Fourth Batch of NCAA & NJCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week
NEW ORLEANS — For the second consecutive weekend, student-athletes in the NCAA and NJCAA continued their torrid pace during the indoor track & field season.
The following athletes, however, were the best of the best from this past weekend and were named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athletes of the Week on Tuesday — Texas A&M’s Donavan Brazier (NCAA Division I Men), Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers (NCAA Division I Women), Western State’s Noah Zorsky (NCAA Division II Men), Winona State’s Kaitlyn Long (NCAA Division II Women), UW-Whitewater’s Parker Witt (NCAA Division III Men), UW-Stout’s Lydia Meier (NCAA Division III Women), Hinds Community College’s Corrieon Mosby (NJCAA Men) and Monroe College’s Sakiya Deonoon (NJCAA Women).
Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to six collegiate indoor track & field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions).
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.
Freshman | Grand Rapids, Michigan
Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier said his coaches wanted him to clock a time of “1:47 or better” in his collegiate debut this past weekend in the 800 meters.
Well, Brazier must have really liked that “or better” part.
Brazier scorched the field at the Texas A&M 11-Team Invitational on his way to a time of 1:45.93. Not only did it make Brazier the fifth fastest collegian in history indoors, it obliterated the previous 34-year-old American Junior Record by two seconds.
All told, it ended up as a more than five-second win for the Michigan native.
Sophomore | Middle Distance
After a quiet frosh indoor campaign in 2015, Raevyn Rogers put the NCAA on notice outdoors with an all-time great performance to win the NCAA title at 800 meters. After just one race in 2016, it’s already abundantly clear that this year’s indoor season will be anything but quiet.
She ran a blistering 1:26.34 over 600 meters at the Washington Invitational – faster than any collegian in history has run over that distance and the second-fastest only to Alysia Montano in US indoor history on all tracks. Technically speaking, the mark isn’t a collegiate record since it was run on Washington’s oversized track, but that doesn’t make the performance any less impressive. She surpassed Delisa Floyd’s record of 1:26.56A from 1981 by nearly a quarter of a second.
All signs point to Rogers remaining a strong national contender when she adds in those extra 200 meters later this season.
Junior | Pole Vault
Two meets, two consecutive indoor pole vault PRs, and one national DII lead. Certainly not a bad start to the 2015-16 campaign for Western State junior Noah Zorsky. Competing at home in “The Shootout” against in-state rivals CSU-Pueblo and Colorado Mesa, Zorsky cleared 5.20m (17-0¾) on his second attempt to win the vault by nearly two feet over his nearest competitor.
In doing so, he also became the first DII man in 2016 above the 17-foot barrier – a mark he also surpassed for the first time indoors in his career.
He opened his season in December at Colorado Mines with a then-indoor PR 5.15m (16-10¾).
Sophomore | Throws
Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
No woman in DII history has ever thrown as far as Kaitlyn Long did at the Saint Mary’s Early Birdinal on Saturday. And it’s not even close.
The reigning national champion – just a sophomore, mind you – unleashed a gigantic 22.25m (73-0) heave on her sixth and final attempt to crush the previous record of 21.50m (70-6½) set by Grand Valley State’s Sam Lockhart at the 2013 GLIAC Championships in February. She came close to Lockhart’s record on her third throw with a mark of 21.31m. For context, Lockhart threw 20.46m (67-1½) on this same weekend in 2013.
Long now has thrown the weight implement 12 times in 2016 – any of those marks would give her the national DII lead. She also sits atop the 2016 all-college leaderboard by nearly a meter (almost exactly three feet) over Kansas’ Daina Levy.
Sophomore | Appleton, Wisconsin
Never once did UW-Whitewater sophomore Parker Witt dip below seven seconds in the 60 meters or 22.78 in the 200 meters as a freshman last indoor season. Witt accomplished both this past weekend at the Karl Schlender Invitational and put himself at or near the top of the NCAA Division III National Descending Order List.
Witt won the 60 in 6.87, beating several Division I athletes. That time put him alone in second on the NDOL in the event (.09 behind the leader).
He then doubled up in the 200, clocking 22.40 in a second-place effort. That also put him second on the NDOL, .04 seconds behind the national leader.
Junior | Middleton, Wisconsin
UW-Stout junior Lydia Meier had a smashing debut to her junior year.
With a long offseason behind her, Meier crushed the UW-Stout school record in the weight throw with a hurl of 18.11m (59-5) at the UW-Stout Alumni Dual. It also set a personal best for Meier, eclipsing her previous heave by more than three inches.
To compare: At this meet last season, Meier tossed the weight 15.13m (49-7.75).
Freshman | Natchitoches, Louisiana
Hinds Community College freshman Corrieon Mosby surged to the top of the NJCAA National Descending Order List in the 200 meters thanks to a time of 21.46 at the UAB Vulcan Invitational. That was good enough to place Mosby third in a crowded field.
Then later in the meet, Mosby anchored the winning 4×400 relay team.
Freshman | Bronx, New York
Monroe College freshman Zakiya Denoon took her spot atop the NJCAA National Descending Order List in the 60 meters and 200 meters this past weekend and qualified for the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the process.
Denoon set a school record in the 60 (7.39) and placed second in a final with three professional athletes and two Division I athletes. Not too long after, Denoon won the 200 with a time of 24.10.