, having scored a season best 5,298 points at January’s Missouri Southern Lion Invite. He won the MIAA heptathlon and scored a total of 25 team points towards the Mules’ conference crown.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Nazaire Saintine – Lees-McRae

A freshman from Douglasville, Ga., Saintine broke three Lees-McRae school records in field events. He finished the season ranked first in the region in the high jump with a best of 6-8 (2.03m). Saintine ended the season as the region’s No. 2 man in the long jump and triple jump as well.

WEST REGION – Karlin Stewart – Grand Canyon

Stewart, a sophomore from San Diego, Calif., enters the NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed in the long jump and No. 4 seed in the triple jump. Stewart has notched season bests, at altitude, of 24-10 (7.57m) in the long jump and 49-7¼ (15.12m) in the triple.

Men’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – George Williams – Saint Augustine’s

USTFCCCA Hall of Famer George Williams led his Falcons to the CIAA Championship. His team completed the regular season ranked first in the region and fourth nationally. The Falcons have athletes ranked in the top three in the region in seven of the sixteen events.

CENTRAL REGION – Mark Schuck – Minnesota State

A 30-year-plus veteran of MSU, Shuck’s Mavericks claimed the NSIC championship with 215 points. The team is ranked second in the region and 15th nationally, with ten athletes ranked in the top 25 in the country in their respective events.

EAST REGION – John Wallin – Southern Connecticut

In only his second year as head coach of the Owls, Wallin led Southern Connecticut to the Northeast-10 conference title, and placed 3rd at the all-division New England Championships. Athletes set two NE-10 Conference records, one New England record, and seven SCSU records this season. The Owls are ranked No. 1 in region and No. 3 nationally, with two No. 1 seeds and four top-six rankings heading into the national meet.

MIDWEST REGION – Marc Arce – Findlay

In his 24th year at Findlay, Arce led the Oilers to a third-place finish in the GLIAC.  Athletes have achieved five auto and seven provisional marks this indoor season. The team is ranked third in the region and ninth in the nation heading into the championship. The Oilers will be represented in six events at the indoor national meet.

SOUTH REGION – David Cain – Alabama-Huntsville

Cain’s Chargers completed the regular season ranked first in the region with the top ranked athlete or relay in eight of the 15 events. The team set seven school records during the season, and the Chargers will be represented at the national meet by Andrew Cole competing in the High Jump.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Kirk Pedersen/Kip Janvrin – Central Missouri

UCM won the MIAA Championships by 30 points this season, scoring in all but two events. This was the fifth-straight title and 14th in 16 years for the squad. The team is currently ranked seventh in Division II, and first in the region.  The Mules have two top seeds heading into nationals and a total of eight ranked in the top 15.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Matthew van Lierop – Mount Olive

In his third season at the helm of the Trojans, van Lierop’s team completed the regular season ranked first in the Southeast.

WEST REGION – Tom Flood – Grand Canyon

In only its third year of existence, Flood has the ‘Lopes ranked No. 1 in the nation and first in the West Region. GCU has 5 NCAA automatic marks and 12 provisional standards. GCU has the top performer in region in eight events, top-two performers in five events, and top four performers in both the LJ and TJ.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Samantha Edwards – Virginia State

The senior from Elmont, N.Y., scored 26 points at the CIAA Championships to lead Virginia State to the team title. She won the 400 Meters and finished second in the 200 Meters and 800 Meters at the 2012 CIAA Championships. Edwards’ season-best times of 53.95 in the 400 Meters and 24.24 in the 200 Meters rank first and fifth in NCAA Division II, respectively.

CENTRAL REGION – Indira Spence – Adams State

Spence reset conference records in winning the 55 Meters, 200 Meters, and 55 Hurdles at the 2012 RMAC Championships. Her season-best times in the 60 Meters, 200 Meters, and 60 Hurdles all rank in the top two in NCAA Division II this season. The senior from Trelawny, Jamaica, was named both the RMAC Track Athlete of the Year and the RMAC Track & Field Championship Athlete of the Meet.

EAST REGION – Amy Varsell – Bentley

Varsell, a junior from Burlington, Conn., won championships in the 800 Meters at both the Northeast-10 Championships and the New England Championships. Her time at the Northeast-10 Championships was a meet record. Varsell will compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 800 Meters, entering with a season-best time of 2:12.16.

MIDWEST REGION – Amanda Putt – Hillsdale

Putt earned GLIAC titles in the 800 Meters and Mile and ran on the second-place Distance Medley Relay. She achieved NCAA automatic qualifying marks in the 800 Meters, Mile, and 5000 Meters this season. Putt will focus on the 800 Meters and Mile at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships; she is ranked in the top two in both events. Putt is a junior from Adrian, Mich.

SOUTH REGION – Latrice Johnson – Alabama-Huntsville

The senior from Birmingham, Ala. finished the regular season as the only South Region student-athlete ranked in the top 15 nationally in two events. She earned top-15 national rankings in both the 60 Meters and 200 Meters, setting a school record in the 200 Meters during the regular season. She will compete in both events at the upcoming NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chrystal Ruiz – Angelo State

Ruiz, a senior, only ran the 400 Meters once this season, but she made the effort count by running one of the top ten times in NCAA Division II this season. She won three events at the Lone Star Conference invitational. A multi-event athlete, Ruiz will compete in two field events as well as the 400 Meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Kate Griewisch – Lenoir-Rhyne

Griewisch recorded a season-best time of 16:44.02 in the 5000 Meters at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational to punch her ticket to the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. She also has the top time in the Southeast Region in the Mile this season. Griewisch is a senior from Banner Elk, N.C.

