USTFCCCA Unveils Regional Award Winners for Division II Cross Country

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

November 12, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2013 NCAA Division II cross country season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as voted on by the Division’s coaches.

More information on each of the winners can be found below.

The Division II Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Nov. 23, in Spokane, Wash., at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex, hosted by the GNAC. A live online broadcast will be available through NCAA.com.

 

Regional Athletes of the Year — MEN

Atlantic

Alex Monroe, Lock Haven

For the third consecutive year, Monroe claimed both the Atlantic Region title and the region’s Athlete of the Year honor, this time with a victory on his home course in 29:31.3. The senior from Lewistown, Pa., defeated his nearest competitor, Aaron Dinzeo of California (Pa.), by 21 seconds for his third individual title of the season to go along with two other runner-up finishes and a fifth-place finish at the Paul Short Run.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2011
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2010
Nathan Zondlo, Lock Haven
2009
Ben Hahn, Edinboro
2008
Chris Clark, California (Pa.)

 

Central

Paul Yak, Augustana (S.D.)

Yak followed up his NSIC Championships individual title with a 10K victory in the Central Region in 31:13.99 to claim the Regional Athlete of the Year honor. In leading his Vikings to the region title, Yak notched a 10-second victory over Laban Sialo of Central Missouri. The senior from Storm Lake, Iowa, also claimed a runner-up finish in the Maroon II race at the Roy Griak Invitational earlier this season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Travis Beniak, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Gabriel Proctor, Western State
2010
Ben Zywicki, Colorado Mines
2009
Reuben Mwei, Adams State
2008
Aaron Braun, Adams State

 

East

Mike Biwott, American International

Biwott, already a three-time National Athlete of the Week this season, added yet another honor to his season with an East Region individual title and its Regional Athlete of the Year award. The sophomore from Kapsowar, Kenya, claimed a dominating 10K victory in 30:30.9, crossing the line 47 seconds ahead of runner-up Nicholas Filippazzo from Adelphi. The win is his fifth of the season, along with a runner-up showing at the Paul Short Run.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell 
2011
Glarius Rop, American International
2010
Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell
2009
Glarius Rop, American International
2008
Ruben Sanca, UMass Lowell

 

Midwest

Johnnie Guy

Johnnie Guy, Southern Indiana

Guy, once a National Athlete of the Week earlier this season, continued an excellent campaign with the Midwest Region individual win and Regional Athlete of the Year honors. The Palmyra, Ind., sophomore completed the 10K course at UW-Parkside in 31:06 to claim a 14-second win over Grand Valley State’s Alan Peterson, and took the individual crown from defending champion Matt Brooker of Cedarville, who finished fourth. The win is his fourth in a row dating back to early September at the Spartan Invitational.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Matt Brooker, Cedarville
2011
Anthony Witt, Grand Valley State
2010
Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State
2009
Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State
2008
Chris Hammer, Grand Valley State

 

South

Valentin Lenz, Saint Leo

Lenz led his Saint Leo Lions to their first-ever bid into the NCAA Division II  National Championships with a third-place finish in the South Region Championships. The sophomore from Dusseldorf, Germany, completed the 10K course at Tampa in 32:48.0, heading a pack of three Saint Leo runners in the top 10. Two weeks earlier, he finished runner-up at the Sunshine State Conference Championships in leading his team to a second-place finish.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Blaise Binns, Alabama-Huntsville
2011
Moses Kirui, Florida Tech
2010
Daniel Kirwa, Harding
2009
Daniel Kirwa, Harding
2008
Daniel Kirwa, Harding

 

South Central

Vegard Olstad, Western State

Sophomore Olstad followed up his RMAC title over defending team national champion and rival Adams State with the individual South Central Region crown and Regional Athlete of the Year honors over the Grizzlies. The former National Athlete of the Week honoree from Gjovik, Norway, ran away with the title, crossing the line in 29:56.54 more than 21 seconds ahead of runner-up Jovanny Godinez of Adams State and 24 seconds clear of 2012 region champ Kevin Batt of Adams State. The win is his third of the season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Kevin Batt, Adams State
2011
Laban Sialo, Central Missouri
2010
Amos Sang, Abilene Christian
2009
Amos Sang, Abilene Christian
2008
Julius Nyango, Abilene Christian

