Easter Weekend National Athletes of the Week Announced
NEW ORLEANS— One division record and two historically great NCAA Division II times highlight this week’s best performers. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the college National Athletes of the Week on Tuesday.
Kaysee Pilgrim of Pima tied the NJCAA Division I women’s high jump standard, Tabor Stevens of Adams State ran a world-leading time in the steeplechase, and Lindsey Butterworth of Simon Fraser put her name very high on the Division II lists in both the 1500 and 800.
The other seven winners this week: Sam Stabler of Lamar and Remona Burchell of Alabama for NCAA Division I; Luke Campbell of Salisbury and Allie Hadley of Cal Lutheran for NCAA Division III; Sergio Guijo of Cowley County for NJCAA Division I; and Tristan Bevans of Suffolk and Jalen Griffin of Harper for NJCAA Division III.
Click each of the student-athletes’ names above or keep scrolling below to read about the exploits that made all ten worthy.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to ten (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and the two NJCAA divisions) collegiate track & field athletes.
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
Senior | Queniborough, England
Stabler ran away from a loaded field of more-credentialed pros and collegians on Friday night at Stanford. The British senior lopped twenty-five seconds off of his old personal best, running 13:30.50 to win the 5000 meters there. It’s the fastest time in the NCAA this year and positions Stabler well for the postseason after missing the cut for indoor nationals by 0.37 seconds this winter.
Honorable mentions: Najee Glass, Florida and Andre De Grasse, USC
Senior | Montego Bay, Jamaica
Burchell was the first collegian and second overall finisher in the 100 at Florida Relays; Michelle-Lee Ahye and Burchell ran the two fastest times in the world so far this year. Running 11.04 seconds for a collegiate leader is impressive; running it into a 2.5 meters per second headwind is downright scary. (Using admittedly imperfect wind/altitude calculators, Burchell’s time converts to 10.84 seconds, which would be the only sea-level sub-10.90 in college history)
She also anchored Alabama’s seventh-place 4×100 in Gainesville. Burchell and the Tide return to action in the Border Clash at Mississippi State on Friday.
Honorable mention: Dominique Scott, Arkansas and Jeannelle Scheper, South Carolina
RS Senior | Canon City, Colorado
Stevens beat a field filled with Division I notables and professionals at Stanford, running 8:32.50 over the barriers and water jumps to mark himself as the second fastest in-season DII steeplechaser ever and the fastest man in the world in 2015. He bested his PR by two and a half seconds in his first track race since outdoor nationals in May and his first collegiate race of any kind since winning cross country nationals in early December. The fifth-year senior beat the entire field by four full seconds on Friday night.
Honorable mention: Oliver Aitchison, Adams State
RS Senior | North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Butterworth–the Division II indoor national champ in the 800–had a mid-distance double for the history books in Palo Alto. She won her section of the 1500 in 4:18.34 and took sixth in the fastest 800 section in 2:05.86; we believe that she’s now the second-fastest in-season DII performer in the 1500 and the fourth fastest in the 800. The Canadian redshirted the 2014 indoor and outdoor seasons; in her last NCAA outdoor meet in 2013, she finished fourth in the 800. A double may be in the books for Butterworth in 2015.
Honorable mention: Salcia Stack, New Mexico Highlands
Junior | Brunswick, Maryland
Campbell had a long weekend in Williamsburg, running both hurdles and both sprint races at William & Mary’s Colonial Relays. Of particular note were his two hurdle times: 14.07 in the 110-meter hurdles, which currently leads DIII by half a second, and 52.17 in the 400-meter hurdles, which is the No. 2 DIII time this year. The 4×100 relay he anchored to a time of 42.37 seconds currently ranks in the top 20 in the division.
The junior won both hurdle races at outdoor nationals last May, and won the 60 hurdles NCAA title in Winston-Salem last month. He finished second to Division I athletes in both open races at Colonial Relays.
Honorable mention: Luke Winder, North Central
Junior | Bothell, Washington
Competing at UC San Diego’s California Collegiate Invitational, Hadley threw the javelin 48.49 meters (159 feet, 1 inch) for a dominant win and one of the best throws in DIII history. Only seven women in division history have ever tossed the javelin farther, and that distance would have won every NCAA meet since 2008. Hadley finished second at outdoor nationals by a meter and a half last spring.
Honorable mention: Michaela Freeby, Willamette
Freshman | Madrid, Spain
After taking fifth at indoor nationals in the weight throw, Guijo has started his first collegiate outdoor campaign with three excellent hammer throws–two of which were national-championship quality marks. The best came this past weekend in his home cage. Competing at Cowley’s Tiger Invite, he threw the hammer 63.04m (206-10), which leads the junior college ranks and is 31st among all collegians this spring.
Honorable mention: Ruebin Walters, Central Arizona
Sophomore | Phoenix, Arizona
Pilgrim tied the NJCAA national record (per local news) in the high jump on Saturday with a leap of 1.86m (6-1.25) at her home meet. She’s won the last two NJCAA national indoor titles in the HJ but is seeking her first career outdoor title. Pilgrim cleared 1.86 on her second attempt before taking three cracks at 1.91 meters, which would have made her the No. 2 jumper on the all-college list; as it is, she’s ranked fourth among all collegians in 2015.
Honorable mention: Domonique Williams, South Plains
Sophomore | Elgin, Illinois
Competing against mostly NCAA Division III athletes at Wheaton (IL) College, Griffin won the 100 meters in 10.88 seconds, beating the rest of the field by 0.18 seconds. Griffin made nationals for Harper in the 100 and 200 in 2013, but missed most of the 2014 season. His 100 time is currently the fastest in NJCAA DIII.
Freshman | St. James, New York
Bevans is currently the NJCAA DIII leader in both the triple jump and hurdles. She set both division-leading marks on Good Friday at Ramapo’s Roadrunner Invitational, where she took third in the TJ by hopping, skipping, and jumping 11.13m (36-6.25) and took twenty-first in the hurdles with a time of 16.33 seconds.