Exceptional Conference Championships Performers Earn National Athlete of the Week Honors

Exceptional Conference Championships Performers Earn National Athlete of the Week Honors

NEW ORLEANS – On a weekend when a Division I record and an all-time American collegiate best were both set, it was the no-holds-barred efforts of student-athletes at conference championships that won the day in the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week awards.

Andre Dorsey of Kennesaw State with three individual wins and another runner-up finish in leading his squad to an Atlantic Sun team title bested the one-and-done Division I weight throw record by Wisconsin’s Michael Lihrman for the DI men’s award.

The story was similar on the women’s side, where Emily Lipari’s late-race heroics in not one but two different races may well have clinched the Big East title for Villanova. Her conference-championship performances trumped Sami Spenner’s all-time best pentathlon score by an American collegian at the USATF Indoor Championships for the DI women’s award.

For the Division II awards, Mount Olive’s Dylan LaFond won a pair of events in leading his squad to its first ever indoor conference title, while Karolin Anders of Alaska Anchorage put in a long weekend’s work to lead the Seawolves to the GNAC crown.

Terrence Gibson of Worcester State was the sultan of the straightaway this weekend with Division III-leading tiems at 60-meters and in the 60-meter hurdles to earn the Division III men’s award, while DIII women’s honoree Enuma Ezenwa of Christopher Newport did a little bit of everything leading her squad to the Capital Athletic Conference title.

Find out more about each student-athletes’ performances below or by clicking their name above to go directly to their section.

National Athletes of the Week are announced each Monday throughout the season, with male and female awards for all three NCAA Divisions. Nominations are open to the public and can be completed here. Two honorable mention selections will be made for each gender per NCAA Division.

Division I Men

Andre Dorsey, Kennesaw State

Junior | Jumps
Chalmette, La. | Chalmette HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • In leading Kennesaw State to the Atlantic Sun Championships team title, Dorsey won the long jump, triple jump and high jump, finished second in the shot put and was 10th in the weight throw for a total of 38 points.
  • Named the Atlantic Sun Championship Most Valuable Performer honors for the second straight year.
  • He is now the only man in Division I among the top 10 in three different jumps events: high jump, long jump and triple jump.
  • Cleared a career-best 7-3¾ (2.23m) to win the high jump and move to No. 6 on the Division I national descending order list.
  • Leapt a career-best 25-5½ (7.76m) to win the long jump and move to No. 7 on the Division I national descending order list.
  • Won the triple jump with a mark of 49-9¼ (15.17m). Is ranked No. 3 in the nation.
  • Recorded a career-best shot put mark of 46-6¼ (14.18m).

Honorable Mention:

Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin – On his only weight throw attempt at the Wisconsin Red & White Open, he broke the Division I weight throw record with a world-leading heave of 79-7½ (24.27m). It surpassed the previous DI record of 78-9¾ (24.02m) set by Libor Charfreitag of SMU in 2001 and puts him at No. 2 all-time on the collegiate performers list.

Rich Peters, Boston – Won both the 1000 (2:26.90) and the mile (4:04.74) races at the Patriot League Championships.

Division I Women

Emily Lipari, Villanova

Senior | Mid-Distance
Greenvale, N.Y. | Roslyn HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • Notched last-second come-from-behind victories for crucial team points in the 1000 meters and the (truncated) 4×800 relay to ultimately propel the Wildcats to the team title over Georgetown by just 2½ team points, 59½ – 57; a result that could have been different without Lipari’s late-race heroics.
  • Named the Big East Women’s Track Most Outstanding Performer
  • Passed Georgetown’s Katarina Coogan down the final straightaway of the 1000 meters race for the win in a new meet record 2:43.69, less than a second clear of Coogan. Her time surpassed by .01 of a second the previous record held by former Villanova great Sheila Reid, and her Big East 1000 meters title is her third in a row.
  • Again overcame a late-race deficit on the final straightaway during the 4×800 relay, with a less than half-a-second victory over Georgetown after trailing entering her anchor leg. The third leg of the relay was run one lap short.
  • Ran the anchor leg of Villanova’s runner-up distance medley relay team, which finished in 10:59.74 for No. 5 on the Division I national descending order list.

Honorable Mention:

Sami Spenner, Nebraska Omaha – Posted the best ever pentathlon score by an American collegian with a 4498 in a runner-up showing at the USATF Indoor Championships at altitude in Albuquerque, N.M. She moved to No. 3 on the all-time collegiate performers list with the sixth-highest score.

