USTFCCCA Region Award Winners Announced for DI Indoor Track & Field
By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA
March 5, 2012
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Monday region award winners for the 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season as voted by the region-specific coaches. Most of the athletes and coaches will participate in the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships this upcoming weekend, Friday-Saturday, March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho. ESPN3.com and NCAA.com will provide live coverage of the championships.
Men’s Track Athlete of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Andy Bayer – Indiana
Bayer won the Mile and 3000 Meters and finished third in the 5000 Meters to score 26 team points and help lead the Hoosiers to the Big Ten team title. As the anchor leg for Indiana’s Distance Medley Relay, Bayer has helped the team equal the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history in the event. Bayer is a junior from Leo, Ind.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Robby Creese – Penn State
Creese, the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year, anchored the winning Distance Medley Relay and placed third in the Mile at the conference championships. Earlier this season, he reset the collegiate, American junior, and Penn State records in the 1000 Meters, running a time of 2:19.53. Creese is a freshman from Mount Airy, Md.
MIDWEST REGION – Harun Abda – Minnesota
Abda won Big Ten titles in the 400 Meters and 600 Meters, setting a conference record in the 600 Meters in the process. His season-best time of 1:46.97 in the 800 Meters is the fastest recorded this indoor season. He is a junior from Fridley, Minn.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Miles Batty – BYU
The senior from Sandy, Utah, reset the collegiate record in the Mile this indoor season with a time of 3:54.54. He also has a top-ten national ranking in the 3000 Meters with a season-best time of 7:49.58. Batty runs the anchor leg for BYU’s top-ranked Distance Medley Relay, which ran the third-fastest time in NCAA history in the event earlier this season.
NORTHEAST REGION – Jarret Eaton – Syracuse
Eaton, the 2012 BIG EAST champion in the 60 Hurdles, leads the nation in the event with a best time of 7.49 seconds. His time is the second-fastest ever recorded by a collegian in the event. The senior from Abington, Pa. twice earned BIG EAST Male Track Athlete of the Week honors during the regular season for his efforts.
SOUTH REGION – Torrin Lawrence – Georgia
The senior from Jacksonville, Fla., is the 2012 SEC Indoor Track & Field champion in the 400 Meters. He clocked the fastest time recorded in the event this indoor season during the conference preliminary rounds at 46.01 seconds. As a member of Georgia’s 4×400 Relay, Lawrence helped the Bulldogs finish second in the event at the SEC Indoor Championships and earn a top-five national ranking.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Akheem Gauntlett – Arkansas
Gauntlett has earned top-ten national rankings in the 200 Meters, 400 Meters, and as a member of Arkansas’s top-ranked 4×400 Relay. At the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, he finished third in both the 200 Meters and as a member of the Hogs’ 4×400 Relay. Gauntlett is a junior from Kingston, Jamaica.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Ryan Hill – NC State
Hill, a junior from Hickory, N.C., recorded the fastest time in the nation this season in the 3000 Meters at 7:43.08. He has not lost a race so far this indoor season, including ACC Indoor Track & Field conference titles in the 3000 Meters and as a member of the Wolfpack’s Distance Medley Relay squad.
WEST REGION – Lawi Lalang – Arizona
Lalang only took one shot at each of three distances during the regular season, but he clearly made those efforts count. He broke the collegiate record in the 5000 Meters (13:08.28) and showed his range by running top-five all-time collegiate marks in both the Mile and the 3000 Meters. The sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya ranks in the top two nationally in all three events.
Men’s Field Athlete of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Japheth Cato – Wisconsin
A sophomore from Crete, Ill., Cato is the nation’s third-ranked heptathlete, having scored 5,939 points – a Big Ten record – in early February. Cato scored 21 team points at the Big Ten Championships by winning the heptathlon and participating in individual events. Cato is undefeated in combined-event competitions this year and is the collegiate-leader in the pentathlon (4,040).
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Conor McCullough – Princeton
McCullough, a freshman from Canoga Park, Calif., is the collegiate-leader in the weight throw, having marked an Ivy League-record throw of 76-1 (23.19m) at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet in early February. McCullough also won the Ivy title in the event.
