Regional Award Winners for 2012 Released for Division II Cross Country

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

November 7, 2012   

#d2xc

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Wednesday the winners of USTFCCCA Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year honors for the 2012 cross country season in Division II as voted by the Division’s coaches.

The NCAA DII Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Missouri Southern on Saturday, November 17, in Joplin, Mo. NCAA.com will broadcast the meet online.

USTFCCCA Division II Cross Country Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year

Men’s Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
Monroe, a junior from Lewistown, Pa., defended his Atlantic region title, cruising to a 12-second victory on his home course. Leading his team to a tie for second in the region, Monroe won in a 10k time of 30:41.1. Monroe claimed the individual title at the PSAC Championships for the second-straight season as well.

Recent Winners:
2011: Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2010: Nathan Zondlo, Lock Haven
2009: Ben Hahn, Edinboro
2008: Chris Clark, California (Pa.)

CENTRAL REGION – Travis Beniak, Augustana (S.D.)
Beniak, a senior from Mazeppa, Minn., won the Central region crown with a final time of 29:57 and will be making his third appearance at the NCAA Championships. He finished second place at the NSIC Championship as part of a top-three sweep of the conference race.

Recent Winners:
2011: Gabriel Proctor, Western State
2010: Ben Zywicki, Colorado Mines
2009: Reuben Mwei, Adams State
2008: Aaron Braun, Adams State

EAST REGION – Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell
Velga, a senior from Lowell, Mass., won the East crown for the second time in three years with a 28:53 run, finishing 23 seconds ahead of the field. He placed second at the Northeast-10 Championship where the River Hawks finished third.

Recent Winners:
2011: Glarius Rop, American International
2010: Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell
2009: Glarius Rop, American International
2008: Ruben Sanca, UMass Lowell

MIDWEST REGION – Matt Brooker, Cedarville
Brooker, a senior from Spring Mills, Pa., won the Midwest title and led the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Championships in their first year as an active DII program. In the regional, he covered the 10k in 30:35 and was 38 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. He was also dominant at the first-ever G-MAC Championships where he won the league crown by over a minute.

Recent Winners:
2011: Anthony Witt, Grand Valley State
2010: Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State
2009: Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State
2008: Chris Hammer, Grand Valley State

SOUTH REGION – Blaise Binns, Alabama-Huntsville
A sophomore from Huntsville, Ala., won the first region title in his program’s history with a school-record 10k time of 31:39 in leading the Chargers to the South crown. He also led the team to a Gulf South title while claiming the individual top honor at the league meet.

Recent Winners:
2011: Moses Kirui, Florida Tech
2010: Daniel Kirwa, Harding
2009: Daniel Kirwa, Harding
2008: Daniel Kirwa, Harding

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Kevin Batt, Adams State
Batt, a redshirt freshman from Sydney, Australia, took the South Central crown and led the Grizzlies to the region title with a thrilling, single-second victory over Eastern New Mexico’s Isaiah Samoei. He crossed the line fourth at the RMAC Championships this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Laban Sialo, Central Missouri
2010: Amos Sang, Abilene Christian
2009: Amos Sang, Abilene Christian
2008: Julius Nyango, Abilene Christian

SOUTHEAST REGION – Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
Ndhlovu, a senior from Harare, Zimbabwe, won the Southeast crown for the second-straight year, garnering a finish time of 31:19 and 31 seconds ahead of the region field. Also for the second-straight year, the Brave was the Peach Belt champ and won this year’s league title with a conference-record 8k time of 24:20.

Recent Winners:
2011: Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
2010: Meshack Koyiaki, Columbus State
2009: Oscar Ogwaro, Queens (N.C.)
2008: Oscar Ogwaro, Queens (N.C.)

WEST REGION – Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
A senior from Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo claimed the West 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 is undefeated this season.

Recent Winners:
2011: Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2010: Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage
2009: Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage
2008: Scott Bauhs, Chico State

Women’s Athletes of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Katie Spratford, Shippensburg
Spratford, a senior from Califon, N.J., claimed the Atlantic individual crown in 20:20 – more than 27 seconds clear of the rest of the field and led her squad to a fifth-straight region championship. She won the PSAC crown this fall as well with a ten-second victory.