 

Southeast

Dylan Lafond, Mount Olive

Lafond led his Mount Olive squad to the Southeast Region title with an individual title of his own with a win on the 10K course at Queens (N.C.) in 30:51.27. En route to the win and Regional Athlete of the Year honors, the sophomore from Manchester, N.H., completed the course 17 seconds faster than runner-up Jaiden Brandt of GRU Augusta. The win is his second of the season, following a Conference Carolinas title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
2011
Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
2010
Meshack Koyiaki, Columbus State
2009
Oscar Ogwaro, Queens (N.C.)
2008
Oscar Ogwaro, Queens (N.C.)

 

West

Isaac Chavez, Chico State

Chavez dominated the field at the West Region Championship en route to the individual title and Regional Athlete of the Year honors, completing the 10K course at the site of the NCAA Division II Championships in Spokane, Wash., in 30:55.90. The senior from Barstow, Calif., crossed the line more than 37 seconds over runner-up teammate Johnny Sanchez and 47 seconds over anyone who was not a member of his region champion Chico State squad. Additionally, he finished runner-up at the Washington Sundodger Invitational and sixth at the Stanford Invitational, both against significant Division I competition.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2011
Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage
2008
Scott Bauhs, Chico State

 

Regional Athletes of the Year — WOMEN

Atlantic

Vicki Davis, Bloomsburg

Davis, once a National Athlete of the Week this season, continued her successful 2013 campaign with an individual title at the Atlantic Region Championships and Regional Athlete of the Year honors. The senior from New Ringgold, Pa., finished the 6K course at Lock Haven in 20:45.0 to win by six seconds over Edinboro’s Sarah Krolick. Including an individual PSAC title, the win is her fifth of the season, along with a runner-up finish in the Brown race at the Paul Short Run.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Katie Spratford, Shippensburg
2011
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2010
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2009
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2008
Neely Spence, Shippensburg

 

Central

Jennifer Agnew, U-Mary

Agnew, already a National Athlete of the Week honoree earlier this fall, added more honors to her 2013 resume with an individual title at the Central Region Championships and the region’s Athlete of the Year award. In completing the 6K course at Augustana (S.D.) in 20:26.57, the senior from Onamia, Minn., earned a nearly 20-second victory over Augustana (S.D.)’s Kristin Brondbo. Additionally, she won three more races this season, including an NSIC title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Runa Falch, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Lauren Kleppin, Western State
2010
Kristen McGlynn, Adams State
2009
Morgan Place, Minnesota Duluth
2008
Shannon Payne, UC-Colorado Springs

 

East

Tara Dooley, Bentley

Despite missing the Northeast-10 Championships with injury, Dooley came back this weekend and claimed the individual title at the East Region Championships and the region’s Athlete of the Year award. With a 21:19.2 finishing time on the 6K course at Stonehill, the junior from Lee, Mass., defeated runner-up teammate Amy Varsell by 37 seconds and the next-nearest challenger by nearly a minute. The win is her first of the season, but her season includes a runner-up finish to Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino of Division I at the Dartmouth Invitational and a third-place showing at the NEICAAA Championships.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2011
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2010
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2009
Erin Carmone, Stonehill
2008
Christina Dalomba, UMass Lowell

 

Midwest

Samantha Johnson, Ferris State

Johnson, the final National Athlete of the Week prior to regionals, added a Midwest Region title and Regional Athlete of the Year honors to her list of achievements this season this past weekend. The senior from Troy, Mich., crossed the line at the 6K course at UW-Parkside in 21:22 to defeat runner-up Jessica Janecke of Grand Valley State by 10 seconds and take the region title from 2012 champ Allyson Winchester of GVSU. The region title marked her third win in a row, including the GLIAC title, which she also usurped Winchester to win.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Allyson Winchester, Grand Valley State
2011
Amanda Putt, Hillsdale
2010
Christina Muir, Ferris State
2009
Christina Muir, Ferris State
2008
Rachelle Malette, Wayne State (Mich.)