MIDWEST REGION – Erik Kynard – Kansas State
A junior from Toledo, Ohio, Kynard has had an undefeated season in the high jump and twice cleared the collegiate-leading height of 7-7 (2.31m). Kynard won his third-straight overall Big 12 crown this indoor season as well.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Cale Simmons – Air Force
Simmons, a junior from Rocklin, Calif., is the second-leading collegiate pole vaulter in the 2012 season, having cleared an Air Force Academy-record 18-1¼ (5.52m) earlier this season. Simmons, the winner of four out of six competitions this winter, also won the Mountain West title in the event.
NORTHEAST REGION – Robert Golabek – Buffalo
A senior from Hamburg, N.Y., Golabeck ranks among the nation’s top ten in the shot put this season, having tossed a season’s best of 63-3½ (19.29m). On five occasions this year, Golabek – the winner of four competitions this season – broke his own MAC record in the shot.
SOUTH REGION – Gray Horn – Florida
Horn, a senior from Waynesville, Ohio, was the SEC Champion in the heptathlon and is the nation’s second-ranked in the event having scored 5,971 points in the Texas A&M Challenge back in January. Horn also finished the season among the nation’s top 20 in the long jump, having leapt to 25-1¾ (7.66m).
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Damar Forbes – LSU
A junior from Decatur, Ga., Forbes was LSU’s top scorer at this year’s SEC meet having scored 14 points in the horizontal jumps. Forbes, the collegiate-leader in the long jump with a season’s best of 26-7¾ (8.12m), was second in the event at the SEC meet. Forbes set a PR of 52-10¼ (16.11m) in taking third in the conference final of the triple jump and ranks seventh in the nation in the event.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Marcus Robinson – Virginia
Robinson, a senior from Richmond, Va., is the collegiate-leader in the triple jump having marked a best of 54-6¾ (16.63m) in taking top honors at the Tyson Invitational this season. The mark was an ACC conference and Virginia school record. Robinson claimed the ACC title with a leap of 53-6½ (16.32m).
WEST REGION – Chris Benard – Arizona State
A senior from Corona, Calif., Benard helped Arizona State to a MPSF title with 18 team points where he won the triple jump with a career best and ASU school-record leap of 53-11 (16.43m). He also claimed a second-place showing in the long jump with a mark that places him in the top 20 nationally in the event. Benard is undefeated in the triple jump this season where his mark ranks third nationally.
Men’s Coach of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Ron Helmer – Indiana
The head coach of the Hoosiers since 2007, Helmer guided his team to the Big Ten Championship. Helmer’s team ranks second in the region and 13th nationally. His distance runners scored 53 of the team’s 104 points at the Big Ten meet by placing in the mile, 3K, 5K and DMR. Andrew Bayer scored 26 points at the Big Ten meet, taking titles in the mile and 3K and finishing third in the 5K. IU’s DMR ranks second nationally with the fourth-fastest time ever recorded. Indiana has 14 athletes ranked in the top 20 in the country in their respective events.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Fred Samara – Princeton
Now in this third decade at the helm of the Tigers track & field program, Samara led Princeton to the Ivy League Championship. The Tigers completed the regular season ranked #2 in the region with conference champions in the 400, 500, 800, 1000, 5000, triple jump and weight throw. Conor McCullough leads the nation in the weight.
MIDWEST REGION – Connie Price-Smith – Southern Illinois
Four-time Olympian Connie Price-Smith guided the Salukis to the Missouri Valley Conference championship. Weight thrower JC Lambert, pole vaulter Cody Doerflein, miler Zach Dahleen and the DMR were conference champions.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Ralph Lindeman – Air Force
Long-time Air Force Academy head coach Ralph Lindeman guided the Falcons to their first-ever Mountain West Conference Championship, earning him MWC Coach of the Year honors. Two Academy records were set in 2012 along with a program-record six conference champions (pole vault, high jump, distance medley relay, 4×400-meter relay, 3000-meter run, 5000-meter run) and a program-record-matching 13 all-conference selections.
NORTHEAST REGION – Nathan Taylor – Cornell
Taylor led the Big Red to a second place at the HEPS with the fifth-highest score in Ivy League history. Cornell also boasted 45 IC4A qualifiers including Montez Blair, the 12th-ranked high jumper in the nation and Stephen Monzea, the 12th-ranked shot putter in the country. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the region.
