NCAA Division II Regional Award Winners for 2016 Indoor Season
Courtesy: Tyler Mayforth, Kyle Terwillegar & Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA
March 8, 2016
NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the eight regions – which are the same as those used during the 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. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.
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 II Indoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, March 11-12, in Pittsburg, Kansas.
The championships will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
ATLANTIC – Daniel Jamieson, Saint Augustine’s
Jamieson, a senior from Windsor, Conn., is entered in both the 60 (6.73) and 200 (21.12cf, 21.49) for the NCAA meet. His season’s bests have earned him top-four seeds in each event.
CENTRAL – Myles Hunter, Minnesota State
A junior from Conyers, Ga., Hunter clocked the second-fastest 60-meter hurdles time in Division II history (7.69), only bested by his own national record 7.64 from last season. The three-time NSIC athlete of the week enters the NCAA meet as the top seed and his season best is tied for fourth across all divisions this year.
EAST – Dage Minors, Franklin Pierce
Minors, a junior from Hamilton Parish, Bermuda, was the Northeast-10 champion in the 1000 meters and took anchor for his champion 4×800-relay team. His 1:49.76 for 800 meters is the fastest time in the division’s best on a standard track this season.
MIDWEST – Lamar Hargrove, Tiffin
Hargrove, a junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, has had a season to remember. He set a DII national record in the 200 (20.90) and is currently ranked fifth all-time in the 60 (6.62). Hargrove will contest both of those events at the upcoming NCAA championships.
SOUTH – Alfred Chelanga, Shorter
Chelanga, a sophomore from Nairobi, Kenya, currently ranks in the top-5 nationally in both the 3000 (5th, 8:03.47) and the 5000 (2nd, 13:57.20). He will contest both events at the upcoming NCAA championships.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Sydney Gidabuday, Adams State
Gidabuday, a freshman from Orange, California, is ranked in the top-3 nationally at 3000 meters (8:00.58cA), 5000 meters (13:44.31 OT) and in the mile (3:58.59 OT). He placed third at the Husky Classic in the 5000 meters earlier this season. Gidabuday will contest all three events at the upcoming NCAA championships.
SOUTHEAST – Marquett Simmons Jr., Limestone
Simmons, a sophomore from Jonesboro, Ga, scored 24 points at the Conference Carolinas Championship as winner of the 60, 200 and as a member of 4×400 relay. He enters the NCAA Championships in both the 60 and 200. In the 60, he is the No. 4 seed with a season’s best of 6.73.
WEST – Mobolade Ajomale, Academy of Art
Ajomale, a redshirt freshman from Richmond Hill, Canada, also is entered in both the 60 and 200 meters for the NCAA Championships where is the No. 2 seed in both events. His season’s best run of 21.04 in the 200 meters this season ranks No. 8 in division history. A USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honoree, Ajomale’s 4×400 crew is also entered in the national meet.
ATLANTIC – Fellan Ferguson, Johnson C. Smith
Ferguson, a sophomore from Trelawny, Jamaica, set five new school records during this indoor season at 800 meters, the mile, 3000 meters, the 4×400 relay and the distance medley relay. She enters the NCAA Championships as the top seed in the nation at 800 meters in 2:07.46, and as the anchor of the top-seeded 4×400 relay.
CENTRAL – Emilee Trost, Minnesota Duluth
Trost, a sophomore from Goodhue, Minn., was named the NSIC Track Athlete of the Year after winning league crowns in the Mile, 1000 meters, DMR. She was the league’s top scorer and captured two conference records. She enters the NCAA meet as the No. 1 seed in the mile with a converted season’s best of 4:44.37.
EAST – Carly Muscaro, Merrimack
Muscaro, a junior from Ashland, Mass., captured the NEICAAA record in the 400 meters with a run of 52.43 at the New England meet. The performance has earned her the No. 1 seed in the event this weekend and ranks as the third-best in division history. She also broke the New England Intercollegiate 500 meter record earlier this year (1:09.35).
MIDWEST- Emily Oren, Hillsdale
Oren, a senior from Holland, Michigan, automatically qualified for NCAAs in four events — 800 meters (in which she ranks seventh nationally), the mile (in which she ranks second), the 3000 meters (in which she ranks second) and 5000 meters (where she ranks third). At the GLIAC Championships, Oregon won the mile, 3000 and anchored the winning DMR team. Oren will contest in both the mile and 3000 individually at NCAAs.
