Region Athletes & Coaches of the Year for NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Announced
NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2015 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season were announced Friday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the regions, which are the same as those used during the Division I cross country season, honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes and the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches. Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches.
QUICK LINKS TO AWARDS
|Track Athletes of the Year||Track Athletes of the Year|
|Field Athletes of the Year||Field Athletes of the Year|
|Head Coaches of the Year||Head Coaches of the Year|
|Assistant Coaches of the Year||Assistant Coaches of the Year|
Many of the honored athletes and coaches will be in competition at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships set for next weekend, March 13-14, in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The meet can be streamed online live at NCAA.org, and more information can be found at the USTFCCCA’s National Championships Central page.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Clayton Murphy, Akron
Murphy, a sophomore from New Paris, Ohio, was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the meet at the MAC Championship after winning the 800 and mile there. Earlier in the season, he ran 1:47.82 and 4:00.39 to break the Akron school records in those two events.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Dylan Capwell, Monmouth
He ran 1:46.82 in the 800 at the MAAC meet—that’s the fastest time ever by a collegian at the venerable Armory. Capwell, a sophomore from Hopatcong, New Jersey, also ran a leg on Monmouth’s conference title-winning 4×400.
MIDWEST REGION – DJ Zahn, Illinois
Zahn is ranked in the top ten in the NCAA in the 200 and 400 and won both of those events at the Big Ten Championships, running 20.75 and 45.63 to earn Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year. He’s a senior from Morton, Illinois
MOUNTAIN REGION – Cristian Soratos, Montana State
Soratos ran a stunning 3:55.27 in the mile at Washington, taking the national lead in the event. The redshirt senior from Salinas, California is the Big Sky champ in the 800, mile, and distance medley relay.
NORTHEAST REGION – Jesse Garn, Binghamton
Garn, a redshirt junior, has the nation’s sixth fastest time in the 800 at 1:46.98, and ran on an America East-winning 4×400. He’s from Marcellus, New York.
SOUTH REGION – Najee Glass, Florida
Glass is the first Gator to win the SEC indoor title in the 400 in exactly a decade. His time of 45.34 in the event is a collegiate leader; Glass is a junior from Woodbridge, New Jersey.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Omar McLeod, Arkansas
McLeod blazed a time of 7.49 seconds in the 60 meter hurdle final at the SEC Championships. That time from the sophomore from Kingston, Jamaica is the second fastest in collegiate history and the SEC record.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Thomas Curtin, Virginia Tech
Curtin, a redshirt junior from Leesburg, Virginia, has the second fastest 5k time in the nation at 13:38.56, which he ran at Iowa State. Curtin is the ACC champ in the 3k and has also qualified for nationals in the 3k and DMR.
WEST REGION – Eric Jenkins, Oregon
Jenkins ran 7:44.91 for the eighth fastest 3k in college history; he also has the NCAA’s fastest 5k time and anchored Oregon’s nation-leading DMR. He’s a redshirt senior from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Leah O’Connor, Michigan State
O’Connor has qualified for nationals in the DMR and mile, both events that she won at the Big Ten Championships. She has the nation’s fifth best time in the mile (4:32.29) and is a redshirt senior from Croswell, Michigan.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Angel Piccirillo, Villanova
The junior from Homer City, Pennsylvania is qualified for nationals in the mile and distance medley relay. Piccirillo won the open 800 and anchored the winning 4×800 at the Big East Championship meet.
MIDWEST REGION – Erin Teschuk, North Dakota State
Teschuk is entered at nationals in and ranked in the top six of the mile (4:32.09) and 3000 (9:02.40). The junior from Winnipeg, Manitoba won the 800, mile, and DMR at the Summit League meet.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Cierra White, Texas Tech
White, a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, won the Big 12 championship in the 200 and took third in the 60 meters there. Her 22.98 time in the 200 is the fourth fastest in the NCAA this year.