SOUTH REGION – Bob Braman – Florida State
Bob Braman’s Seminoles won the ACC Title. The team is ranked third in the region and 16th in the country. The Seminoles have eight athletes ranked in the top 20 in nation in their respective events.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chris Bucknam – Arkansas
Now in his fourth season leading the Razorback men’s program Chris Bucknam guided Arkansas to the SEC Championship title. The Razorbacks collected four event titles at the SEC meet, including victories in the mile and the DMR. The Razorbacks have spent four weeks this season as the No. 1 team in the nation and have posted four NCAA automatic-qualifying performances. The Razorbacks are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the region.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Dave Cianelli – Virginia Tech
Cianelli led the Hokies to a runner-up finish in the ACC meet and currently rank No. 1 in the region and No. 11 nationally. The Hokies had two individual conference champions and a sweep of the top-three in the weight throw led by No. 2- and No. 3-ranked Marcel Lomnicky and Alexander Ziegler.
WEST REGION – Greg Kraft – Arizona State
Now in his 16th year at ASU, Kraft guided the Sun Devils to the MPSF Championship, outscoring their nearest opponent by 50 points. The team’s 131½ points and margin of victory were both the highest in the past decade. The Sun Devils are ranked first in the region and seventh in the country and have four NCAA automatic qualifiers and ten student-athletes or relays ranked in the top 25 nationally. Kraft’s event focus is the jumps and Chris Benard (TJ) and Brian McBride (HJ) have posted top-five national marks.
Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Jeff Huntoon – Indiana
In his fourth year working with the jumpers and sprinters, Huntoon had athletes achieve 18 personal records on route to scoring 40 of Indiana’s 104 points at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, good enough for first place in the team race. Huntoon has Hoosiers ranked fourth in the 200m, 12th in the high jump, 13th in the triple jump and 16th in the 60 meters.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Steve Dolan – Princeton
Dolan’s middle-distance and distance squad scored 99 points, and set league records in the 3K and 5K, to help bring home the Ivy League Championship. In his eighth year working with the Tigers, Dolan coaches nationally ranked athletes in events ranging from the 800 meters up to the 5000 meters.
MIDWEST REGION – Paul Thornton – Minnesota
While helping the Gophers to a second-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, Thornton’s sprinters, jumpers, and multi-event athletes earned multiple Big Ten individual titles, set a Big Ten record and brought home the honors of Track Athlete of the Year and co-Track Athlete of the Championships. This is the second-consecutive honor for the third year coach.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Ed Eyestone – BYU
In his tenth year with the Cougars, Eyestone has athletes currently ranked first in the mile, sixth in the 3K, 14th in the 800m and the top ranked Distance Medley Relay, with an additional four athletes in the top-30. Eyestone’s athletes have helped his alma mater jump up to eighth in the current national rankings.
NORTHEAST REGION – Gabe Sanders – Boston University
Sanders’ sprinters contributed 74 out of a school-record 151½ points at the America East Indoor Championships for a runner-up performance. Their success achieved on account of five conference titles – including a 1-4 sweep of the 200m, two meet records, and two school records. One Terrier brought home the America East MVP award with the guidance of his fourth-year coach.
SOUTH REGION – Jon Stuart – Georgia
Bulldog sprinters scored 23 of Georgia’s all-time high 85½ points at the Southeastern Conference Champs to place third. Stuart works with Torrin Lawrence who owns the fastest 400 meter time in the nation this year and a 4×400 team that broke the school record with the fifth-fastest time in the nation (3:06.97). In his 13th year, Stuart has helped his alma mater jump to 14th in the current national rankings.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Mario Sategna – Texas
In his ninth year coaching the field events, Sategna guided five individuals to Big 12 titles on route to scoring 93 points of the 133 Longhorn team points. Sategna currently has four athletes with NCAA auto qualifying marks as the team sits sixth in the national poll.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Greg Jack – Virginia Tech
Hokie weight throwers finished 1-2-3 at the ACC Indoor Championships, contributing 24 points to the Hokies 95½ total and runner-up finish. In his 11th season with Virginia Tech, Jack has two weight throwers currently ranked in the top three.
WEST REGION – James Li – Arizona
In his tenth year working with the Wildcats, Li’s distance squad currently has five NCAA automatic qualifying times. This season, his athletes have set the collegiate record in the 5K, set school records in the mile, 3K and 5K, and brought home the MPSF 3K title. Nationally, Wildcats currently sit second in the mile, second in the 3K and 1-2 in the 5K.
