Conference Championships Produce Strong National Athletes of the Week

Conference Championships Produce Strong National Athletes of the Week

NEW ORLEANS – The first major installment of Conference Championships weekend produced a significant number of historic performances and big-time efforts that were key in claiming team crowns and worthy of National Athlete of the Week considerations.

Freshman Johannes Hock of Texas electrified the college multi-events scene with his record-setting debut at the Big 12 Championships to earn men’s National Athlete of the Week honors for DI ,while Kansas senior Paris Daniels earned the women’s honors after she came through big in the Day Two sprints/relays to propel the Jayhawks to their first Big 12 Outdoor team title.

Three awards will be handed out in DII this week, as a pair of GLIAC women broke all-time DII records: Katie Nageotte of Ashland in the pole vault and Grand Valley State’s Sam Lockhart in the discus, along with historic performances in two other throws events. David Thomas of New Haven broke two Northeast-10 records en route to his National Athlete of the Week honors.

UW-Eau Claire sophomore Thurgood Dennis claimed the DIII men’s award after sweeping the short sprints at the WIAC Championships, and Tobi Alli of Lehman did a little bit of everything by scoring in seven events to lead her team to a CUNYAC crown.


Division I Men

Johannes Hock, Texas

Freshman – Combined Events

For the second time this season a freshman has taken command of the top spot on the collegiate decathlon list as Hock (Cologne, Germany) won six of 10 components of the Big 12 decathlon en route to a score of 8,293 in his first collegiate decathlon. Hock surpassed freshman Maicel Uibo for the top collegiate score this season, posting the seventh-best score in collegiate history and the best since 2010 Bowerman winner Ashton Eaton of Oregon’s NCAA Championship-winning 8,457. He finished no lower than third in all but one component, winning the 100 meters (10.78), long jump (24-5¾/7.46mw +3.7m/s), shot put (50-6¼/15.40m), 400 meters (49.80), discus (176-8/53.85m) and pole vault (15-4½/4.69m). With 644 points in the 1500 finale, Hock ended up with a final winning margin of nearly 900 components — meaning he could have sat out the final event and still claimed the decathlon title.

Honorable Mention:

Charles Silmon, TCU – Was the high point scorer of the Big 12 Championships after wins in the 100 (10.18w, +2.3m/s) and 200 (20.33, +1.3) and anchoring the winning 4×100 relay

Kyle Clemons, Kansas – Won the Big 12 400 meters in 45.10 for the No. 2 time in the country this season, and ran a leg of the winning 4x440yd relay team.

Patrick Casey, Oklahoma – Defeated current collegiate leader and teammate Riley Masters at 1500 meters in 3:40.04.

Ryan Crouser, Texas – Took the collegiate shot put lead with a Big 12 record winning throw of 69-7½ (21.09m) and a third-place finish in the discus.

Michael Franklin, Princeton – Won the 5000 by .18 in 14:10.85 and the 10,000 by .33 in 29:46.77 to help Princeton to an Ivy League Title.

Brian Richards, LIU Brooklyn – Won the long jump, ran a leg of the Northeastern Conference 4×100 relay; finished runner-up in the 110 hurdles, third in the 200 and 4th in the 100 to earn NEC MVP honors and a team title.


Division I Women

Paris Daniels, Kansas

Senior – Sprints

Daniels (St. Louis, Mo.) was instrumental on the final day of the Jayhawks’ first Big 12 Outdoor title in program  history, winning an individual event, finishing runner-up in another and running two winning relay legs en route to a Big-12-best 23-point contribution of the Jayhawks’ 83 Day Two points. She led off Kansas’ winning 4×100 relay team that won in 43.89. She then finished runner-up at 100 meters in 11.34 (+1.6m/s) for eight team points and won at 200 meters in 22.73 (+1.6m/s) after pulling away from the field in the final 50 meters, giving her the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the country. She capped off the day with the anchor leg of the 4×400 relay for a time of 3:32.00 to seal the championship for the Jayhawks.

