Cross Country DII National Awards Announced

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

November 20, 2012   

#d2xc

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday that NCAA Division II Cross Country Champions Micah Chelimo of Alaska Anchorage and Alicia Nelson of Adams State were named as National Athletes of the Year for the 2012 cross country season. In addition, Adams State’s Damon Martin was recognized as the National Men’s Coach of the Year while Jerry Baltes of Grand Valley State was named the National Women’s Coach of the Year.

NATIONAL MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage

A senior from Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo took the NCAA individual crown with a 28:56.6 run to capture UAA’s first national title in the sport. He was second in the national-championship race at the halfway split, but was able to pull ahead of the field and win over Adams State’s Kevin Batt by over 15 seconds.

He claimed the NCAA West Region title for the second-straight year which brought the Seawolves a runner-up showing in the region. He won the GNAC crown for the second-straight year and finished the season undefeated.

Previous Five National Men’s Athletes of the Year
2011: Ryan Haebe, Western State
2010: Michael Crouch, Queens (N.C.)
2009: Reuben Mwei, Adams State
2008: Scott Bauhs, Chico State
2007: Nicodemus Naimadu, Abilene Christian
Award Archive

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Alicia Nelson, Adams State

Nelson, a senior from Craig, Colo., won the national-championship race for Adams State and claimed the school’s first individual women’s cross country crown since 2002. She won with a championships-record 6k time of 20:03.3 and led her teammates to a third-place national team finish.

Nelson, who had also won the RMAC and NCAA Division II South Central Regional titles this season, was in fourth place at the first half checkpoint but moved up through the field before pulling away from Alaska Anchorage’s Susan Tanui to claim what ended up being a 9.3-second win over the Seawolf junior.

Previous Five National Women’s Athletes of the Year
2011: Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2010: Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2009: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2008: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2007: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
Award Archive

 

NATIONAL MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Damon Martin, Adams State

In his 18th season leading the Grizzly men, Coach Martin’s team won their ninth NCAA cross country crown, breaking a tie with rival and previous defending national champion Western State for most in division history. The dominant, 68-point victory on the field delivered the school’s fourth crown in five years.

All seven runners from Adams State earned All-America honors. Sophomore Kevin Batt placed as the race’s runner-up, sophomore Tabor Stevens took third, and sophomore Matthew Daniels came fourth. Senior David Sanchez (12th), sophomore John Luterbach (15th), senior Andrew Roberts (25th), and junior Jovanny Godinez (28th) rounded out the Adams State squad.

The Grizzlies also captured the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship and was South Central Regional Champions, their fifth-straight regional crown. 

Previous Five National Men’s Coaches of the Year
2011: Jennifer Michel, Western State
2010: Damon Martin, Adams State
2009: Damon Martin, Adams State
2008: Damon Martin, Adams State
2007: Jennifer Michel, Western State
Award Archive

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

Baltes’ Lakers won their second women’s NCAA cross country crown over a three-year period. They came out of a tight three-way race with Augustana (S.D.) (104) and Adams State (109) with a three-point victory (101) as they placed two – freshman Jessica Janecke and sophomore Allyson Winchester – in the race’s top six.

The squad had five athletes finish among the top 13 to win their 12th straight regional crown. In his 12th year coaching the women, Baltes also lead his team to victory in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the 12th year in a row. 

Previous Five National Women’s Coaches of the Year
2011: Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2010: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009: Damon Martin, Adams State
2008: Damon Martin, Adams State
2007: Damon Martin, Adams State
Award Archive