SOUTH – Ayana Walker, Shorter
Walker, a senior from Millen, Georgia, ranks in the top-15 nationally in the 400 (2nd, 53.15), 200 (5th, 24.17) and 60 (13th, 7.55). At the upcoming NCAA meet, Walker will contest in the 200 and 400.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Shanna Thomas– New Mexico Highlands
Thomas, a senior from Clarendon, Jamaica, is ranked third nationally at 60 meters (7.41). She will contest in that event at the upcoming NCAA meet.
SOUTHEAST – Nikia Squire, Queens (N.C.)
Squire, a redshirt sophomore from Columbia, S.C., was the region’s top runner in the 60 and 200 this season and is the division’s leader over 60 meters via a season’s best run of 7.35. The time places the Royal in the top-10 in division history in the event. She is now the school-record holder in the 60, 200, and 4×400.
WEST – Joyce Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
Joyce, a redshirt senior from Kapsowar, Kenya, enters the NCAA meet in both the 3000 and 5000 meters. Her season’s best in the 3000 of 9:17.97 is the fourth-fastest in division history under all-conditions indoors. She won the mile, 3k, and 5k at the GNAC Championships is leading the Seawolves to the league title.
ATLANTIC REGION – Grant Smith, Shippensburg
Smith, a senior from Jefferson, Md., was named the PSAC Championships’ Most Valuable Overall Athlete, winning the shot put title with a meet record (57-11) and taking second in the weight throw (59-9½). He enters the NCAA meet in the shot as the No. 6 seed.
CENTRAL – Jayce Thomas, Missouri Southern
Thomas, a redshirt senior from Blue Springs, Mo., is only the fourth athlete in NCAA DII history to break the 5600-point barrier in the heptathlon. In addition to winning the MIAA heptathlon (5615), he scored a total of 29½ team points at the league meet with performances in the hurdles, triple jump, pole vault, and high jump.
EAST – Michael Lee, Southern Connecticut
Lee, a redshirt senior from New London, Conn., is the division leader in the triple jump, having scored the Northeast-10 crown with a meet record jump of 51-4¼ (15.65m). The team captain is undefeated in the triple this season. Along with a triple jump entry, he enters the NCAA meet as the No. 6 seed in the long jump.
MIDWEST – Darien Thornton, Grand Valley State
Thornton, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, has been the top-ranked athlete in the weight throw since the season’s opening weekend. His best throw of 22.42m (73-6 ¾) leads DII by more than a foot and a half. That was also the third farthest throw in DII history. Thornton also is ranked 14th in the shot put. He will contest both events at the NCAA meet.
SOUTH – Alex May, Alabama-Huntsville
May, a junior from Hoover, Alabama, is ranked first in the region in the triple jump and eighth in the nation with his leap of 15.19m (49-10). He will contest that event at the NCAA meet.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Jeron Robinson, Texas A&M-Kingsville
Robinson, a senior from Houston, Texas, is not only the best jumper in DII — but tied for the best in the NCAA. At the Lone Star Conference Championships, Robinson cleared 2.29m (7-6) and is the second best all-time in DII. That also tied him for the national lead across all three NCAA divisions. He will contest the high jump at the NCAA meet.
SOUTHEAST – Tanner Stepp, Carson-Newman
Stepp, a sophomore from Jefferson City, Tenn., enters the NCAA meet in the high jump via his season’s best, school record jump of 7-¼ (2.14m). It was the region’s best performance of the year in any field event.
WEST – Payton Lewis, Northwest Nazarene
Lewis, a sophomore from Nampa, Idaho, won the GNAC title in the heptathlon and pole vault and was the championships’ top scorer. His heptathlon total of 5,163 points is the third-best in league history. Along with the NCAA bid in the heptathlon, his season’s best of 16-10¾ (5.15m) in the pole vault was enough for a national-championships bid as well.
ATLANTIC – Shakina Brooks, Saint Augustine’s
Brooks, a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina, enters the NCAA Championships as the No. 2 seed in the long jump at 6.23m (20-5¼). That leap at the Camel City Invitational moved her up to No. 8 on the all-time DII performers list. She also claimed the long jump title at the CIAA Championships.
