Windle, Vogel, Thomas & Lockhart Named DII Indoor National Athletes of the Year

Windle, Vogel, Thomas & Lockhart Named DII Indoor National Athletes of the Year

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 II Indoor Track & Field season as chosen by the nation’s coaches. Ashland’s Drew Windle, Central Missouri’s Brent Vogel, the Academy of Art’s Vashti Thomas, and Grand Valley State’s Sam Lockhart earned the distinctions of National Athletes of the Year.

National Athletes of the Year for Division III will be released later Wednesday, while National Coaches of the Year for all divisions will be released Thursday and Friday.

National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

Drew Windle, Ashland

Windle, a sophomore from New Albany, Ohio, claimed two titles at the Division II Indoor Championships at 800 meters and as a leg of the 4×400 relay. His 1:48.75 in the finals at 800 meters was not only the fastest time of the season, it was the second-fastest in NCAA DII Indoor Championships history and the fifth-fastest all-time in DII history.

With a 1:48.82 to claim the GLIAC title at 800 meters, Windle is just the second student-athlete in division history to record multiple sub-1:49.00 times, joining Southern Connecticut’s Salasi Lumax. Windle now owns three of the top eight times in division history. He won four of his six races at 800 meters this season, including both finals and prelims.

Recent Winners:
2013: Drew Windle, Ashland
2012: Andrew Graham, Adams State
2011: Leford Green, Johnson C. Smith
2010: Josh Scott, Saint Augustine’s
2009: Aaron Braun, Adams State
2008: Keith Gill, Stonehill
2007: Nick Lara, Adams State
2006: Nicodemus Naimadu, Abilene Christian

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

Brent Vogel, Central Missouri

Vogel, a senior from Jefferson City, Mo., became the best heptathlete in Division II history when he scored a division-record 5,760 points en route to an NCAA Indoor title in the event. He won by nearly 100 points over runner-up Justin Balczak of Lake Superior State (5,664) and nearly 250 over third-place defending champ Nick Lebron of Southern Connecticut State (5,518) – a feat most impressive because those two men are now owners of the second- and third-best scores in DII history.

Vogel claimed the long jump (23-7½/7.20m), 60 hurdles (8.11) and 1000 meters (2:33.44) components of the NCAA heptathlon, and set career-best marks in six of the seven components. Earlier in the season he posted a pair of 5,450 scores, giving him the division lead at that point in the season and, when including his NCAA performance, six of the top 11 scores in division history.

Recent Winners:
2013: Brent Vogel, Central Missouri
2012: Ryan Loughney, Ashland
2011: Ryan Brown, Western Washington
2010: Kurt Roberts, Ashland
2009: Joe Kindred, Saint Augustine’s
2008: Bryan Vickers, Ashland
2007: Kibwe Johnson, Ashland
2006: Keith Moffatt, Morehouse

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

Vashti Thomas, Academy of Art

Thomas, a senior from San Jose, Calif., was instrumental in Academy of Art claiming its first-ever NCAA Indoor Track & Field team title. Entered in five individual events, Thomas scored 35 of the Urban Knights’ 59 team points, including individual titles in the long jump (20-3¾/6.19m) and at 200 meters in 23.428 – just.002 ahead of runner-up Danielle Williams of Johnson C. Smith.

She also finished runner-up in the 60 hurdles finals (8.16), fourth in the triple jump (41-½/12.51m) and seventh at 60 meters (7.54). Including both preliminary and final rounds, Thomas competed eight different times, with events often overlapping one another.

Recent Winners:
2013: Vashti Thomas, Academy of Art
2012: Amanda Putt, Hillsdale
2011: Shannon Gagne, New Haven
2010: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2009: Pinar Saka, Neb.-Omaha
2008: Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2007: Mandi Zemba, Grand Valley State
2006: Mandi Zemba, Grand Valley State

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

Sam Lockhart, Grand Valley State

Lockhart, a senior from Lansing, Mich., took home NCAA DII individual titles in both the weight throw and the shot put. She was the first NCAA individual champion crowned this season, regardless of division, when she broke the DII Indoor Championships record in the weight throw with a mark of 69-¾ (21.05m) to defend her 2012 title by more than three feet. All but one of her five successful attempts would have won the title. Lockhart qualified for the Championships as the No. 1 seed with a DII all-time record heave of 70-6½ (21.50m), and recorded the top seven throws in the division for 2013.

She followed her weight throw title with a shot put crown the next day, tossing a 2013 DII-best mark of 55-3¾ (16.86m) on her final attempt to win by nearly five feet. As was the case in the weight throw, all but one of her five successful attempts could have won the championship. She qualified as the No. 1 seed in the event, and recorded the division’s top 16 throws for 2013. She won 15 of her 16 shot put and weight throw events this season against DII competition.

Recent Winners:
2013: Sam Lockhart, Grand Valley State
2012: Lindsay Lettow, Central Missouri
2011: Lindsay Lettow, Central Missouri
2010: Heather Miller, St. Cloud State
2009: Katelin Rains, Minnesota State
2008: Katelin Rains, Minnesota State
2007: Tianecia Moseley, Adams State
2006: Cecilia Barnes, Cal State Bakersfield