Nellum & Drouin Earn National Men’s Athlete of the Year Awards
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday that Bryshon Nellum of USC and Indiana’s Derek Drouin are the 2013 NCAA Division I National Men’s Athletes of the Year for outdoor track & field as voted by the nation’s coaches. Nellum ran a 2013 collegiate-best 400 en route to an NCAA title this past weekend, while Drouin won the outdoor high jump title in dramatic fashion to complete the sweep of the event both indoors and outdoors and bring his NCAA titles career total to five.
NATIONAL MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Bryshon Nellum, USC
Nellum, a senior from Los Angeles, Calif., proved what he’s capable of when completely healthy, winning an NCAA Outdoor Championships title at 400 meters in collegiate-best fashion while finishing third at the shorter 200 meters distance.
After running a 45.42 to win his semifinal heat, Nellum ran a 2013 collegiate-best 44.73 to claim the first NCAA title of his career. His 44.73 improved upon his then-collegiate-leading mark of 44.76 set at the Pac-12 Championships., and he was the only collegian in 2013 to dip under 45 seconds twice. He also left Eugene with the fastest all-conditions 200 meters performance by a collegian in 2013 at 19.99 (+3.2m/s), finishing third in the finals at 20.27 (+2.6m/s).
Nellum claimed Pac-12 Championships titles at both 400 meters and 200 meters. He finished the season undefeated against collegians in five finals at 400 meters and won three of four finals against collegians at 200 meters.
2013: Bryshon Nellum, USC
2012: Andrew Riley, Illinois
2011: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
2010: Andrew Wheating, Oregon
2009: Galen Rupp, Oregon
2008: Richard Thompson, LSU
2007: Walter Dix, Florida State
2006: Xavier Carter, LSU
NATIONAL MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Derek Drouin, Indiana
Drouin, a senior from Corunna, Ontario, brought to a close one of the most successful collegiate track & field careers with his second outdoor high jump title and his fifth overall when including the indoor season. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist won with a clearance of 7-8 (2.34m) over long-time rival Erik Kynard of Kansas State. Facing elimination at 7-8 after a first attempt miss and missing once at the previous height before passing, he was able to clear the bar on his final jump. Kynard was not able to match the clearance, giving Drouin the title. He then took three attempts at a collegiate-record 7-10 (2.39m), nearly getting over but ultimately proving unsuccessful.
The NCAA title was the bow to wrap together an impressive outdoor season that included a 7-8¾ (2.36m) performance at the Prefontaine Classic that moved him into a tie with Kynard and Nebraska’s Dusty Jonas at No. 2 on the all-time in-season collegiate list. Earlier in the season he won the Penn Relays with a meet-record 7-7¾ (2.33m), and won the Big Ten title in the event en route to being named Big Ten Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.
He finished the season undefeated in five collegiate events this season, his only overall loss to a collegian coming against Kynard at the Prefontaine Classic on misses.
This marks the first time Drouin has won the honor outdoors, and he is a two-time recipient indoors. He is also the first Big Ten student-athlete to win the award outdoors.
2013: Derek Drouin, Indiana
2012: Tim Glover, Illinois State
2011: Will Claye, Florida
2010: Ashton Eaton, Oregon / Ryan Whiting, Arizona State
2009: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
2008: Cory Martin, Auburn
2007: Jake Arnold, Arizona
2006: Garrett Johnson, Florida State / Jesse Williams, Southern California