NORTHEAST REGION – Emily Sisson, Providence
Sisson ran 15:12.22 to break the school and national record in the 5000 meters; she also ran 8:52.60 to put herself among the five fastest collegiate performers ever in the 3000. The redshirt senior is from Chesterfield, Missouri.
SOUTH REGION – Remona Burchell, Alabama
Burchell, a senior from Montego Bay, Jamaica, hasn’t lost this year. The highlight came at the SEC championships, where she won the 60 meters in a new national collegiate record of 7.08 seconds.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Dominique Scott, Arkansas
Scott, a senior from Capetown, South Africa, will contest the mile (in which she has the nation’s sixth fastest time) and distance medley relay on her home track at the NCAA championships. She won the mile and 3000 (in which she has the nation’s fastest time) at the SEC meet.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Natoya Goule, Clemson
Goule has the national lead (2:02.78) in the 800 meters and was the runner-up in that event plus the DMR at the ACC championship. She’s from Clarendon, Jamaica, and a redshirt senior.
WEST REGION – Shelby Houlihan, Arizona State
Houlihan, a senior from Sioux City, Iowa, will contest the mile and the 3000 at nationals next week. Her 4:30.77 mile in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games is the second fastest in the NCAA this winter.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin
Lihrman, a redshirt senior from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, set the collegiate record in the weight throw with a heave of 83-11¼ (25.58m) en route to winning the Big Ten Title. In besting the previous collegiate record by a foot and a half, the three-time National Athlete of the Week and Bowerman Watch List member now ranks second on the American all-time performers list and third on the world list. This year alone, he has achieved nine of the top-10 throws in collegiate history, becoming one of only three collegians to throw 80 feet or farther.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Darrell Hill, Penn State
Hill, a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, won the Big Ten Championship title in the shot put. With a mark of 67-3½ (20.51m) at the Penn State National Invitational, he became the Penn State school record holder and finished the regular season ranked third in the country. Throughout the season he won five of the six shot put competitions, with his only loss coming to NCAA Champion Ryan Crouser.
MIDWEST REGION – Christoff Bryan, Kansas State
Bryan, a first-year collegian from Kingston Jamaica, made an impact immediately in his first year as a Wildcat. He enters the NCAA Championships among three men tied for the collegiate high jump lead at 7-5¾ (2.28m), a height he achieved in winning the prestigious Tyson Invitational at Arkansas. He also cleared 7-4½ (2.25m) in his collegiate debut and finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Jacorian Duffield, Texas Tech
Duffield, a senior from Schertz, Texas, enters the NCAA Indoor Championships ranked No. 1 in the high jump and as the Big 12 champion in the event. Duffield has broken his own school record twice this season, once on opening weekend when he jumped 7-4¼ (2.24m), and then again when he cleared a collegiate-leading 7-5¾ (2.28m) on his first attempt to win at the Texas A&M Quad. Duffield leaped 7-3¼ (2.22m) to win his first Big 12 title. He has finished first, second or third in each meet this season.
NORTHEAST REGION – Jonathan Jones, Buffalo
Jones, a redshirt senior from Portville, New York, won the MAC Championship shot put at 65-9¾ (20.06m), ranking him No. 5 among collegians and setting a new MAC record, MAC Championship record, facility record, and UB school record. He is undefeated this season. He is the top-ranked Northeast Region shot putter by more than two feet. He won the MAC meet by over six feet over second place. He broke his own Championship record three times in the competition.
