Most Outstanding Performers from Division III Indoor Championships Announced

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

March 25, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday the Division III student-athletes who earned Outstanding Performer of the Meet honors for their efforts at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships held in Lincoln, Neb., on March 14-15.

UW-Oshkosh’s Christy Cazzola and UW-La Crosse’s Bailey Alston earned the women’s top track honors and field honors, respectively. Southern Maine’s Jamie Ruginski and Jonas Elusme of Wartburg split the top men’s field honor, while UW-Eau Claire’s Thurgood Dennis took home the top men’s track honor.

Each year the USTFCCCA honors the Outstanding Performers of the Meet at both of the national Division III championships. Winners are determined using a formula that takes into account team points scored plus meet records (five additional points), Division III season-bests (three points) and facility records (one point).

Dennis (Allouez, Wis./Green Bay Notre Dame HS) was the meet’s top overall performer with 21 team points stemming from his individual wins at 60 and 200 meters – both in all-time Division III records – and a fifth-place finish in the 4×400 relay. He garnered 10 additional points for setting two meet records to bring his total to 31 points.

Cazzola (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna HS) was the top female performer of the meet for the second year in a row with 22½ points. The senior claimed individual titles both in the mile and at 3000 meters, and ran a leg of the Titans’ winning distance medley relay team.

Women’s field athlete honoree Alston and the men’s field co-honorees Ruginski and Elusme all scored 16 points apiece.

Alston (Rochester, Minn./Mayo HS) finished runner-up in both the long jump and the triple jump.

Ruginski (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle HS) won the triple jump title and finished third in the long jump.

Elusme (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista HS) finished as the national runner-up both in the long jump and the high jump. He lost out on the high jump title in a tiebreak on misses to Carthage’s Trevor James.