Record-Breakers and World-Leaders Among National Athlete of the Week Winners
NEW ORLEANS – The thrill of competing for a conference championship can inspire exceptional performances from student-athletes giving their all to push their teams to titles, and multiple historic National Athlete of the Week-caliber performances this past weekend proved that point yet again.
A trio of repeat winners – Arkansas’ Makeba Alcide, Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore and Illinois College’s Melissa Norville – headline the National Athlete of the Week class for this Monday, all of whom turned in performances among the best – if not the best – in their division’s respective histories.
More Info: Previous Winners
For Division I women’s recipient Alcide, it was the collegiate record in the indoor pentathlon with a score of 4,569, while DI men’s honoree Lendore continued to drive down the world’s fastest time at 400 meters and made an astonishing comeback in the 4×400 relay anchor – both at the SEC Championships.
Division II is represented on the women’s side by Shauna-Kay Creary of District of Columbia, who single-handedly scored more than a quarter of her team’s championship-winning 151 points. Derek Bredy turned in a strong five-event effort at the NSIC Championships to garner DII men’s National Athlete of the Week honors.
Norville earns the award for the second time this season after breaking the DIII indoor women’s long jump record, while CCNY’s Thierry Diessongo became the seventh-fastest DIII performer at 60 meters and contributed 38 points to CCNY’s CUNYAC Championship to earn the men’s honors for DIII.
The Award Winners
Division I Men – Deon Lendore, Texas A&M (Sophomore)
Lendore (Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) entered the SEC Championships weekend as the fastest man in the world at 400 meters, which is exactly how he left it in even more impressive fashion. He raced to an impressive 45.23 in the finals of the 400 meters to claim gold for the Aggies one day after blazing to a world-leading 45.15 in the preliminaries of the event – giving him the two fastest times in the world for 2013 and making him the fifth-fastest performer in collegiate history. He capped off the weekend with a phenomenal anchor leg in the 4×400 relay, running an incendiary 44.51 last leg to overtake both Florida and Arkansas on the final stretch for the win in 3:04.18. That marks the world’s fastest time in 2013 and the fifth-fastest relay in collegiate history.
Alexander Ziegler, Virginia Tech; Japheth Cato, Wisconsin; Jack Whitt, Oral Roberts; Marquis Dendy and Eddie Lovett, Florida; Casimir Loxsom and Robby Creese, Penn State; Elijah Greer, Oregon
Division I Women – Makeba Alcide, Arkansas (Senior)
Alcide (Castries, St. Lucia) had quite the weekend as her Arkansas Razorbacks took down the No. 1 LSU Tigers for the SEC Championships and she became the collegiate record holder in the indoor pentathlon with a score of 4,569. She set career-bests in three of the five components of the pentathlon (20-2 (6.15m) in the long jump; 8.35 in the 60 hurdles; 2:16.37 in the 800) and an indoor PR in the shot put at 40-5 (12.32m) en route to a score that surpassed two-time NCAA pentathlon champ Brianne Theisen of Oregon’s previous mark of 4,555. The mark is the best in the country this season by more than 351 points, and it came in the same competition as second-ranked Lucie Ondraschkova of Georgia (4, 208). She also finished fourth in the open high jump, marking twice throughout the weekend she cleared heights of at least six feet.
Betsy Saina, Iowa State; Aurieyall Scott, UCF; Kimberlyn Duncan; LSU
Division II Men – Derek Bredy, MSU-Moorhead (Senior)
Though his MSU-Moorhead squad did not take home the NSIC title, Bredy (Hoffman, Minn.) did all he could to go for the championship by scoring in five different events. He ran the division’s fastest time at 200 in the prelims, clocking in at 21.43 (converted to 21.06), and finished second in the finals at 21.69. He claimed titles at 60 meters and in the long jump to boost his team, running a 6.83 in the 60 finals and leaping 24-1½ (7.35m) to win the long jump by nearly a foot. His 60 prelim time of 6.78 is the eighth-best in DII this season, and his long jump mark is tied for ninth in the division. He also ran a leg of the runner-up 4×400 relay team and finished third in the triple jump at 46-4 (14.12).
Laban Sialo, Central Missouri; Drew Windle, Ashland
Division II Women – Shauna-Kay Creary, District of Columbia (Junior)
Competing in the inaugural East Coast Conference Championship, Creary (Kingston, Jamaica) played a key role in ensuring District of Columbia came away winners of the team title. She individually scored 42 of the team’s 151 points in five events. She claimed the victory in the long jump on her final attempt (18-11/5.77m) while simultaneously competing in the high jump for the first time this season, which she won at 5-6 (1.68m). She then rushed from the high jump mat straight to the 60 trials and would secure her place in the 60 finals. Back to the pit she went, competing in the triple jump with tired legs, but pulling out all the stops to finish runner-up with a mark of 37-11¼ (11.56m). She had a short rest before heading back to the finals of the 60 where she finished third with a time of 7.85 seconds, narrowly missing the win with the runner-up running 7.84 and the winner running 7.83. Her whirlwind of a day ended in the 200 where she finished runner-up in a time of 25.86 seconds.
Katie Nageotte, Ashland; Sam Lockhart, Grand Valley State; Amanda Ouedraogo, Abilene Christian
Division III Men – Thierry Diessongo, CCNY (Sophomore)
Diessongo (Bronx, N.Y.) was instrumental to CCNY claiming the men’s team championship as part of a Sunday afternoon where the school swept both the men’s and women’s titles. He contributed 38 points to the championship effort, including three individual championships for 30 points. He not only won at 60 meters, but did so in historic fashion, dashing to a DIII-leading 6.77, making him the sixth-best performer in division history. He followed that up with a win at 200 meters in 21.93 and another in the long jump with a leap of 22-7¾ (6.90m) – defeating the runner-up by more than a foot.
Zach Anderson, UW-Stout; Isaac Vasquez, UW-La Crosse
Division III Women – Melissa Norville, Illinois College (Senior)
One attempt in the long jump at the Midwest Conference Championships was all Norville (Batavia, Ill.) needed to put her stamp not only on the 2013 DIII long jump lead, but also the DIII indoor record. With an opening effort of 21-0½ (6.41m), Norville became the first woman in DIII indoor history to surpass 21 feet, shattering a 10-year-old record of 20-05¼ (6.23m) set by Paulette Baldwin of Lehman in 2003. She wasn’t done there: she recorded a mark of 41-07 (12.67m) in the triple jump to make her the second-best indoor triple jumper in DIII history, and just the fourth to surpass 41 feet.. To put a bow on the weekend, her time of 8.61 in the 60 hurdles puts her in a tie for fourth-best hurdler in DIII history with Wartburg’s Camesha Goods – who is still active and currently has the second-fastest time in DIII this season.
Anita Rogers, Ramapo; Theresa Ford, Emory; Mary Mahoney, Mount Union
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD
Awarded to six collegiate track and field and cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions) each Monday by the USTFCCCA office, the National Athlete of the Week Award will spotlight exceptional performances by student-athletes from around the nation.
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
Nominations should provide qualitative detail to explain the noteworthiness of the student-athlete’s performance. The manner in which his or her event(s) was won or nearly won; any records (school, conference, collegiate, etc.) broken as a result; the national significance of the time, mark or score; and the credentials of the competition are all pertinent details for quality nominations.
Photos, videos and interviews are also encouraged.
Nominations, which can be competed here, are due each Monday by 12 p.m. EST, and winners will be announced by 4 p.m. EST.