Honorable Mention:

Diamond Dixon,  Kansas – Also contributed heavily to the Jayhawks’ team title with a collegiate-leading 51.73 at 400 meters, a fourth-place showing at 200 meters and victories as a leg of both winning relays.

Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth – Set Ivy League meet records in the 1500 (4:11.94) and the 3000 (9:21.79), and ran a leg of the third-place 4×800 relay.

Lenora Guion-Firmin, Maryland-Eastern Shore – Ran the division’s seventh-fastest 400 in 52.48 and the 10th-fastest 200 in 23.02 (+1.6m/s) at the MEAC Championships.

Mercedes Jackson, UMBC – Set America East Championship records at 100 meters in 11.68 (+0.7m/s) and won the 200 in 23.58 (-0.2m/s).


Division II Men

David Thomas, New Haven

Senior – Sprints, Jumps

Though his team didn’t claim the Northeast-10 team title, Thomas (Taneytown, Md.) had himself quite a weekend at the NE-10 Championships, breaking two meet records and winning three events en route to NE-10 Athlete of the Year and Most Valuable Athlete of the Meet honors. His long jump mark of 25-¾ (7.64m) broke the NE-10 meet record, and gave Thomas the second-best jump in DII this season. He is just the fifth DII male to surpass 25 feet this season. He also claimed the 100 in 10.65 for another NE-10 meet record, and won the 200 in 21.58.

Honorable Mention:

Garrett Grey, Ashland – Recorded the No. 5 hammer throw mark in DII history with a 225-5 (68.70m) winning mark at the GLIAC Championships.

Tommy Brown, Incarnate Word – Won the 200 (20.76 qualifying time for altitude, +2.9m/s), finished runner-up at 100 (10.24 altitude, +3.2m/s) and ran a leg of the winning 4×100 relay team at the Lone Star Conference Championships.

Remontay McClain, Azusa Pacific – Won the NCCAA Championships in both the 100 (10.46, 0.0m/s) and the 200 (20.54 qualifying; 20.88w, +2.3m/s final) and ran a leg of the winning 4×100 relay.

Max Alonso, Fort Hays State – Took the division lead in the discus at 190-10 (58.16m) at the MIAA Championships, and won the shot put (56-10/17.32m)

Edward Dudley, Lake Erie – Won the high jump at 7-3 (2.21m) with DII’s second-best height of the season at the GLIAC Championships, along with a win in the long jump at 23-11¾ (7.31m).


Division II Women

Katie Nageotte, Ashland

Senior – Pole Vault

In what had the potential to be a duel between three of the best female pole vaulters in DII history, it was Ashland’s Nageotte (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) who took center stage at the GLIAC Championships in Ashland with an all-time DII pole vault record of 14-6¾ (4.44m). She topped the previous DII record of 14-5¼ (4.40m) set indoors by Katelin Rains of MSU-Mankato, and the outdoor record of 13-11¼ (4.25m) by Rains in 2008. After clearing her first two heights in three attempts, it took her three to get over the bar at 13-9¾ (4.21m) to clinch the GLIAC title after rivals Kayla Caldwell of Hillsdale and Kristen Hixson of Grand Valley State both bowed out at the height. It took just one attempt for her to make history at 14-6¾, however, giving her not only the record but the distinction of becoming the first DII woman to surpass 14 feet outdoors. She took three attempts at 14-9¼ (4.50m) — which would have given her the overall collegiate lead in 2013 — but she could not clear.


Sam Lockhart, Grand Valley State

Senior – Throws

Another week, another DII record, another National Athlete of the Week award for Lockhart (Lansing, Mich.), who not only bested her own DII discus record with a mark of 193-2 (58.87m) but also recorded an outdoor PR in the shot put to extend her division lead and a PR in the hammer throw. In three fair throws she heaved two farther than 190 feet en route to a nearly 37-foot win. This marks her second competition in a row she has broken the discus record after throwing a 192-9 (57.85m) two weeks ago, and the throw ranks her third among all collegians in 2013. Her weekend wasn’t limited to the discus, as she also won the shot put with a mark of 55-1½ (16.80m), improving her previous DII-leading mark by nearly a full meter and jumping to No. 2 on the all-time DII outdoor list. She is No. 15 on the 2013 collegiate leaderboard in the event between all divisions. She also notched a runner-up showing in the hammer throw with a career-best 201-8 (61.48m), placing her seventh in DII history as the seventh woman to surpass 200 feet.