SOUTH REGION – Marquis Dendy, Florida
Dendy, a senior from Middletown, Delaware, won SEC Championship titles in both the long jump (8.00m/26-3) and triple jump (16.98m/55-08.50), becoming the first athlete to double in both since 2009 (Christian Taylor, Florida). With those 20 points, he tied for Cliff Harper Commissioner’s Trophy (high point) with 20 points towards UF’s SEC Championship team title … With his 56-6½ (17.23m) performance at the Tyson Invitational, he owns the top TJ in the NCAA and world this year and checked in as the No. 9 performance all-time among collegians.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Ryan Crouser, Texas
Crouser, a redshirt junior from Boring, Oregon, won the Big 12 shot put and set the conference championship meet record of 69-4¼ (21.14m) to win by more than a meter, breaking the previous record of 21.08m set in 2002. His mark is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA by more than half a meter and makes him the No. 3 performer in the world this year. His throw is No. 5 overall in the world. He has won all four meets in which he has competed.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Jonathan Addison, NC State
Addison, a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina, finished 2015’s regular season as the ACC Champion in the high jump and the runner-up in the long jump. He was the high scorer for the Wolfpack with 23 points including a fourth place finish in the 60m dash. Addison had the longest jump in the ACC at 25-10¼ (7.88m) which ranks fourth in the NCAA. For his performances in the long jump and high jump, Addison was named Co-MVP in the field events, the first for NC State since 2007.
WEST REGION – Bryan McBride, Arizona State
McBride, a redshirt senior from Phoenix, Arizona, finished his 2015 regular season with MPSF titles in the high jump and long jump, both with NCAA Division I top-15-ranked performances. He won the high jump with a season’s best 7-5 (2.26m) to move to No. 4 in the country, and he took the long jump at 25-6¾ (7.79m). He also picked up five more points in the triple jump with a fourth-place, personal-best leap of 50-5½ (15.38m).
GREAT LAKES REGION – Kelsey Card, Wisconsin
Card, a redshirt junior from Plainview, Illinois, became the third athlete in Big Ten history to sweep titles in the shot put and weight throw at the Big Ten meet en route to winning Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championship. After winning the weight throw earlier in the meet, she won the shot put with a school-record mark of 56-7¼ (17.25m). Card set the UW weight throw record with a heave of 71-7¼ (21.82m) earlier this year, ranking fifth in the country in the weight throw & seventh in the shot put.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Thea LaFond, Maryland
LaFond, a senior from Silver Spring, Maryland, scored 23 points at Maryland’s first-ever Big Ten Championships appearance. She finished runner-up in the triple jump at 43-5¼ (13.24m) for No. 6 on the NCAA list, third in the high jump at 6-0 (1.83m) for No. 16 on the NCAA list and third in the long jump at 20-3 (6.17m).
MIDWEST REGION – Akela Jones, Kansas State
Jones, a junior from Bridgetown, Barbados, in her first year at Kansas State after transferring from NAIA Oklahoma Baptist, made a significant impact on the NCAA in just her first year. At the end of the regular season, she ranked No. 1 in the long at 21-9½ (6.64m), No. 2 in the pentathlon with 4423 points, No. 8 in the high jump at 6-¾ (1.85m) and No. 8 in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.14. At the Big 12 Championships she won the long jump, finished second in the high jump and was third in the 60-meter hurdles.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Chari Hawkins, Utah State
Hawkins, a senior from Rexburg, Idaho, was named the Women’s Outstanding Performer at the Mountain West Championships. Hawkins broke her own school and conference meet record to win the pentathlon with 4,194 points, which ranks eighth nationally. Hawkins also broke her own school record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.30, good enough to finish third, and placed third in the high jump with a mark of 5-08¾ (1.75m), earning first-team all-Mountain West honors.
NORTHEAST REGION – Nikki Okwelogu, Harvard
Okwelogu, a sophomore from Harvard, was named Field Performer of the Meet at the Ivy League Championships. She set the Ivy League record with a shot put toss of 56-2 (17.12m), becoming the first-ever Ivy Leaguer to go over 17 meters and moving to ninth-best in the nation. She won five shot put events this year and finished runner-up in the only other she entered.