CENTRAL – Kaitlyn Long, Winona State
Long, a sophomore from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, has been the top weight thrower in not only Division II but the entire collegiate scene in 2016. Her 22.25m (73-0) heave in January broke the all-time Division II record and leads DII by more than two feet. The NSIC Field Athlete of the Year claimed NSIC titles in both the weight throw and the shot put, both of which she will contest at the NCAA Championships.
EAST – Dana Bramble, American International
Bramble, a sophomore from East Hartford, Connecticut, is the top horizontal jumper in the East Region with No. 1 marks both in the long and triple jumps. She ranked No. 13 nationally in the long jump at 5.85m (19-2½). She won the All New England Championship title in the long jump, and claimed the Northeast-10 crown in the triple jump to go along with a third-place finish in the long jump.
MIDWEST – Amber Cook, Lewis
Cook, a senior from Grayslake, Illinois, is currently ranked fourth nationally in the triple jump (12.30m/40-4 ¼), seventh in the high jump (1.72m/5-7 ¾) and is 11th in the long jump (5.87m/19-3 ¼). She set a GLVC record in the triple jump. Cook will contest all three events at the upcoming NCAA meet.
SOUTH – Christina Aldana, Shorter
Aldana, a junior from Guatemala City, Guatemala, is ranked first in the region in the triple jump and 10th in the nation (12.11m/39-8 ¾). She will contest in that event at NCAAs.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Salcia Slack, New Mexico Highlands
Slack, a senior from Kingston, Jamaica, leads the region and nation in both the triple jump (12.98m/42-7) and pentathlon (4170 points). She was named All-Region in six events, including three field events (high jump, long jump and shot put). She will contest five events at NCAAs.
SOUTHEAST – Jessica Matthews, Clayton State
Matthews, a senior from Monroe, Ga., enters the NCAA meet as the No. 8 seed in the triple jump with a season’s best and school record of 39-10¾ (12.16m). Matthews was the triple jump winner of three of four meets this season.
WEST – Karolin Anders, Alaska Anchorage
Anders, a senior from Berlin, Germany, is entered in both the high jump and pentathlon for the NCAA meet. She was the top-point scorer and voted as the top performer of the GNAC Championships where she helped her team to the conference crown.
ATLANTIC – Dave Osanitsch, Shippensburg
Osantich, in his 11th year at Shippensburg, led a well-rounded victory at the PSAC Championships as the Raiders scored in every event to score 212 points and a 116½-point win. Thirty-two of his 38 competing men combined for 37 scoring efforts – including multiple scorers in 10 of 15 events. Under his guidance, LeQuan Chapman won the long and triple jumps en route to Most Valuable Field Athlete honors. He will have six entries at the NCAA Championships.
CENTRAL – Victor Thomas, Lincoln (Mo.)
Thomas, in his 14th season coaching at Lincoln (Mo.), led his Blue Tiger men to the top spot in the USTFCCCA Central Regional Team Index and the MIAA title over Missouri Southern, 145-118½. His athletes took the top three spots in the 60, and the top four at 200 meters. His athletes also earned titles in the 400, the 60 hurdles, and the triple jump. He has 11 entries into the NCAA Championships.
EAST – Leo Mayo, American International
Mayo, in his 10th year in charge of the American International program, led the Yellow Jackets to their second Northeast-10 title in a row. He will be bringing five entries including the second-ranked men’s 4x400m relay team (3:11.86) and the third-ranked distance medley relay team (9:47.22). In his tenth season, Mayo’s 2016 team has broken seven school records along with two NE-10 Championship records.
MIDWEST – Jeremy Croy, Tiffin
Croy, in his 16th year as head coach of the Dragons, led his team — currently ranked No. 3 in the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings — to quite the season. His prized pupil Lamar Hargrove set a national record in the 200 (20.90) and is the fifth fastest man in DII history at 60 meters (6.62). Twenty of Croy’s athletes hit provisional or automatic marks for NCAAs.
SOUTH – Lincoln London, Claflin
London, in his third year as head coach of the Panthers, oversaw provisional NCAA qualifiers in the 60, 200, 400 (2) and 4×400. His athlete Brandon Valentine-Parris has the top marks in the region in the 200 and 400 and is ranked in the top-10 nationally in both. Two of his athletes will compete at the NCAA meet.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Ross Smithey, Texas A&M-Commerce
Smithey, in his third year as head coach of the Lions, led his team to a Lone Star Conference championship earlier this season and it set a record for largest margin of victory (45). He will send six athletes to the NCAA meet and his athletes are ranked in the top-5 of several events, notably the triple jump (two).