Recent Winners:
2011: Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2010: Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2009: Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2008: Neely Spence, Shippensburg

CENTRAL REGION – Runa Falch, Augustana (S.D.)
A junior from Steinkjer, Norway, won the Central title in a 6k time of 20:39 – more than nine seconds ahead of the field. She placed third at the NSIC Championships to help lead the Vikings to a fifth-straight league title.

Recent Winners:
2011: Lauren Kleppin, Western State
2010: Kristen McGlynn, Adams State
2009: Morgan Place, Minnesota Duluth
2008: Shannon Payne, UC-Colorado Springs

EAST REGION – Jeptui Cherutich, American International
A senior from Springfield, Mass., Cherutich won the East title for the third time, winning this year’s crown by five seconds. She also won her third Northeast-10 championship this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2010: Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2009: Erin Carmone, Stonehill
2008: Christina Dalomba, UMass Lowell

MIDWEST REGION – Allyson Winchester, Grand Valley State
Winchester, a junior from Wayland, Mich., led the Lakers to their 12th-straight Midwest title with a 14-second victory in the region’s 6k race. She also won the GLIAC title this season as GVSU won the league for the 12th-straight time.

Recent Winners:
2011: Amanda Putt, Hillsdale
2010: Christina Muir, Ferris State
2009: Christina Muir, Ferris State
2008: Rachelle Malette, Wayne State (Mich.)

SOUTH REGION – Kelly Hagan, Tampa
Hagan, a junior from Burke, Va., ran away with the South title, winning the region by 10 seconds over freshman teammate Laura Yarrow. She also helped the Spartans to a sixth-straight Sunshine State crown with a fourth-place individual finish at the league meet.

Recent Winners:
2011: Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2010: Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2009: Sara Trane, Florida Tech
2008: Jessica Forrester, Tampa

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Alicia Nelson, Adams State
Nelson, a senior from Craig, Colo., won the South Central title by ten seconds and led Adams State to the region championship.  Nelson also led the Grizzlies to another RMAC title as she won the individual conference crown by over 16 seconds.

Recent Winners:
2011: Chloe Susset, Abilene Christian
2010: Anais Belledant, Abilene Christian
2009: Kimi Shank, Missouri Southern
2008: Kimi Shank, Missouri Southern

SOUTHEAST REGION – Kaley Glover, Montevallo
Glover, a senior from Opelika, Ala., took the Southeast region crown in 22:40 – nearly 14 seconds ahead of the rest of the region field. Glover also took top honors in the Peach Belt Championships this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2010: Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2009: Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2008: Allison Kreutzer, Clayton State

WEST REGION – Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage
A junior from Eldoret, Kenya, Tanui won the region crown in a time of 21:18 and is undefeated this season. She also won the GNAC crown this fall.

Recent Winners:
2011: Ruth Keino, Alaska Anchorage
2010: Sarah Porter, Western Washington
2009: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2008: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific

Men’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Doug Watts, Edinboro
In Coach Watts’ 44th year at the helm of the Running Scots, his men’s team captured Edinboro’s 29th Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship.  At the Atlantic Regional, Edinboro placed six runners in the top 11 en route to their second consecutive regional title. They enter the championships ranked eighth in the nation.

Recent Winners:
2011: Doug Watts, Edinboro
2010: Aaron Russell, Lock Haven
2009: Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2008: Aaron Russell, Lock Haven

CENTRAL REGION – Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
Augustana’s men captured their fourth straight Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title and the school’s first regional title since 1991.  This is Hellman’s 13th year leading the Vikings; they are currently fifth in the USTFCCCA national rankings.

Recent Winners:
2011: Damon Martin, Adams State
2010: Damon Martin, Adams State
2009: Damon Martin, Adams State
2008: Damon Martin, Adams State

EAST REGION – Kevin Curtin, Bentley
Bentley qualified to this year’s NCAA Division II Championships for the first time in nine years.  In his second season, Coach Curtin has the Falcon’s flying high after their second place finish at the East Regional. Bentley is ranked 23rd in the country.

Recent Winners:
2011: Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2010: Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2009: Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2008: Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell

MIDWEST REGION – Steve Picucci, Ferris State
Coach Picucci, in his fifth year at Ferris State, led the Ferris State men to a third-place region finish, resulting in their first NCAA DII Championships appearance since 1985.  The Bulldog’s enter the championships ranked 13th by the USTFCCCA.