Women’s Track Athlete of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Christina Manning – Ohio State
Manning earned Big Ten titles in the 60 Meters and 60 Hurdles and finished second in the 200 Meters, setting Buckeye school records in all three events. Her time in the 60 Hurdles of 7.95 seconds also broke the Big Ten conference record. The senior from Waldorf, Md., was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships for her performances.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Emily Infeld – Georgetown
Infeld, a junior from University Heights, Ohio, won BIG EAST titles in the 3000 Meters and Mile and anchored the Hoyas’ winning Distance Medley Relay at the conference championships. Her season-best time of 9:00.13 in the 3000 Meters ranks second nationally, and she helped the Hoyas clock the third-fastest time of the season in the Distance Medley Relay.
MIDWEST REGION – Diamond Dixon – Kansas
Dixon capped an undefeated regular season in the 400 Meters with a win in the event at the Big 12 Conference championships. Her season-best time of 52.55 ranks second in the NCAA this season. She also helped Kansas earn the conference title in the 4×400 Relay with the fastest time recorded during the regular season in the event. Dixon is a sophomore from Houston, Texas.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Nachelle Mackie – BYU
The junior from Spanish Fork, Utah, leads the nation in the 800 Meters with a season-best and school record time of 2:03.56. Earlier this season, she earned a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title in the 800 Meters. She also competes as a member of BYU’s top-ten nationally-ranked Distance Medley Relay.
NORTHEAST REGION – Lucy Van Dalen – Stony Brook
Van Dalen, a senior from Wanganui, New Zealand, recorded the fastest collegiate times this season in the 1000 Meters and 1500 Meters. She also has the second-fastest time recorded this season in the Mile and a top-ten mark in the 3000 Meters. Van Dalen won America East titles in both the Mile and 3000 Meters, setting conference records in both events in the process.
SOUTH REGION – Octavious Freeman – UCF
The freshman from Lake Wales, Fla., won C-USA titles in the 60 Meters and 200 Meters and has the fastest time recorded this season in the 60 Meters. Her time of 7.19 seconds was also a school record. Freeman received C-USA Female Athlete of the Week honors three times during the indoor season for her efforts.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Kristen Gillespie – Arkansas
Gillespie earned SEC titles in the Mile and 3000 Meters and helped the Lady Razorbacks finish second in the Distance Medley Relay at the conference championships. She earned the conference’s Cliff Harper Trophy at the high point scorer of the championships. Gillespie set the SEC Championship meet and school record with her time of 4:34.49 in the mile. She is a junior from Overland Park, Kan.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Dezerea Bryant – Clemson
Bryant earned the ACC’s Most Valuable Track Performer honors after winning ACC championships in both the 60 Meters and 200 Meters. Her season-best performances in both events rank among the nation’s top-ten this season and rank second in Clemson history in each event. Bryant is a freshman from Milwaukee, Wis.
WEST REGION – Katie Flood – Washington
Flood, a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa, recorded the fastest collegiate times this season in the Mile, 3000 Meters, and as a member of Washington’s top-ranked Distance Medley Relay. Her Mile time of 4:28.48 is the fourth-fastest in NCAA history indoors, and her time in the 3000 Meters ranks among the top ten ever recorded indoors by a collegian.
Women’s Field Athlete of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Jasmine Cotten – Cincinnati
A senior from Fayetteville, W.Va., Cotten was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer at the Big East Championships this season where she scored 23 points and helped the Bearcats to a second-place team finish. At the Big East meet, Cotten was the winner of the pentathlon with 4,192 points – a mark that ranks third among collegians this year. Cotten was also second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump at the league meet. Cotten’s season best in the high jump of 5-11½ (1.82m) ranks in the nation’s top 20 this season.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Vanessa Henry – UMES
Henry, a senior from Capital Heights, Md., ranks among the nation’s top 20 and No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic region in the shot put with a season’s best toss of 54-1¾ (16.50m). Henry won championship titles in the MEAC and ECAC in the shot put and claimed third-place finishes at both meets with the weight.
