Windle, Williams, Wilkinson & Szabo Named Division II Indoor National Athletes of the Year
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II Indoor Track & Field National Athletes of the Year, as voted by the nation’s head coaches, were announced by the national office Wednesday.
Drew Windle of Ashland and Danielle Williams of Johnson C. Smith earned men’s and women’s Indoor National Track Athlete of the Year honors, while DeJon Wilkinson of Saint Augustine’s and Barbara Szabo of Western State were named the men’s and women’s Indoor National Field Athletes of the Year.
Windle, a junior from New Albany, Ohio, earned the honor for the second consecutive season after defending his national title at 800 meters in addition to running a leg of the national champion distance medley relay and the fifth-place 4×400 relay team. He won his signature event in 1:49.73 by less than a quarter of a second over GLIAC rival Dillon Webster of Findlay in a dash to the finish line down the homestretch.
Earlier this season, Windle ran the year’s second-fastest 800 meters among all collegians and the fastest in Division II indoor history in 1:46.52 at the GVSU Big Meet, and won GLIAC titles at 800 meters and in the 4×400 and distance medley relays.
Johnson C. Smith
Williams, a senior from St. Andrew, Jamaica, became the first student-athlete in Division II history to claim three individual track titles at the same indoor national championship meet with crowns at 60 and 200 meters and in the 60-meter hurdles.
In the span of one Saturday afternoon, she defended her national 60-meter hurdles title in 8.12, claimed the 60 meters crown in 7.32 and set a new JDL Fast Track facility record at 200 meters in 23.80. Earlier in the season s he earned CIAA Championship titles in each of those three events, and won both the 60-meter hurdles and 200 meters at the Penn State National.
Wilkinson, a senior from Summerville, S.C., was the only two-time field event winner at the Division II Indoor Championships this year with wins in both the long jump and triple jump. He won the triple jump as the top seed with a mark of 51-10 (15.80m) and the long jump with a leap of 24-9¾ (7.56m).
His season also included a CIAA Championships title in the triple jump and wins against Division I competition at both the Virginia Tech Invitational and the Penn State National.
Szabo, a senior from Budapest, Hungary, won her fourth consecutive national indoor high jump title, becoming just the third woman in Division II indoor history to win four championships in a single event (Jessica Pixler/Seattle Pacific, mile; Delloreen Ennis-London/Abilene Christian, 55-meter hurdles).
She finished the indoor season as the all-divisions collegiate leader with two separate clearances of 6-3¼ (1.91m) – including one for an RMAC title – and won her NCAA title at a height of 6-2 (1.88m) that would have claimed the Division I title the same day. Only four other collegiate women in 2014 have cleared or bettered her NCAA-winning height.
She also won the RMAC title in the triple jump and qualified for the event at the NCAA Championships.