 

South

Vicky Winslow, Alabama Huntsville

Winslow achieved the largest margin of victory of any women’s individual region champion this weekend with a 40-second win at the South Region en route to Region Athlete of the Year honors. The junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., completed the 6K course at Tampa in 22:04.10, more than 40 seconds clear of Nova Southeastern’s Alexandria Palm and ahead of defending champion Kelly Hagan. The win is her fifth of the season, including the Gulf South individual title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Kelly Hagan, Tampa
2011
Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2010
Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2009
Sara Trane, Florida Tech
2008
Jessica Forrester, Tampa

 

South Central

Lauren Martin, Adams State

Martin won the individual title at the South Central Region Championships and earned the region’s Athlete of the Year honors in leading Adams State to a dominant regional team title at West Texas A&M. The junior from Alamosa, Colo., crossed the finish line in the 6K race in 21:13.97, 13 seconds clear of runner-up teammate Kelly Lamb. The win is her second of the season including the RMAC individual title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Alicia Nelson, Adams State
2011
Chloe Susset, Abilene Christian
2010
Anais Belledant, Abilene Christian
2009
Kimi Shank, Missouri Southern
2008
Kimi Shank, Missouri Southern

 

Southeast

Hannah Witt, King

Witt navigated the 6K course at Queens (N.C.) 26 seconds faster than any other runner at the Southeast Region to take the individual title and the Regional Athlete of the Year award. The senior from Mountain City, Tenn., was the first to finish in 21:45.95, well ahead of Montevallo’s Cheyenne Thompson. In addition to her regional title, she won three other races earlier this season, including a Conference Carolinas crown.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Kaley Glover, Montevallo
2011
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2010
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2009
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2008
Allison Kreutzer, Clayton State

 

West

Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage

Tanui was the only woman in Division II to defend her regional title this past weekend, as she emerged victorious in the West Region to earn her second consecutive individual title and the region’s Athlete of the Year honors. The senior from Eldoret, Kenya, traversed the 6K course in Spokane, Wash. — site of the Division II National Championships — in 21:45.4, three seconds ahead of teammate Joyce Kipchumba. The win is her fourth of the season, including a GNAC title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage
2011
Ruth Keino, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Sarah Porter, Western Washington
2009
Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2008
Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific

 

Regional Coaches of the Year — MEN

Atlantic

Aaron Russell, Lock Haven

Behind three-time individual Atlantic Region champion Alex Monroe and guided by Russell, who is in his 12th season with the squad, the Bald Eagles of Lock Haven won their region over two-time champ Edinboro, 44-63. Monroe led four top-11 Lock Haven finishers to the team title. Russell’s Bald Eagles earned a PSAC title and team victories at the Lock Haven Invitational and the Kutztown Division II/Division III Challenge.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Doug Watts, Edinboro
2011
Doug Watts, Edinboro
2010
Aaron Russell, Lock Haven
2009
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2008
Aaron Russell, Lock Haven

 

Central

Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)

Hellman’s Vikings squad claimed the Central Region title with individual champion Paul Yak and a scoring line-up entirely within the top 12 finishers. The Vikings soundly defeated Central Missouri and Missouri Southern, 37-115-116 for their second consecutive region crown. Earlier in the season, Augustana (S.D.) and Hellman, in his 14th year as the Vikings’ coach, also claimed the NSIC title and a win in the Maroon II race at the Roy Griak Invitational.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Damon Martin, Adams State
2010
Damon Martin, Adams State
2009
Damon Martin, Adams State
2008
Damon Martin, Adams State

 