Mariah Toussaint, Monmouth – Won the 60 (7.74/7.73q), 200 (24.30) and long jump (20-3½/6.18m) at the MAAC Championships, in addition to finishing runner-up in the high jump (5-3/1.60m)

Division II Men

Dylan LaFond, Mount Olive

Sophomore | Distance
Manchester, N.H. | Manchester Central HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • Won both the mile and 3000-meter events and finished runner-up at 5000 meters to lead Mount Olive to its first indoor track & field conference team championship title.
  • Started off the day with a runner-up showing at 5000 meters in 15:30.81.
  • Won the mile in 4:17.41 by nearly a second over Limestone’s Tristan Perignon.
  • Finished the day with another close win of less than a second at 3000 meters in 8:36.62 over teammate Austin Steagall.

Honorable Mention:

Alex Donigian, Western Washington – Won at 60 (6.75) and 200 meters (21.79) to lead Western Washington to the GNAC team title.

Mike Biwott, American International – Won both the 3000 meters (8:34.08) and 5000 meters (14:43.34) races at the Northeast-10 Championships.

Division II Women

Karolin Anders, Alaska Anchorage

Sophomore | Combined Events
Berlin, Germany | Werner-Seelenbinder HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • In leading Alaska Anchorage to the team title Anders: won the pentathlon and the triple jump, finished runner-up in the high jump, took third in the long jump and placed eighth in the shot put.
  • Her winning pentathlon score of 3640 was more than 300 points clear of runner-up Tayler Fettig of Central Washington. She won the 800 meters component in 2:24.62 and finished runner-up in the four others.
  • Won the triple jump with an indoor personal-best 36-10½ (11.24m).
  • Finished runner-up in the open high jump with a clearance of 5-3¼ (1.62m), and third in the open long jump with an indoor personal-best 18-0½ (5.50m).
  • Recorded a personal-best 38-5¾ (11.70m) mark in the shot put for eighth place.

Honorable Mention:

Ada Udaya, New Haven – Won the 60 (7.51) and 200 meter (24.19) races at the Northeast-10 Championships, in addition to running a leg of the runner-up 4×400 relay team.

Chelsea van Dijk, Mount Olive – Won the 200 (26.02) and 400 (59.32) meter races en route to leading her team to a Conference Carolinas team title, along with a leg of the winning 4×400 relay and a third-place in the high jump (5-3/1.60m).

Division III Men

Terrence Gibson, Worcester State

Junior | Sprints/Jumps/Hurdles
Rockland, Mass. | Rockland HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • Posted Division III-leading times at both 60 meters and the 60-meter hurdles at the New England Division III Championships en route to leading Worcester State to an eighth-place team finish.
  • Improved his standing as the ninth-fastest 60-meter hurdler in Division III history with a winning 8.02 in the final, a tenth of a second faster than runner-up Adam Scalesse of Coast Guard. His prior personal record had been 8.04 in winning last year’s NCAA Championships over Scalesse.
  • Narrowly missed the all-time top-10 Division III performers list at 60 meters by .01 of a second with a 6.80 win to enter into a three-way tie atop the Division III national descending order list. He equaled the time of defending indoor 60-meter champion Thurgood Dennis of UW-Eau Claire and Bruce Gray of Greenville.

Honorable Mention:

Max Kittle, Anderson (Ind.) – Won the 200 (22.48) and 60-meter hurdles (8.26) at the HCAC Championships, in addition to running legs of the winning 4×200 and 4×400 relays.

Luke Campbell, Salisbury – Won the 60-meter hurdles (8.07) and the 400 (49.77) at the Capital Athletic Conference Championships in a team championship effort, along with a leg of the winning 4×400 relay and a fourth-place showing at 200 meters (22.74).

Division III Women

Enuma Ezenwa, Christopher Newport

Junior | Sprints/Hurdles/Jumps
Herndon, Va. | Herndon HS
School Bio | TFRRS Profile

  • En route to leading Christopher Newport to the Capital Athletics Conference team title, Ezenwa won the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump, ran a leg of the winning 4×400 relay, finished in a three-way tie for second in the high jump, took third at 400 meters and placed fifth at 200 meters for 36½ total team points.
  • Won the 60-meter hurdles in a personal-best 9.10 after running a 9.13 in the prelims. Her 9.10 final was nearly a tenth of a second faster than anyone in the field and is ranked No. 23 in Division III.
  • Claimed the long jump title with a career-best leap of 17-4¾ (5.30m).
  • Cleared two heights in tying for second at 5-3 (1.60m) in the high jump.
  • Was within one second of the winner in a third-place performance at 400 meters in 1:00.53, and finished fifth at 200 meters in 26.86.

 Honorable Mention:

Ashante Little, Wheaton (Mass.) – Tied her 60-meter hurdles career best of 8.71 for the Division III lead, and tacked on another 8.76 for the second-fastest time.