MIDWEST REGION – Jeneva McCall – Southern Illinois
A senior from Dolton, Ill., McCall leads the nation in the weight throw by nearly seven feet, having marked a season’s best of 77-11½ (23.76m). McCall, the Missouri Valley champ with the weight and the shot, ranks No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list in the weight throw.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Kelly Closse – Texas Tech
Closse, a junior from Les Abymes, France, was the Big 12 Champion with the weight throw where she captured a new meet record in the event. Closse ranks third in the NCAA this year in the weight with a season’s best of 70-11¼ (21.62m) and ranks 13th nationally in the shot put. Closse was the winner of five weight-throw and four shot put competitions this season.
NORTHEAST REGION – Rebecca O’Brien – Buffalo
A junior from Cumberland, Maine, O’Brien set a Mid-American Conference record in the shot put with a season’s best of 57-8¼ (17.58m) this season. O’Brien, undefeated this season and winner of her second-straight MAC shot title, ranks fourth in the NCAA in the event this year.
SOUTH REGION – Krystal Schade – Alabama
Schade, a junior from Sunrise, Fla., won the SEC title in the high jump with a season’s best leap of 6-2 (1.88m). Schade ranks second in the NCAA in the high jump and is undefeated in five competitions this season.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Whitney Gipson – TCU
A senior from Newark, Texas, is the collegiate-leader in the long jump, having marked 21-10¾ (6.67m) in winning the Mountain West title. Gipson scored 18 points at the MWC meet with a seventh-place showing in the triple jump and third-place nod in the 200.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Tynita Butts – East Carolina
Butts, a junior from Alexandria, Va., won the Conference USA high jump title with a season’s best of 6-¾ (1.85m), helping the ECU squad to a league team title. Butts is ranked in a tie for fifth nationally in the event.
WEST REGION – (tie)
Brigetta Barrett – Arizona
Barrett, a junior from Duncanville, Texas, is the collegiate leader in the high jump by 3½ inches, having cleared 6-5½ (1.97m) this season. Barrett won the MPSF title with a clear of 6-4 (1.93m) and has made six clearances above 6-2 (1.88m) so far this season.
Brianne Theisen – Oregon
Theisen, a senior from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, broke her own collegiate record in the pentathlon back in January, scoring 4,555 points. Theisen cleared 6-2 (1.88m) in the high jump portion of the pentathlon which ranks in a tie for second among all collegians in the event this year. At the MPSF Championships, Theisen performed in individual events, scoring 22 points with a victory in the 400 meters, a second-place in the 60 hurdles, and fifth-place showing in the long jump.
Women’s Coach of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Susan Seaton – Cincinnati
Seaton’s Bearcats were the runner-up team at the Big East Championships, winning four individual titles, earning seven top-three finishes and earning awards for “Most Outstanding Track Performer” and “Most Outstanding Field Performer”. Five UC records were broken and Kathy Klump won titles in the 800 and 500, both with meet record setting times of 2:05.47 (13th in the NCAA) and 1:10.08. Jasmine Cotten scored 23 points, won the pentathlon (4192 points, 3rd in NCAA), was second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump (9th in the NCAA with 5-11½). Sarah Rasnick won the pole vault with a school record mark of 13-10 (19th in NCAA).
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Patrick Henner – Georgetown
Now in his fifth season as head coach (13th at the school), Henner’s Hoyas won Big East Championships led by Emily Infeld who won three individual titles. The Hoyas have two NCAA auto qualifiers with Infeld in the 3000 (No. 2 in the country) as well as the DMR (No. 3 in the country). The 21st-ranked team in the country has eight marks that rank in the top 50 on the national standings.
MIDWEST REGION – Gary Pepin – Nebraska
In their first year in the Big Ten, Pepin led the Cornhuskers to the conference championship earning 114½ points. Pepin coached Mara Griva to the 2012 Big Ten triple jump title and a runner-up finish in the long jump. The Big Ten championship marks the 68th conference title in his tenure. Pepin was named the Big Ten Indoor Women’s Coach of the Year. The team completed the regular season ranked No. 1 in the region.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Gregg Gensel – Utah State
In his 30th year at Utah State, Gensel led the Aggies to their first WAC indoor title and first conference indoor title since 1994. Gensel was named WAC Coach of the Year.
NORTHEAST REGION – Willy Wood – Columbia
After nearly two decades at Columbia, Wood led the Lions to their first ever Ivy League team championship. The Lions were also the Metropolitan Conference Champions. Columbia has one NCAA automatic qualifier in Waverly Neer in the 3000 who is ranked 12th and one provisional qualifier in Nadia Eke in the triple jump.
