National Award Winners Named for DIII Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday that Al Carius of North Central (Ill.) and Bobby Van Allen of Johns Hopkins were voted as National Coaches of the Year for the 20112 cross country season. In addition, Tim Nelson of UW-Stout and Christy Cazzola of UW-Oshkosh were recognized on Saturday as USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Year as a result of their first-place showings at the NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships. Carius led North Central to their 15th national title in men’s cross country while Van Allen led the Blue Jays to the program’s first NCAA crown.
NATIONAL MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Tim Nelson, UW-Stout
A senior from Augusta, Wis., Nelson, leading from all but the very beginning of the race, captured the NCAA DIII individual championship with a near-eight second victory on the field.
He took the first-place prize at the NCAA Midwest Regional after a close race which took ahead of the North Central duo of Yonatan Mascote and Dan Kerley. He also claimed the WIAC title this fall by 25 seconds and won the DIII section of the Roy Griak Invitational. At the adidas Wisconsin Invitational, he placed in the overall top 40 and as the top DIII athlete in a stacked field full of DI competition.
Previous Five National Men’s Athletes of the Year
2011: Ben Sathre, St. Thomas (Minn.)
2010: Anders Hulleberg, Haverford
2009: Ricky Flynn, Lynchburg
2008: Peter Kosgei, Hamilton
2007: Tyger Sigl, UW-Platteville
NATIONAL WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh
Cazzola, a senior from Kaukauna, Wis., took the women’s individual national cross country title with a run of 20:53 in the championship 6k, 15 seconds ahead of nearest competitor – Alison Steinbrunner of Ohio Northern and 20 seconds ahead of third-plcae Keri Lambert of Amherst. Cazzola trailed Lambert by almost 11 seconds at the 5,000-meter mark of the race. She then began to close the gap and eventually passed Lambert with about 500 meters to go. Lambert faded to third place as she was passed by Steinbrunner down the stretch.
Cazzola finished her collegiate cross country career by finishing in the NCAA’s top four in each of the last three years.
Also this fall, she repeated as the NCAA Midwest Regional champ by winning this year’s race by nearly ten seconds with a 20:51 6k clocking. She also notched the crown at the WIAC Championships.
Previous Five National Women’s Athletes of the Year
2011: Chiara Del Piccolo, Williams
2010: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
2009: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
2008: Marie Borner, Bethel (Minn.)
2007: Sarah Zerzan, Willamette
NATIONAL MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
For Carius, the Cardinals of North Central claimed the squad’s 15th NCAA men’s cross country title, extending their all-division record. It was also NCC’s third national crown over a four-year span for the coach in his 47th year at the school. North Central won with 167 points, topping Calvin and Haverford who tied for second (188).
The Cardinals were scored as the fifth-place team with 1000 meters to go.
“We really pulled it out in the last quarter mile,” Carius said. “We knew we had to build as the race went on because it was a tougher course than it appears. We waited until the last second to pull it out, but fortunately that’s the way the season has gone.”
Junior John Crain paced the Cardinals with a sixth-place finish, earning his first All-American accolade, crossing the tape in 24:43.5. Dan Kerley was the next Cardinal to cross the finish line, ending his career with a 14th-place finish in a time of 24:48.50, also earning his first All-America certificate.
North Central once again captured the NCAA Midwest Region title and notched their 39th-straight CCIW conference crown this fall.
Previous Five National Men’s Coaches of the Year
2011: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2010: Tom Donnelly, Haverford
2009: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2008: Steve Patrick, SUNY Cortland
2007: Nick McDonough, NYU
NATIONAL WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
The Blue Jays under 14th-year head coach Van Allen captured their first national title in women’s cross country this season. At the NCAA event, the squad scored 153 points to take the title, 63 points ahead of runner-up Wartburg. The accomplishment marked the first women’s national championship in any sport in Johns Hopkins history, and first Division III title since men’s swimming in 1979.
The squad was led by freshman Hannah Oneda who took tenth overall. Junior Holly Clarke and senior Annie Monagle followed at 25th and 32nd, respectively.
JHU notched fifth-consecutive Centennial Conference and NCAA Mideast Regional titles this fall as well.
Previous Five National Women’s Coaches of the Year
2011: Jeff Stiles, Washington (Mo.)
2010: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury
2009: Dan Schwamberger, UW-Eau Claire
2008: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury
2007: Erik Nedeau, Amherst