Honorable Mention:

Jessica Rowland, Findlay – Scored in all four throwing events at the GLIAC Championships with two wins. Won the hammer in a DII-leading 210-3 (64.09m) — which would have placed her second on the all-time DII list if she didn’t already own the record. Also won the javelin, finished third in the disc and fifth in the shot put.

Ada Udaya, New Haven – Won the 100 (11.69) and the 200 (23.94) and ran legs of the winning 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams at the Northeast-10 Championships.

Kasey Barnett, Chico State – Won the pole vault (12-4½/3.77m) and the long jump (18-3/5.56m), finished fifth at 100 meters, seventh in the triple jump and ran a leg of the third-place 4×100 relay team to help Chico State to a team CCAA title.


Division III Men

Thurgood Dennis, UW-Eau Claire

Sophomore – Sprints

Dennis (Allouez, Wis.) dominated the short sprints at the WIAC Championships for a second consecutive season, claiming both the 100 meters and 200 meters races in La Crosse. The sophomore — who also plays cornerback for the Blugolds — took the 100 in 10.43 (+0.7m/s), giving him the top-two fastest times in the division this season. He then claimed the 200 in division-leading fashion, running a 20.96 (+2.1m/s) to win the race by nearly four-tenths of a second. He also lent his talents to the Blugolds’ 4×100 and 4×400 relays, which finished third and fourth, respectively.

Honorable Mention:

Sean Bernstein, Oneonta State – Would have claimed the DIII lead at 200 meters if not for Dennis with a 20.97 (+1.0m/s) qualifying time at the SUNYAC Championships, and won the 100 in 10.54 (0.0m/s) after a 10.49w (+2.3m/s) qualifying time. Also ran a leg of the winning 4×100 relay.

Isaac Vazquez, UW-La Crosse – Set the DIII lead in the long jump with a WIAC-winning mark of 25-2 (7.67m) and finished runner-up in the triple jump to help La Crosse to its 23rd consecutive outdoor WIAC title.

Tim VanLiew, Rutgers-Camden – Recorded the No. 8 javelin mark in DII history with an NJAC-winning throw of 226-9 (69.11m)


Division III Women

Tobi Alli, Lehman

Junior – Sprints, jumps

Alli (New York, N.Y.) had perhaps the most successfully diverse weekend of any non-combined events track & field athlete, with wins in four individual sprints and jumps events, two relay wins and a third place finish in the shot put at the CUNYAC Championships to lead her team to the title. To add to her accomplishment, her marks in two of those events were among the top 10 in DIII this season. With a winning triple jump mark of 38-10½ (11.85m) she claimed the No. 6 spot on the DIII list, while her winning time of 12.05 at 100 meters clocked in as the sixth-fastest in the division. She also claimed the long jump with a mark of 18-3 (5.56m, +4.1m/s) and the 200 in 25.40, as well as running legs of the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. If she hadn’t already done enough running and jumping, she also tried her hand at the shot put, where she earned her team some more points with a third-place throw of 31-2½ (9.51m).

Honorable Mention:

Chelsea Tavik, Salisbury – Won all four throws events — the shot put, discus, hammer throw, and javelin — at the Capital Athletic Conference Championships.

Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh – Won WIAC titles at 800 (2:09.76), 1500 (4:44.61) and 5000 meters (17:03.56).

Allie Boudreau, Illinois Wesleyan – Won the CCIW heptathlon (4,387), won the open javelin throw (128-9/39.24m), finished fifth in the 400 hurdles and ran a leg of the third-place 4×400 relay team.

Krista Chauvin, UMass Dartmouth – Won the hammer throw at the New England DIII Championships with a throw of 188-10 (57.57m), tying her for 10th on the all-time DIII list.



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.