SOUTH REGION – Mike Holloway – Florida
Mike “Mouse” Holloway led the Gators to the SEC championship. Florida has athletes ranked in the top three in the region in 9 of 17 events. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 7 in the country with 19 athletes and relays ranked in the top 15 in the country.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Darryl Anderson – TCU
In his eighth year as the head coach of the Horned Frogs, Anderson led his team to the Mountain West Conference title, earning him Coach of the Year honors. TCU’s women claimed 15 top three finishes at the conference meet. As sprints coach, Anderson guided Chaniqua Corinealdi to sweep the 60 and 200 at the MWCs. Other firsts came from Whitney Gipson (LJ) and Orlene Parris (HJ).
SOUTHEAST REGION – Lawrence Johnson – Clemson
Johnson’s No. 3 nationally-ranked Tigers claimed the ACC Championship and he was named ACC Coach of the Year. Johnson coached six individual ACC champions and the 4×400 relay that also won top honors at the conference meet. He coached ACC’s Most Valuable Performer, Dezerea Bryant who led the Tigers to 79-point win over the rest of the field – the largest margin of victory in the ACC since 1996.
WEST REGION – Edrick Floreal – Stanford
The Stanford women won the MPSF Championships – athletes coached by Floreal won the 60 hurdles, the long jump and the triple jump, where Stanford athletes swept the top three places. The Cardinal have 11 performances in nine different events that rank in the top 17 on the NCAA national descending order list. The team is currently ranked No. 11 nationally.
Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year
GREAT LAKES REGION – Christopher Bostwick – Michigan State
At the Big Ten Championships, the Spartans scored 29 points in the jumping events, including a gold medal in the high jump, silver in the triple jump and silver in the long jump. In his seventh year coaching at Michigan State, Bostwick has two athletes ranked in the top eight nationally.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Chris Mittenberg – Georgetown
Middle- and long-distance runners earned three individual titles to help the Hoyas win the Big East Championships. In his fifth year coaching at his alma mater, Mittenberg has coached six top-30 national marks and has two athletes with auto qualifying times thus far.
MIDWEST REGION – Wayne Pate – Kansas
Pate’s athletes scored 36 points, including a 1-2 finish in the long jump, at the Big 12 Championships helping KU place third. The fifth year coach as two athletes with qualifying marks in the long jump, one in the triple jump and three in the pentathlon as the team currently sits sixth in the country.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Cliff Felkins – Texas Tech
In his 11th season coaching the throws for the Red Raiders, Felkins has athletes currently ranked third in the weight throw, 12th and 14th in the shot put, nationally. One of his athletes used a meet record toss to win the Big 12 championship title in the weight throw.
NORTHEAST REGION – Andrea Grove-McDonough – Connecticut
The fourth-year coach has athletes in five events on the national list, including No. 6 and No. 22 in the 800 and No. 13 in the DMR. Huskies scored 37 of the team’s 66 points in the distance events at the Big East Championships. The team is currently the highest ranked Northeast region.
SOUTH REGION – Dennis Nobles – Florida State
Coaching the jumps and multi-events, Nobles has an athlete currently ranked fifth in the triple jump and another athlete among the top ten in the long jump. The same two women finished second and first, respectively, at the ACC Championships. The Seminoles are currently ranked 20th in the national rankings.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Nic Petersen – TCU
Petersen’s jumpers scored 45 points to help TCU win the Mountain West Conference Championships. The third-year coach guided athletes to a school record, two NCAA automatic marks including the top seed in the long jump, and a MWC record. Two Horned Frogs long jumpers are ranked among the top 25 in the world.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Timothy Vaught – Charlotte
Vaught’s athletes won every sprint and hurdle event to accumulate 97 of the team’s 161 points at the Atlantic 10 Championships. In addition to bringing home the team title, the fourth-year coach had 49ers win track MVP and rookie MVP of the championships and brought home ten All-Conference honors.
WEST REGION – Sheldon Blockburger – Arizona
In his seventh season at Arizona, Blockburger coached a school record high jumper to the top mark in the country after she earned an MPSF title in meet record fashion. He guided another Wildcat to a runner-up finish in the MPSF pentathlon and has the team currently 13th in the national rankings.