SOUTH REGION – Kendell Williams, Georgia
Williams, a sophomore from Marietta, Georgia, scored a nation-leading 4,609 points in the pentathlon at the Rod McCravy Memorial for the No. 2 collegiate mark all-time (No. 1 mark non-altitude), which was only 26 points from tying her collegiate record. She cruised to a 143-point win in the pentathlon at the SEC Championships after scoring 4,519 for another all-time top-10 score She finished the regular season ranked first in the pentathlon, third in the long jump 21-5½ (6.54m), tied for eighth in the high jump 6-0¾ (1.85m) and 16th in the 60m hurdles (8.21).
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Demi Payne, Stephen F. Austin
Payne, a senior from New Braunfels, Texas, who transferred from Kansas after giving birth to her daughter Charlee, broke the collegiate pole vault record three times, currently owning the best collegiate mark of 15-7 (4.75m) set on Jan. 24. She won the pole vault title at the USA Track and Field Championships on March 1, among six individual meet titles this year. Along the way, she broke five meet records in eight competitions. During the season she has been named to The Bowerman Watch List and has been named National Athlete of the Week three times.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Sha’Keela Saunders, Kentucky
Saunders, a redshirt sophomore from Suffolk, Virginia, has lost in the long jump just once this year, coming to the current collegiate leader. She has posted jumps over 21 feet in her last three competitions including a 21-6 (6.55m) jump to win the SEC Championship. Saunders came back the next day to finish fourth in a stacked triple jump competition with a 42-11 (13.08m) which is just below her personal best of 42-11¾ (13.10m) that currently ranks ninth nationally.
WEST REGION – Ida Storm, UCLA
Storm, a senior from Nybro, Sweden, competing for the first time since finishing runner-up at last year’s NCAA Indoor meet in the weight throw, has picked up – and built on – where she left off a year ago. She moved to No. 2 on the 2015 weight throw list with an MPSF-winning heave of 73-6 (22.40m) that established a new career PR by more than half a meter. She won each of her four weight throw finals this year, including three in which she surpassed at least 71 feet.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Dennis Mitchell, Akron
Mitchell, guiding the Zips in his 20th season, led the program to the MAC title and to a top-25 national ranking throughout the season. The team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the final region rankings. Akron claims the nation’s leading pole vaulter, Shawn Barber who has cleared a collegiate record 19-0 (5.80m) this season. Five school records have been broken and three athletes are qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – John Gondak, Penn State
Gondak, in his first year as head coach at Penn State, led the Nittany Lions to the top ranking spot in the region and a top-ten national ranking. Penn State enters the NCAA Indoor Championships with five entries with one each in mid-distance, distance, jumping, and throwing events and a DMR. Gondak, the squad’s distance and mid-distance coach, led two to sub-four minute mile times this season. In addition, the program won its home Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup over regional foe Princeton.
MIDWEST REGION – Gary Pepin, Nebraska
Pepin, in his 35th year with the Huskers, coached the program to a 41-point margin over the runner-up for the Big Ten title. Coaching the jumps, Pepin had a 1-2 finish in the league’s high jump final as well as 2-4 finish in the long jump. All told, the Husker jumpers contributed 42 of Nebraska’s 127 team points at the conference meet. The Huskers finished the season ranked No. 1 in the region and are currently 13th nationally with six entries into the NCAA Indoor Championships.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Wes Kittley, Texas Tech
Kittley, in his 16th year with the program, coached the No. 10 Red Raiders to their highest finish in program history at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, taking second place with 95½ team points. Kittley led three different Red Raiders to breaking school records a combined five times in 2015. In addition, Kittley has had the Red Raiders in the USTFCCCA National top 20 the entire season, and Tech has been No. 1 in the Mountain region for all of 2015. They enter the NCAA meet with six entries.
NORTHEAST REGION – John Copeland, Rhode Island
Copeland, in his 32nd year with the Rhode Island program, led his team to the Atlantic 10 crown with a 203-199 final tally over runner-up George Mason. At the league meet, his athletes scored in all but two events and all 32 athletes entered contributed team points.
