Evans’ DIII High Jump Record Highlights National Athlete of the Week Awards
NEW ORLEANS – Elizabeth Evans of Rose-Hulman tied the DIII outdoor high jump record and a number of other student-athletes moved into the top 10 of either the all-time collegiate list or their respective divisions’ lists to highlight this week’s National Athlete of the Week awards, given by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
More Info: Previous Winners
Though she couldn’t secure her third consecutive DIII indoor high jump and fifth consecutive overall title a few weekends ago, Evans showed that she is certainly the jumper to beat outdoors with a clearance of 5-11¼ (1.81m) to kick off the spring season.
In Division I a pair of throwers separated themselves from the pack in the early portion of the season to claim the DI honors, with UCLA’s Julian Wruck in the discus and Chelsea Cassulo of Arizona State in the hammer throw.
Academy of Art swept the Division II awards behind Vashti Thomas’ collegiate-leading 12.94 in the 100 hurdles and Shaquille Howard’s 46.56 over 400 meters, No. 2 in the country.
Evans and Whitworth thrower Carter Comito each made their mark on the DIII record books to claim the awards for DIII.
Division I Men – Julian Wruck, UCLA (Junior)
Wruck (Brisbane, Australia) made quite the outdoor debut for the Bruins, launching a collegiate-leading 213-5 (65.04m) in the discus at the Texas State Elite Meet – the best collegiate throw since Kentucky’s Reshaud Scott threw 216-2 (65.90m) in 2009. En route to winning by nearly 30 feet, Wruck recorded marks of 206-4 (62.90m) and 201-5 (61.41m) before his deciding final throw, making him the only student-athlete to top 200 feet this season. His winning throw was just six inches shy of earning him a spot among the all-time top 10 collegiate performers in the event. He leads all collegiate throwers this season by more than 16 feet, and he appears at the top of the collegiate performer list for the third time in four seasons, dating back to his time at Texas Tech (2010-11) when he finished atop the collegiate performance list in back-to-back seasons.
Ameer Webb, Texas A&M
Mike Hartfield, Ohio State
Division I Women – Chelsea Cassulo, Arizona State (Junior)
Cassulo (Lompoc, Calif.) became the eighth-best all-time collegiate performer in the women’s weight throw over the weekend with a mark of 229-0 (69.80m) at the Arizona State Invitational. Making her outdoor debut for the Sun Devils following a transfer from UNLV, Cassulo recorded her winning mark on her second attempt, followed by throws of 213-11 (65.20m), 201-7 (61.45m) and 225-1 (68.62m). She won the event by 21 feet over the runner-up and 31 feet over the next-best collegian, and she currently holds a lead of more than 13½ feet over Ida Storm of UCLA on the 2013 collegiate performance list.
Regina George, Arkansas
Rachel Sorna, Cornell
Division II Men – Shaquille Howard, Academy of Art (Redshirt Freshman)
Howard (Long Beach, Calif.) dashed to a 46.56 over 400 meters at the Pasadena Games, good for not only the Division lead in the event, but also the No. 2 spot on the 2013 outdoor collegiate performance list. In addition to his performance at 400 meters, he also ran a leg of the school-record 4×100 relay team (41.29) and finished runner-up at 200 meters in 21.66.
AAron Hill, Grand Canyon
Jeron Robinson, Texas A&M-Kingsville
Division II Women – Vashti Thomas, Academy of Art (Senior)
Coming off a historic performance at the NCAA DII Indoor Championships a few weekends ago, Thomas (San Jose, Calif.) is already making her mark on the outdoor record books. At the Pasadena Games she blazed to a collegiate-leading and school-record 12.94 in the 100 hurdles, moving to third on the all-time DII performer list in the event. She became just the fourth woman in DII history to dip under 13 seconds, and the first collegian – regardless of division – to do so this season, leading the country by nearly two-tenths of a second. Her time was about ¼ of a second away from the all-time collegiate top 10. She also ran a leg of the school-record 4×100 relay that ran 45.56, currently ranked No. 3 in DII.
Ada Udaya, New Haven
Division III Men – Carter Comito, Whitworth (Senior)
Comito (Spokane, Wash.) launched a pair of DIII-leading marks at this past weekend’s Buc Scoring Invite at Whitworth in the discus and the shot put. With a winning mark of 193-1 (58.85m) in the discus – tops at the meet by about 36 feet – Comito would have moved into seventh-place all time in the division if he didn’t already own the No. 4 spot on the list. His series included throws of 183-7 (55.96m), 193-1 (58.85m), 181-6 (55.33m) and 180-1 (54.90m). Only five collegiate throwers among all divisions have thrown farther this season. He also won the shot put with a mark of 57-11 (17.65m), which leads the nation by more than a foot.
Tom Postema, Defiance
Robert Willett, Birmingham-Southern
Division III Women – Elizabeth Evans, Rose-Hulman (Senior)
Evans (Bicknell, Ind.) did more than open up her outdoor campaign in mid-season form; she kicked it off in all-time form, tying the Division III outdoor high jump record with a clearance of 5-11¼ (1.81m) at the Rose-Hulman Early Bird. She missed on just one attempt through her first five heights en route to a share of the division record with Kristy Laramee of Middlebury and Hartwick’s Maria Megnin, both of whom set the record at the 1999 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships. She missed on three attempts at 6-½ (1.84m), which would have made her the all-time best DIII high jumper, indoors or outdoors. In addition to her high jump performance, which ranks No. 5 among all collegians this season, she also won the long jump (17-10¼/5.44m) and the 100 (13.20).
Reny Colton, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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.