Historic Performances Turned in by National Athletes of the Week
NEW ORLEANS – The gauntlet was thrown down this past weekend by the National Athletes of the Week announced Monday, all of whom took over the top spots on their Divisions’ qualifying lists and some of whom who did so in historic fashion.
Thrower Ryan Crouser of Texas and sprinter Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky earned the Division I male and female National Athlete of the Week awards, respectively. Crouser put up the best collegiate indoor shot put marks since 2010 while Bryant ran the fastest 200 meters outside of Arkansas since 2012.
Dennis Bain of Claflin turned in a trio of impressive hurdles performances to jump to No. 9 on the all-time Division II performance list to earn the DII men’s honor. The women’s honor went to Shawnee Carnett for a come-from behind DII-leading performance at 800 meters.
Division III was represented by a pair of all-time top-10 Division III mid-distance runners in Bowdoin’s Coby Horowitz and Gabriella Gaudreault of Springfield (Mass.).
More information on each of the winners can be found below.
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.
Ryan Crouser, Texas
In just his second competition of the season, Crouser put on an indoor shot put display the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 2010. The junior Longhorn broke the 69-feet barrier not once but twice at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic this past weekend, ultimately winning with a school-record mark of 69-8 (21.32m) on his final throw after heaving 69-2½ (21.09m) on his penultimate attempt.
Though the mark was just ¼ of an inch shy of the all-time collegiate indoor top-10 performers list, it was the best by a collegian during the indoor season since Arizona State alum Ryan Whiting claimed the 2010 NCAA title with a mark of 70-7¼ (21.52m).
Among the 18 competitors whom Crouser defeated by nearly four feet was Texas Tech’s Kole Weldon, the 2012 indoor shot put national runner-up who also threw a personal-best 65-11¾ (20.11m).
Shawn Barber, Akron – Broke the nearly 22-year old Canadian indoor pole vault record with a vault of 18-6¾ (5.66m) to win at the Akron Invitational. Has improved his season-best in each meet in 2014.
Maksim Korolev, Harvard – After momentarily losing contact with the lead group in the late stages of the 3000 meters at the Boston U Valentine Invitational, he stormed back for the win over Dartmouth’s Will Geoghegan at the line in 7:51.52 for the third-fastest qualifying time in DI.
Brycen Spratling, Pitt – Won the 500 meters at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in a collegiate-leading 1:00.85 — No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list — in addition to running legs of the Panthers’ victorious 4×400 and 4×200 meter relay teams.
Dezerea Bryant, Kentucky
Historic indoor collegiate performances at 200 meters usually take place at Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center – all of the all-time top 10 men’s and women’s performances, to be specific – which makes Bryant’s eye-opening, world-leading 22.82 at Virginia Tech’s Rector Fieldhouse this past weekend a bit more special.
Her lap around Rector was the fastest run outside of Arkansas since 2012 The Bowerman winner Kimberlyn Duncan ran a 21.76 at the 2012 NCAA Championships at Boise State. Furthermore, it makes her the 15th-fastest American indoor collegian in history.
The performance – which was more than ½ of a second faster than runner-up Kendra Harrison (No. 10 nationally) – puts her just .14 of a second shy of the all-time top-10 indoor collegiate performers list and .14 ahead of Texas A&M’s Kamaria Brown for the 2014 collegiate lead.
She also won at 60 meters in 7.27. She is the current collegiate leader in the event in 7.19.
Kaitlin Petrillose, Texas – Equaled No. 8 on the all-time indoor collegiate pole vault performers list with a winning and collegiate-leading mark of 14-7¼ (4.45m) at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, making her the fifth active pole vaulter on the all-time indoor list.
Brea Garrett, Texas A&M – Won the weight throw at the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational with a mark of 74-4¼ (22.66m) to take the collegiate lead and join at No. 10 the event’s all-time collegiate performers list.