WEST REGION – Shavine Hodges – Grand Canyon

The sophomore recorded the fastest time in NCAA Division II this season in the 60 Meters with a mark of 7.37 seconds. She also has a national top-three mark in the 200 Meters at 24.06 and as a member of Grand Canyon’s 4×400 Relay. Hodges is from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Tabitha Bermis – Edinboro

Bermis, a sophomore from Fair Oaks, Pa., is entered in the long and triple jump for the NCAA Championships. Bermis swept the events at the PSAC Championships and was named the meet’s MVP with season bests of 19-5¼ (5.92m) and 39-4 (11.99m).

CENTRAL REGION – Barbara Szabo – Western State

A sophomore from Budapest, Hungary, cleared a season’s best of 6-2 (1.88m) in the high jump earlier this season and enters the NCAA meet as the No. 1 seed in the event. Szabo’s mark is among the top-ten all-time bests in Division II history. She won the RMAC title in the high jump and was runner-up in the triple jump.

EAST REGION – Brittany Brown – Southern Connecticut

Brown, a junior from Mount Vernon, N.Y., earned national top-15 marks in the high jump, long jump, and pentathlon before suffering a season-ending injury. Brown’s season best of 5-9¼ (1.76m) in the high jump is the third best among Division II athletes in 2012.

MIDWEST REGION – Sam Lockhart – Grand Valley State

A junior from Lansing, Mich., Lockhart is the DII-leader in the shot put by nearly four feet with a season’s best toss of 54-5½ (16.60m) claimed in winning the GLIAC title. She is the nation’s No. 2 seed in the weight throw, laying claim to a season best of 67-7½ (20.61m). Lockhart was also the GLIAC runner-up in the weight.

SOUTH REGION – Tonish Delorch – Kentucky State

Delorch, a senior from Louisville, Ky., finished the season as the second-best long and triple jumper in the region. She won the Wabash Little Giant meet in the triple jump and was in the top three in every meet this season.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lindsay Lettow – Central Missouri

A senior from Urbandale, Iowa, Lettow is entered in four events at the NCAA Championships, including the pentathlon, high jump, and long jump. Lettow is the defending champion and No. 1 seed in the pentathlon, having scored 4,019 points this season. At the MIAA Championships, she scored a meet-high 44 points as was the league’s champion in the pentathlon and high jump.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Lauren Sloan – Anderson (S.C.)

Sloan, a senior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, finished the season as the region’s No. 1 shot putter and in the top 30 nationally in the event with a season’s best toss of 44-¾ (13.43m).

WEST REGION – Ali Worthen – Seattle Pacific

A junior from Coos Bay, Ore., Worthen is entered in the pentathlon for the NCAA Championships where she is the No. 7 seed with a season-best score of 3,729. Worthen won the GNAC long jump title and finished second in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump at the league’s event.

Women’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Dave Osanitsch – Shippensburg

Scoring 80 points more than the runner-up team, Shippensburg won the PSAC Indoor Championships with 166½ points courtesy of placing at least one athlete in 17 of 18 events. Over the weekend, the Raiders had seven event winners, nine All-PSAC finishes, and 26 PSAC placewinners, while setting three PSAC meet records. In his seventh year leading the Raiders, Osanitsch finished the regular season ranked first in the region and has four entries competing in Mankato.

CENTRAL REGION – Mike Thorson – U-Mary

The Marauders used five individual and two relay conference victories to help ensure a team victory at the NSIC Indoor Championships with 170 points. Thorson, in his 18th year enters the meet ranked 12th nationally and has four women who advanced to the NCAA Championships.

EAST REGION – Gary Gardner – UMass Lowell

In his tenth year, Gardner led the River Hawks to victory at the Northeast-10 Championships earning Women’s Coach of the Year honors. Finishing the season ranked second in the East Region, the women’s 4×400-meter relay team will keep their season alive with a No. 5 seed at the NCAA Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State

The Lady Lakers won the GLIAC Championship by an impressive 112-point margin after leading the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings all season. In his 13th year at the helm, Baltes had ten automatic and 29 provisional marks, with 17 total entries, the highest of any women’s program, for the NCAA Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Frank Hyland – Benedict

In just their second year of indoor competition, the Tigers finished the regular season as the second ranked team in the region and earned 23 All-Region honors. With six years at the helm at Benedict, Hyland has one athlete competing in Mankato in the 60-meter dash.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Victor Thomas – Lincoln (Mo.)

In his 11th year at Lincoln, Thomas led his women’s team to another MIAA championship. The Blue Tigers posted three automatic and 21 provisional qualifying marks that yielded 12 entries into the NCAA Championships. Lincoln finished the season first in the region and enters this weekend ranked fourth in the nation.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Matthew van Lierop – Mount Olive

The Mount Olive Trojans finished the regular season as the top team in the Southeast. In his third year leading the squad, van Lierop had ten athletes earn 16 All-Region honors this season.

WEST REGION – Karl Lerum – Seattle Pacific

Lerum, the GNAC Indoor Coach of the Year, led his squad to a 84½-point victory in the conference championships.  The Falcons finished the regular season ranked second in their region and have three women competing at the NCAA Championships.