SOUTH REGION – Mike Holloway, Florida
Holloway, in his 20th year at Florida, led the Gators to its first SEC indoor crown since 2011. The team claimed five event titles at the league meet as Marquis Dendy claimed the co-high point award with wins in the long and triple jump. Florida enters the NCAA meet with a meet-best 14 entries and as the nation’s top ranked team.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Mario Sategna, Texas
Sategna, in his second year leading the Longhorns, brought Texas the Big 12 Conference title with 140 points scored, 44½ over runner-up Texas Tech. Four event crowns were won by UT at the league meet and, as coach of the combined events, Sategna guided Wolf Mahler to the heptathlon crown. Texas has eight entries into the NCAA meet and the squad is currently ranked No. 5 nationally.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Dave Cianelli, Virginia Tech
Cianelli, in his 14th year at the helm, led the Hokies to the ACC crown, scoring 14½ more than runner-up Florida State and to a top-10 national ranking heading into the NCAA Indoor Championships. The squad has seven entries into the national meet.
WEST REGION – Robert Johnson, Oregon
Johnson, in his third year leading the Ducks, has Oregon entering the NCAA Championships ranked No. 2 in the country with 13 entries. UO won the MPSF title and the Ducks finished the regular season with 12 ranked in the nation’s top 10 in their events.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Karen Dennis, Ohio State
Dennis, in her ninth year with Ohio State, was named Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading the Buckeyes to the league title, topping runner-up Michigan by 15 points. She coached athletes to eight school records during the season, six of which were set at the conference championships. Ohio State athletes won four Big Ten event titles and earned ten top-five finishes. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 in the region.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Gina Procaccio, Villanova
Villanova won the Big East Championship by 43 points this season for Procaccio in her 15th year with the program. The Wildcats had eight individual Big East Champions. Villanova has two entered in the mile and a DMR for the NCAA meet.
MIDWEST REGION – Cliff Rovelto, Kansas State
Rovelto, in his 26th year at Kansas State, led the Wildcats to second at the Big 12 Championships. Only four programs have more than the nine entries KSU carries into the NCAA Indoor Championships. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 in the region by a wide margin and are currently ranked No. 6 in the country.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Joe Franklin, New Mexico
Franklin, in his eighth year at New Mexico, led the Lobos to the Mountain West conference crown and was named the league’s coach of the year. The squad has three entries into the NCAA championships, and the program finished a close runner-up in the final regional rankings.
NORTHEAST REGION – Jason Saretsky, Harvard
Sartesky, in his ninth year at Harvard, led the Crimson to the Ivy League Heps title. All told, 27 individuals and four relays reached the podium at Heps for his squad along with five school records broken this year. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 in the region.
SOUTH REGION – Wayne Norton, Georgia
Norton, in his 16th year as head coach, led Georgia women to program’s first No. 1 national ranking, and are currently sitting second heading into the NCAA Indoor Championships. Five team members go into NCAAs ranked in the top six in seven events, including country’s leading marks in the pentathlon, triple jump and high jump. An American Junior record in the triple jump, a No. 2 all-time collegiate pentathlon score, tied SEC meet record in the high jump, and two school records set were all part of a big year for the Bulldogs.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lance Harter, Arkansas
Harter, in his 25th year at Arkansas, has a program that enters the NCAA meet ranked No. 1 nationally with a meet-best 15 entries. His squad won the SEC title by 44 points as six event titles went to the Razorbacks. Harter coached Dominique Scott to the collegiate leader at 3000 meters with her school-record time of 8:52.57 which ranks No. 5 all-time in collegiate history under all conditions.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Mark Elliott, Clemson
Elliott, in his second year at the helm at Clemson, led the Tigers to the ACC crown, improving from eighth just a year ago. Ranked in the top 25 all season, his crew finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the region. Clemson has five entries into the NCAA championships including Natoya Goule who set an ACC record earlier in the season in the 800 meters (2:02.78).