East

Karen Boen, Stonehill

As the only team in the East Region with four top-25 finishers, Boen’s Skyhawks squad claimed the region title over Northeast-10 rival Franklin Pierce and Wilmington (Del.), 78-97-100. Leading the pack for Stonehill was a trio of runners between eighth and 11th. The Skyhawks and Boen, in her 16th season, also claimed a victory at the Northeast-10 Championships earlier this season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Kevin Curtin, Bentley
2011
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2010
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2009
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2008
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell

 

Midwest

Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

In his 15th season as coach, Baltes and the Lakers of Grand Valley State extended their Division-best streak of consecutive region titles to 12 with another Midwest Region title, edging out Southern Indiana, 53-64. Led by runner-up Alan Peterson, the Lakers were the only squad with five top-20 finishers. In addition to the region title, Baltes’s GVSU squad also claimed its 12th consecutive GLIAC title and won its Gold section of the Notre Dame Invitational.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Steve Picucci, Ferris State 
2011
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2010
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009
Jenny Bellsky, Saginaw Valley State
2008
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

 

South

Ben Martucci, Florida Southern

In his first season as the head cross country coach at Florida Southern, Martucci guided his Moccasins to the South Region title in a close victory over UPR Rio Piedras and Saint Leo, 65-71-73. Led by two top-10 finishers, the Florida Southern men were the only squad with five top-20 finishers. Prior to their region title, the Moccasin men also claimed the Sunshine State Conference title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Bryan Hagopian, Nova Southeastern
2011
David Cain, Alabama-Huntsville
2010
Steve Guymon, Harding
2009
Steve Guymon, Harding
2008
Steve Guymon, Harding

 

South Central

Damon Martin, Adams State

Martin, in his 18th year as the men’s coach at Adams State, guided his Grizzlies to their second South Central title in a row — and sixth consecutive overall region title dating back to their days in the Central Region — over RMAC rival Western State. Runner-up Jovanny Godinez led four top-10 finishers as Adams State defeated Western State, 31-38. The win avenged a loss to WSCU at the RMAC Championships. Earlier in the season the Grizzlies finished fourth in a mostly Division I field at the Roy Griak Invitational.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Damon Martin, Adams State
2011
Mike Harney, Eastern New Mexico
2010
Kirk Pedersen, Central Missouri
2009
Tom Rutledge, Missouri Southern
2008
Sam Burroughs, Abilene Christian

 

Southeast

Matt Van Lierop, Mount Olive

With individual winner Dylan Lafond and six top-25 finishers, Van Lierop’s Mount Olive squad easily claimed the Southeast Region crown over King and GRU Augusta, 53-102-104. No other team in the region had more than four top-25 individuals. Van Lierop’s squad also took home the Conference Carolina crown. This is Van Lierop’s fifth season as the head coach at Mount Olive.

Year
Former Winners
2012
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State 
2011
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2010
Mike Owens, Mars Hill
2009
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2008
Scott Summers, Queens (N.C.)

 

West

Gary Towne, Chico State

Towne’s Chico State squad ran to a comfortable victory at the West Region Championships, following individual winner Isaac Chavez and four of the top six individual finishers to a 33-81-90 edge over Alaska Anchorage and Cal Poly Pomona. The Wildcats were the only team with more than two top-10 finishers. Towne — in his 18th season — also guided his team to a 12th straight CCAA title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Gary Towne, Chico State
2011
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Gary Towne, Chico State
2008
Gary Towne, Chico State

 

Regional Coaches of the Year — WOMEN

Atlantic

Mike Rohl, Mansfield

In his ninth season at the helm of the Mansfield squad, Rohl led the Mountaineers to a narrow runner-up to Edinboro, 81-89 — an eight-position improvement from a year ago. Rohl’s Mountaineers were the only team with four top-15 finishers, led by fifth-place finisher Jessica Scordino. Two weeks earlier, Mansfield claimed its first-ever PSAC team title with a win over Edinboro, 65-77, snapping a streak of five straight by Shippensburg.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2011
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2010
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2009
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2008
Steve Spence, Shippensburg

