Sullivan, Vazquez, Cazzola & Norville Named DIII Indoor National Athletes of the Year

Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

March 13, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announces the National Athlete of the Year award winners for 2013 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field season as chosen by the nation’s coaches. UW-Stevens Point’s Dan Sullivan, UW-La Crosse’s Isaac Vazquez, UW-Oshkosh’s Christy Cazzola and Illinois College’s Melissa Norvile each claimed DIII National Athlete of the Year honors for 2013.

National Coaches of the Year for all divisions will be released Thursday and Friday.

Men’s  National Track Athlete of the Year

Dan Sullivan, UW-Stevens Point

Sullivan, a junior from Elkhorn, Wis., broke the NCAA DIII Indoor Championships record in the mile with a 4:07.03 en route to an individual title in the event. His performance bested the previous record of 4:08.19 set in 2007 by Will Leer of Pomona-Pitzer. He entered the NCAA Championships as the top seed in the mile at 4:08.76, in addition to recording the fifth-fastest time over 800 meters in DIII this season at 1:51.94. He was undefeated in three mile finals this season, including a WIAC title.

Recent Winners:
2013: Dan Sullivan, UW-Stevens Point
2012: Ben Scheetz, Amherst
2011: Ben Scheetz, Amherst
2010: Delannie Spriggs, Salisbury
2009: Willy Kaul, UW Oshkosh
2008: Peter Kosgei, Hamilton
2007: Will Leer, Pomona-Pitzer
2006: Bobby Young, Lincoln (Pa.)

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

Isaac Vazquez, UW-La Crosse

Vazquez, a senior from Arcadia, Wis., contributed heavily to UW-La Crosse earning its 16th NCAA DIII Indoor Championships team title, winning the triple jump and finishing runner-up in the long jump to score 18 of the Eagles’ 74 points. He won the triple jump with a mark of 51-03½ (15.63m) to win the event by nearly a foot and cement a position in the DIII indoor record books as the fourth-best performer in division history. He finished runner-up in the long jump at 24-01½ (7.35m), but he finished the season with 2013’s best mark in the division and the seventh-best in division history at 24-11 (7.59m) at the WIAC Championships. He won WIAC titles in both events.

Recent Winners:
2013: Isaac Vazquez, UW-La Crosse
2012: Richard Roethel, Christopher Newport
2011: Ethan Miller, Central (Iowa)
2010: Jake Winder, North Central (Ill.)
2009: Todd Wildman, Trinity (Texas)
2008: Al Winsley, Mississippi College
2007: Brandon Houle, UW Oshkosh
2006: Uzoma Orji, MIT

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh

Cazzola, a senior from Kaukauna, Wis., made a significant mark on the DIII indoor record books this season, setting all-time DIII indoor marks at 800 meters, in the mile and at 5000 meters, as well as winning NCAA titles in the mile, at 5000 meters and in the DMR. She kicked off the season with a 16:21.49 performance at 5000 meters at the GVSU Early Bird, smashing the previous record of 16:32.45 set by Carter Hamill of Amherst in 2004.

Later in the season she broke two records in one afternoon at the Iowa State Classic, setting DIII indoor records at 800 meters (2:05.76) and in the mile (4:43.13). her 800 time eclipsed the previous record of 2:06.89 set by UMass-Boston’s Genesia Eddins in 1987, while her mile time edged Missy Buttry of Wartburg’s 2005 time of 4:43.92.

She also won WIAC titles in the mile, at 5000 meters and in the DMR, in addition to a runner-up finish in the 4×400 relay.

Recent Winners:
2013: Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh
2012: Nevada Morrison, Wartburg
2011: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
2010: Marie Borner, Bethel (Minn.)
2009: Amanda LaRocca, Illinois Wesleyan
2008: Stephanie Herrick, TCNJ
2007: Marcia Taddy, UW Platteville
2006: Amy Ruston, Lehman

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

Melissa Norville, Illinois College

 Norville, a senior from Batavia, Ill., had a season for the ages with DIII all-time indoor records in the 60 hurdles and the long jump and the No. 2 mark in the triple jump – and NCAA titles in all three events. She set an DIII indoor record and posted the No. 2 mark at the Midwest Conference Championships, becoming the first woman in indoor history and the second in comprehensive DIII history to surpass 21 feet with a mark of 21-½ (6.41m). She has the best DIII mark by more than half a foot over Paulette Baldwin of Lehman (20-5¼/6.23m, 2003). She also recorded the longest triple jump mark since 1998 when she leapt 41-7 (12.67m). She also added titles in the 60 hurdles and at 200 meters.

Her three-championship effort at the NCAA DIII  Indoor Championships was highlighted by her 8.52 finish in the 60 hurdles, which broke the previous record of 8.56, set at last season’s indoor championships by Tiarra Goode, who Norville defeated in her record-setting race.

Recent Winners:
2013: Melissa Norville, Illinois College
2012: Skye Morrison, Wartburg
2011: Abigail Schaffer, Moravian
2010: Kristen Bates, Messiah
2009: Caitlin Schetter, UW La Crosse
2008: Caitlin Schetter, UW La Crosse
2007: Alecia Watson, CCNY
2006: Robyn Jarocki, UW Oshkosh