WEST REGION – Caryl Smith Gilbert, Southern California
Smith Gilbert, in her second year leading USC, led the squad to the MPSF title and to a top-ten national ranking. Heading into the NCAA meet, the team has seven entries, including four in the 60 meters. Her 4×400 squad broke the MPSF meet record this season with a mark of 3:33.58 (OT).
GREAT LAKES REGION – Dave Astrauskas, Wisconsin
In his sixth year in Madison, Astrauskas coached weight thrower Michael Lihrman to the NCAA record in the event. Lihrman’s mark of 25.58 (83-11.25) is the second best in American history and third in world history, though the event is mostly contested in the United States and Canada.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Brian Hirshblond, Monmouth
Hirshblond coaches the sprinters and hurdlers at Monmouth; athletes from those event groups gave the Hawks 84 points, crucial to their MAAC championship-winning effort. His charges also broke the school record in the 4×400 meter relay.
MIDWEST REGION – Adrian Wheatley, Illinois
Wheatley coached DJ Zahn to national top ten times and school records in the 200 and 400 meters; athletes from his group also won the Big Ten title in the 4×400. Zahn and the relay have both qualified for nationals.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Kirke Adamson, Utah Valley
Adamson, the Utah Valley multi-events, hurdles and high jump coach for the past 11 years, helped lead the team to its first WAC Championship. Athletes coached by Adamson rallied for 71 of the Wolverines’ 231 points to win the Championship. Among those 231 points were 10 from UVU’s first ever All-American heptathlete Michael McPherson, who won the WAC heptathlon title and set the school record.
NORTHEAST REGION – Annette Acuff, Binghamton
Acuff, a distance coach at Binghamton for the past 15 seasons, coached Jesse Garn to the No. 6 time at 800 meters in 1:46.98. He also finished the season at No. 4 nationally at 1000 meters. Acuff’s 800-meter runners went 1-4-5-7 at the America East Championships to score 21 points in that one event, among the 62 total points her runners scored overall in the meet. Distance runners compiled nearly half of Binghamton’s runner-up 133.33 points.
SOUTH REGION – Petros Kyprianou, Georgia
In his seventh year of coaching Georgia’s jumps and combined events, Kyprianou’s athletes scored 24 out of the Bulldogs’ 46 total team points at the SEC meet with a 1-2-3 sweep in the heptathlon. Leading that charge was SEC champion and SEC meet record-holder in Garrett Scantling, who won with a collegiate-leading 6035 points; and a runner up finish from Maicel Uibo with 5909 points for the No. 2 mark in the NCAA.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Doug Case, Arkansas
Case, in his seventh year working with sprints, hurdles, and the pole vaulters at Arkansas, guided Omar McLeod to a collegiate-leading time 7.49 in the 60 meter hurdles made while winning the SEC Championships. His time is an all-time SEC record and ranks No. 2 in collegiate history. McLeod is also a member of the Case guided No. 8-nationally ranked 4×400 meter relay. Case also guided Andrew Irwin to SEC pole vault title with a season’s best of 18-10¼ (5.75m). All told, Case has three individuals and a 4×400 entered into the NCAA Indoor Championships.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Ben Thomas, Virginia Tech
Thomas’s distance athletes scored a total of 48 points of the team’s total of 101 to secure the ACC Team Championship. Three from Virginia Tech, plus the DMR, are entered into the NCAA Indoor Championships in mid-distance and distance which he coaches. Thomas is in his 14th year at VT.