Recent Winners:
2011: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2010: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009: Jenny Bellsky, Saginaw Valley State
2008: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

SOUTH REGION – Bryan Hagopian, Nova Southeastern
The Sharks of Nova Southeastern captured their program’s first Sunshine State Conference Championship and the school’s first regional championship, in any sport, in 2012.  Hagopian, in his fifth year at the programs helm, was also named SSC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Recent Winners:
2011: David Cain, Alabama-Huntsville
2010: Steve Guymon, Harding
2009: Steve Guymon, Harding
2008: Steve Guymon, Harding

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Damon Martin, Adams State
In his 18th season leading the Grizzly men, Coach Martin’s team captured the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship and was South Central Regional Champions, their fifth straight regional crown.  Adams State enters the NCAA Division II Championships ranked first in the nation by the USTFCCCA.

Recent Winners:
2011: Mike Harney, Eastern New Mexico
2010: Kirk Pedersen, Central Missouri
2009: Tom Rutledge, Missouri Southern
2008: Sam Burroughs, Abilene Christian

SOUTHEAST REGION – J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State
This season, the Cougars captured their sixth Peach Belt Conference title in the last seven years, and their first ever NCAA Southeast Regional Championship.  Coach Evilsizer is in his eight season at Columbus State.

Recent Winners:
2011: Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2010: Mike Owens, Mars Hill
2009: Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2008: Scott Summers, Queens (N.C.)

WEST REGION – Gary Towne, Chico State
The third-ranked Wildcats captured their ninth regional title in the past 11 years at this year’s NCAA West Regional.  In his 17th season, Coach Towne was named California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year for the 15th time as his men captured their 11th straight CCAA title.

Recent Winners:
2011: Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010: Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009: Gary Towne, Chico State
2008: Gary Towne, Chico State

Women’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Steve Spence, Shippensburg
In his 14th year leading the Raiders, Spence coached his women to their fifth consecutive Atlantic Region title. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champs will enter national competition ranked seventh in the country.

Recent Winners:
2011: Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2010: Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2009: Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2008: Steve Spence, Shippensburg

CENTRAL REGION – Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
The Vikings enter the national championships with the top national ranking after claiming their first Central regional victory. Earlier in the season, Hellman saw his women win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title in his 11th year with Augustana.

Recent Winners:
2011: Jennifer Michel, Western State
2010: Damon Martin, Adams State
2009: Damon Martin, Adams State
2008: Damon Martin, Adams State

EAST REGION – Katie Rees, Adelphi
The Adelphi alum led her women to their first national Championships since 2002 after a second place showing at the East Regionals. In her third year leading the team, Rees also lead the Panthers to a runner-up finish at the Northeast-10 Championships. Adelphi is ranked No. 29 nationally.

Recent Winners:
2011: Karen Boen, Stonehill
2010: Andrew Rickert, Saint Rose
2009: Karen Boen, Stonehill
2008: Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
The third-ranked Lakers 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. 

Recent Winners:
2011: Rod Cowan, Saginaw Valley State
2010: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2008: Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

SOUTH REGION – Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
The 11th-ranked Spartans captured their sixth-straight regional title to earn their tenth invitation to the National Championships. In his 14th year at Tampa, Slaven also lead his team to a sixth-straight title at the Sunshine State Conference Championships.

Recent Winners:
2011: Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2010: Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2009: Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2008: Jarrett Slaven, Tampa

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Damon Martin, Adams State
In his 24th year at Adams State, Martin had five women finish among the top ten to earn their 16th regional title. Earlier in the season, the second ranked Grizzlies won their 25th Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title.

Recent Winners:
2011: Koby Styles, Midwestern State
2010: Russ Jewett, Pittsburg State
2009: Patty Vavra, Missouri Southern
2008: Koby Styles, Midwestern State

SOUTHEAST REGION – J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State
Columbus State will compete in just their second national championships after a victory at the Southeast Region. In his eighth year coaching the Cougars, Evilsizer lead his women to a close runner-up finish at the Peach Belt Conference Championships.

Recent Winners:
2011: Tommy Barksdale, Montevallo
2010: Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2009: J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State
2008: Craig McPhail, Lees-McRae

WEST REGION – Gary Towne, Chico State
The sixth-ranked Wildcats had seven athletes earn All-Region honors on route to winning the West Region title. Chico State’s women also won the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships in Towne’s 17th year with the program.

Recent Winners:
2011: Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010: Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009: Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2008: Gary Towne, Chico State