 

Central

Joanna Warmington, Minnesota-Duluth

Warmington, in her fourth season, led Minnesota-Duluth to the Central Region title over Southwest Baptist and defending region champion Augustana (S.D.), 72-110-116. The Bulldogs were the only team with multiple top-10 finishers and five top-30 individuals. Two weeks earlier, Warmington’s Bulldogs usurped five-time defending NSIC champion Augustana (S.D.) for the conference title, and in September they finished runner-up in the Maroon II race at the Roy Griak.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Jennifer Michel, Western State
2010
Damon Martin, Adams State
2009
Damon Martin, Adams State
2008
Damon Martin, Adams State

 

East

Karen Boen, Stonehill

Stonehill and 16th-year head coach Karen Boen claimed their fifth consecutive East Region title with a dominant win over Bentley, 57-105. Led by a pair of top-six finishers, the Skyhawks placed six individuals within the top 30. No other team had more than three. Boen and Stonehill were the victors at the Northeast-10 Championships and the Codfish Bowl earlier this season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Katie Rees, Adelphi
2011
Karen Boen, Stonehill
2010
Andrew Rickert, Saint Rose
2009
Karen Boen, Stonehill
2008
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell

 

Midwest

Dana Schwarting, Lewis

After finishing 18th at the Midwest Regional Championships a year ago, Schwarting’s Lewis squad made a meteoric rise in 2013 with a fourth-place showing and their first NCAA Division II National Championships berth in 16 years. In his seventh season, Shwarting guided his Flyers to a pair of top-20 individual finishes and a team score of 174, ahead of No. 10 Southern Indiana, No. 15 Malone and No. 25 UW-Parkside. The Flyers also finished runners-up at the GLVC Championships.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State 
2011
Rod Cowan, Saginaw Valley State
2010
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2008
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

 

South

Jarrett Slaven, Tampa

Slaven, in his 15th season at the helm of Tampa, guided his Spartans to its seventh consecutive South Region title, the second-longest such active streak in the Division. The Spartans’ entire scoring lineup finished in the top 12 as they defeated Alabama-Huntsville, 37-49. Tampa and Slaven also achieved their seventh consecutive Sunshine State Conference title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2011
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2010
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2009
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2008
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa

 

South Central

Damon Martin, Adams State

Led by his daughter Lauren Martin — the individual champion — and two other top-three finishers, Damon Martin’s Adams State squad claimed its second consecutive South Region title over RMAC rival Western State, 28-62. The Grizzlies placed a full complement of seven runners among the top 20 finishers, while Western State only had four. Adams State and Martin, in his 24th season as the head women’s coach, claimed the RMAC title two weeks ago and finished 11th in the Division I race at Roy Griak earlier this season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Damon Martin, Adams State
2011
Koby Styles, Midwestern State
2010
Russ Jewett, Pittsburg State
2009
Patty Vavra, Missouri Southern
2008
Koby Styles, Midwestern State

 

Southeast

Joe Soehnlen, Wingate

In his second season at the helm of Wingate’s cross country program, Soehnlen guided the Bulldogs to its first-ever South Region title. Wingate had four top-15 finishers — no other team had more than one — as the squad earned a 75-107 victory over Flagler. Two weeks prior, the Bulldogs and Soehnlen won their second consecutive SAC title.

Year
Former Winners
2012
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State 
2011
Tommy Barksdale, Montevallo
2010
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2009
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State
2008
Craig McPhail, Lees-McRae

 

West

Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage

Led by two-time individual West Region champion Susan Tanui, Friess and the Seawolves edged out Chico State, 76-79, to regain the region title from the Wildcats, who the year before had snapped UAA’s three-year streak. The Seawolves were only team in the region with four top-20 finishers — including the top two finishers. Friess, in his 24th season, guided UAA to its fifth consecutive team GNAC title and an undefeated three-meet regular season.

Year
Former Winners
2012
Gary Towne, Chico State
2011
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2008
Gary Towne, Chico State