WEST REGION – Andy Powell, Oregon
Powell, in his 10th year at Oregon, coached national leaders in the 3000 meters, 5000 meters and DMR this season. In the mile, he coached four athletes to sub 4-minute performances including three athletes under Oregon’s previous school record. In the 3000 meters, Powell coached four of the nation’s top six performances, including Jenkins and Geoghegan whose times are No. 8 and No. 10 all-time among collegians. In the 5000 meters, Oregon has five entered for the NCAA meet including collegiate-leader Eric Jenkins.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Lisa Senakiewich, Michigan State
Senakiewich mentored Leah O’Connor (mile), Rachele Schulist (3k) and a distance medley relay to NCAA-qualifying times and Big Ten titles. Overall, Spartan women harriers scored 45 points at their conference meet.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Michael Smith, Georgetown
Smith’s Hoya distance women have the nation’s fastest time in the distance medley relay (10:57.71) and Big East titles in the 500, 1k, and DMR. He coached Becca DeLoach, Sabrina Southerland (both 800), Samantha Nadel, and Katrina Coogan (3k) to national qualifiers.
MIDWEST REGION – John Smith, Southern Illinois
Smith coached a whopping five throwers to this year’s NCAA meet and led a throws group that swept the men’s and women’s shot put and weight throw at the MVC championship. His charges include Raven Saunders, who threw the shot 17.99m to break the women’s American junior record.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Dion Miller, Texas Tech
Miller, in his 11th year at Texas Tech, coached two athletes who have combined to break school records five times. Cierra White, the Big 12 200 meter champion, set Tech school records at 55 meters (6.80), 60 meters (7.22) and 200 meters (22.98). She will run the 60m and 200m at NCAA Indoors. Le’Tristan Pledger ranks seventh in the nation in the 60-meter hurdles (8.11), and was runner-up at Big 12 Indoors in the event by .01 seconds. She broke the 55-meter hurdles school & facility records twice, running a 7.55 the second time.
NORTHEAST REGION – Kebba Tolbert, Harvard
At the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, Tolbert – in his fourth year guiding sprinters, hurdlers and horizontal jumpers at Harvard – coached the 60 meters champion and runner-up, as well as the women’s 200 champ. In total, the athletes he coached accounted for 52 of Harvard’s 125 points at Heps, a program record that earned the Crimson a conference title.
SOUTH REGION – Nic Petersen, Florida
Petersen, in his third year guiding the jumpers at Florida, coached three jumps qualifiers in Ciarra Brewer, Darrielle McQueen & Gissell Warner. He coached Brewer to a runner-up finish at SEC Champs in the triple jump, while the freshman McQueen scored UF’s first points at this year’s SECs in her conference meet debut with a fifth-place showing in the long jump. Brewer is the No. 2 triple jumper in the NCAA at 45-2¼ (13.77m), while Warner is ranked 14th in that same event and McQueen is the second-farthest freshman long jumper.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Tonja Buford-Bailey, Texas
Buford-Bailey’s sprinters dominated the Big 12 Championships. The group won five events, only losing the 200 meters. The Longhorns scored five athletes in the 200 for a total of 21 points and three runners placed in the 400 to tally 23 points. In total, Texas sprinters scored 98 to help Texas win by 6½ points over Kansas State. Texas sprinters have seven entries at the NCAA meet with five ranking sixth or better. The 4×400 relay has run the fastest time in the world this year at 3:29.36, which ranks tenth in collegiate history. Buford-Bailey is in her second year at Texas.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Josh Langley, North Carolina
Langley, in his fifth year as coach of combined events and pole vault, guided his athletes to 44½ points at the ACC Championships, a large portion of the team’s total tally of 62½. Every athlete under Langley’s watch this tied or set a new personal best. Pentathlete Xenia Rahn is entered into the NCAA meet as the No. 5 seed.
WEST REGION – Curtis Taylor, Oregon
Taylor, in his second year working with sprinters and hurdlers at Oregon, coached two athletes to NCAA top-five performances in the 60 meters this season with Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini. Todd’s season-opening 7.15 at the distance tied her for tenth on the all-time collegiate list. In total, Oregon has five entries in sprint and hurdle events heading into the NCAA Championships.