SOUTHEAST – Joseph Wassink, Limestone
Wassink, coach at Limestone in his fourth season, led the Saints to the Conference Carolinas title and his team has been ranked No. 1 in the region in five-out-of-six weeks. Nine of his athletes earned 17 All-Region USTFCCCA nods and his 60-meter hurdle crew finished the regular season No. 1 nationally in Association’s event squad rankings. He has three entered in the national championships this week.
WEST – Kevin LaSure, Academy of Art
LaSure, in his first year leading the Urban Knights, has 10 entries into the NCAA Championships, including four that rank in the top four in seeding. Three school records were set this season for his crew who is ranked sixth heading into the national championships.
ATLANTIC – John Papa, Slippery Rock
Papa, in his 29th year at the helm at Slippery Rock, guided his women to their fifth PSAC title since 2007. The Slippery Rock women claimed victories in six events, led by Most Outstanding Overall Athlete of the PSAC Championships in Sabrina Anderson and the Most Outstanding Track Athlete in Jasmine Bailey. Papa will mentor five entries at the NCAA Championships.
CENTRAL – Victor Thomas, Lincoln (Mo.)
Thomas, in his 14th season as the head coach of the Blue Tigers program, led Lincoln to the MIAA title with 169 points. His athletes have posted marks in seven different events that rank top-10 in the country, including the national leader in the 60-meter hurdles. His women will have 13 entries into the NCAA Championships.
EAST – Karen Boen, Stonehill
Boen, in her 16th season guiding the Skyhawks, led her women to the Northeast-10 title. Stonehill tallied six conference titles in the distance events with 18 All-Conference performers. Her squad also earned two New England titles and 10 All-New England Honors. Stonehill will have two entries into the NCAA Championships.
MIDWEST – Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
Baltes, in his 17th year as head coach of the Lakers, mentored his team to its 17th consecutive conference championship. GVSU is currently ranked fourth in the most recent USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings. Baltes will coach 15 qualifiers at the NCAA meet.
SOUTH – Scott Byrd, Shorter
Byrd, in his ninth year as head coach of the Hawks, has his team ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 10 nationally. He will send five athletes to the upcoming NCAA championship.
SOUTH CENTRAL – James Reid, Angelo State
Reid, in his 17th year as head coach of the Rambelles, mentored his team to a second place finish at the LSC Championships. His prized pupil Kami Norton is ranked top-10 nationally in the pentathlon (3rd), high jump (5th) and long jump (7th). He will oversee three qualifiers at the NCAA meet.
SOUTHEAST – Jim Vahrenkamp, Queens (N.C.)
Vahrenkamp, in his fourth year at Queens, has the region’s top-ranked team and will have three entries into the NCAA Championships. Nikia Squire secured national championship bids in the 60 meters and long jump while Catie Byrd will run the 5k in the meet. His team’s region-ranking point total nearly doubled that of the second-ranked team this season.
WEST – Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
Coach Friess, in his 26th year at the school, led the Seawolves to the GNAC crown. In addition, he leads a total of eight entries into the NCAA meet, including five in distance events where his athletes hold four top-five seeds.
ATLANTIC – Doug Knol, Shippensburg
Knol, in his 22nd year guiding the Shippensburg sprinters and hurdlers, coached his athletes to 54 points at the PSAC Championships – a total that surpassed eight of the 13 schools in the meet. Contributing to Shippensburg’s sixth PSAC title in a row, his sprinters notched 10 scoring efforts, including a title at 200 meters. He will have one entry competing at the NCAA Championships.
CENTRAL – Chris Parno, Minnesota State
Parno, in his fourth year coaching sprints and hurdles for the Mavericks, guided his athletes to 85 points in an NSIC team-title effort. National 60-meter hurdles leader Myles Hunter ran a conference meet-record 7.69 to lead the squad, which also features athletes who notched a combined eight provisional qualifying marks and two auto marks. He will have four entries to the NCAA Championships.
EAST – David Nicholson, American International
Nicholson, in his third year guiding the sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers for the Yellow Jackets, helped AIC to its second-straight Northeast-10 title with 83 points from his athletes. He coached Chandler Cotton, Jr., to a 400-meter title, Serginio Gilbert to the 60 hurdles crown, and Xavier McIntosh to titles in the high jump and long jump. He has two entries into the NCAA Championships.