Dennis Bain, Claflin
Senior | Hurdles
With such a large field at the Armory Collegiate Invitational, Bain had to navigate through three total rounds – as opposed to the more typical two –to earn his runner-up finish in the 60-meter hurdles, and did he ever take advantage of it.
He turned in a runner-up showing in a Division II-leading 7.80, equaling the No. 9 spot on the Division II all-time performers list (Ricardo Moody, Adams State, 2003) and putting nearly .1 between himself and the next-fastest individual on the qualifying list.
His prelims time of 7.90 was just .01 shy of last week’s DII leader Moussa Dembele of Saint Augustine’s, and his semifinal time of 7.87 surpassed Dembele’s mark. All told, he posted three of the nation’s four fastest times.
Jordan Edwards, Academy of Art – Won the SPIRE DII Team Challenge 400 meters in a Division-leading 46.82 (oversized, 47.57 for qualifying) and ran legs of the Urban Knights’ distance medley and 4×400 relay teams.
Shawnee Carnett, Concord
Not only did Carnett take the Division II national lead at 800 meters at 2:08.04 (2:09.52 qualifying for track size) with her third-place finish in the championship portion of the Armory Collegiate Invitational, but she did it with style.
After running in last place for each of the first three laps of the race, she made her move to the front on the bell lap. Running in the outside lanes, she moved all the way up to second and nearly outkicked section winner Courtney Clayton of Vanderbilt down the final straightaway.
The performance established a new indoor personal best for her in just her second race at 800 meters this season.
Kristen Hixson, Grand Valley State – Improved her DII-leading pole vault mark with a clearance of 13-9¼ (4.20m) at the Hillsdale Wide Track Classic.
Coby Horowitz, Bowdoin
With a 4:02.12 mile on Boston University’s historically fast track at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, Horowitz became the fourth-fastest performer in Division III history and the fastest since 2003. The performances was a nearly five-second career-best.
When the pace began to drop midway through the race off of sub-4:00 pace, it was Horowitz who moved to the front at 800 meters at approximately 2:00 before falling back to third at 1000 meters. He responded with a move back to second place through 1200 meters before eventually finishing sixth.
He was the lone competitor in his section of 12 who was not either a professional or a Division I student-athlete. He finished 20th overall out of 301 competitors.
Sean Donnelly, Mount Union – Last week’s National Athlete of the Week moved from No. 6 on the all-time Division III weight throw list to No. 2 with a winning mark of 68-4½ (20.84m) at the Jim Wuske Invitational. He is tied at No. 15 on the 2014 collegiate performers list.
Trevor James, Carthage – Became Division III’s first man in 2014 to clear seven feet in the high jump with a mark of 7-0½ (2.15m), which is the highest clearance in Division III indoors since the inception of TFRRS for the 2009-10 season.
Graham Beutler, Tufts – Ran Division III’s fastest 400 meters of 2014 in 48.31 and its fifth-fastest 200 meters in 21.91 at the Boston University David Hemery Invitational.
Gabriella Gaudreault, Springfield (Mass.)
Boston was the site of another mid-distance all-time top-10 performance as Gabriella Gaudreault raced to a all-conditions career-best 2:09.57 over 800 meters to make her the seventh-fastest performer in Division III history.
Beyond being just fast, Gaudreault took the top spot on the Division III qualifying list from former National Athlete of the Week Maggie Shelton of Johns Hopkins, whom she defeated head-to-head in this race en route to a third-place finish in the section and 10th-place overall.
She led from the gun through three-quarters of the race as one of just two non-DI or pro athletes in the field, taking the field through the halfway point in 61 seconds. She maintained her lead through 600 meters before being passed, and held off a majority of the field to finish third.
Ashante Little, Wheaton (Mass.) – Added a Division III-leading time at 400 meters in 55.80 for a ninth-place finish at Boston to her second-ranked 60-meter hurdles performance earlier this season.
Karen Blake, Amherst – Ran a Division III-leading 25.16 at 200 meters at Boston to finish 21st out of 212.