MIDWEST – Gray Horn, Tiffin
Horn, in his second year coaching sprints and multis at Tiffin, helped Lamar Hargrove break through in a big way. This year Hargrove ran the fastest time ever recorded by a DII athlete at 200 meters (20.90) and the fifth fastest time at 60 meters (6.62). At the conference meet, his athletes scored 76 points by themselves. In total, 10 of his athletes hit individual or provisional qualifying marks for NCAAs.
SOUTH – Soyini Thompson, Alabama-Huntsville
Thompson, in her first year coaching sprints, hurdles and jumps at Alabama-Huntsville, helped athletes record school records in the 200, 400, triple jump and heptathlon. The team is ranked No. 1 in the region.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Chris Siemers, Colorado Mines
Siemers, in his fourth year coaching distance with the Orediggers, mentored nine different athletes to NCAA qualifying performances, which included two in the mile, four in the 3000 and seven in the 5000. His DMR team is ranked No. 1 in the nation. At the conference meet, his men scored 61 points to help lead the program to a title.
SOUTHEAST – Tyler Stepp, Carson-Newman
Stepp, jumps coach at Carson-Newman in his second year, had six jumpers with at least a provisional qualifying mark in three events this season. High jumper Tanner Stepp earned a spot in the national championships. His long jump group finished the regular season ranked 11th nationally in the Association’s event squad rankings.
WEST – Tom Dickson, Simon Fraser
Dickson, in his 30th season as sprints and hurdles coach at SFU, led Joel Webster to the GNAC 400-meter crown, a new championships record, and an NCAA Championships bid.
ATLANTIC – Rick Hammer, Edinboro
Hammer, in his third season with the Fighting Scots, had his distance and middle distance athletes score 55 of the team’s 71 points over five distances races leading the Fighting Scots to a surprise third place team finish in the PSAC. Edinboro women won all three of the individual distance events they entered at the PSAC meet.
CENTRAL – Mike Turgeon, Winona State
Turgeon, in his 12th year coaching the throws for the Warriors, has guided weight thrower Kaitlyn Long to one of the most historic seasons ever in DII. Long broke the Division II record in the weight throw at 22.25m (73-0), good for not only the DII lead in 2016 but also the collegiate lead. His throwers scored 43 points for Winona State at the NSIC Championships, and account for three entries into the NCAA Championships.
EAST – Joe Van Gilder, Southern Connecticut
Van Gilder, in his fourth year coaching the sprints and relays at Southern Connecticut, led his athletes to success at the national, regional and conference levels. Among his four qualifiers to the NCAA Championships is DII 200-meter leader Shatajah Wattely, who ran 23.83 and won the All-New England title in the event and ran a leg of the No. 3 4×400 relay.
MIDWEST – Joe Lynn, Hillsdale
Lynn, in his second year coaching distance at Hillsdale, helped Emily Oren and Kristina Galat to top-5 rankings nationally. There will be multiple athletes from Hillsdale competing in the 3000 and 5000 at the upcoming NCAA meet. Overall, Lynn has eight qualifiers for NCAAs.
SOUTH – Soyini Thompson, Alabama-Huntsville
Thompson, in her 13th year coaching sprints, hurdles and jumps at Alabama-Huntsville, will mentor two female athletes at the NCAA meet — Katelin Barber and Ackeisha Burnett. Both are ranked in the top-8 nationally in the 60 and 60 hurdles, respectively.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Yuriy Litvinski, Angelo State
Litvinski, in his third year coaching jumps and hurdles for the Rambelles, mentored nine athletes to NCAA qualifying marks, of which three of them landed in the top-10 nationally. Kami Norton, one of his top athletes, is ranked top-10 nationally in the pentathlon (3rd), high jump (5th) and long jump (7th).
SOUTHEAST – Tsehaye Baney, Queens (N.C.)
Baney, in her fourth year as middle-distance and distance coach at Queens, will have Catie Byrd representing the Royals at the NCAA Championships in the 5000 meters. In all, she had four women ranked in the top-eight regionally in distance events this season.
WEST – Audra Smith, Seattle Pacific
At the GNAC Championships, Coach Smith’s sprinters won two conference titles, broke two school records and two conference records on the way to three national top-10 marks. Sprinters scored 58 of SPU’s 136 points at GNAC, as team finished second. Altogether, 7 athletes combined for 12 personal-bests across the 100, 200, and 400 this season.