NCAA Division III Regional Award Winners for 2016 Indoor Season

Courtesy: Tyler Mayforth, Kyle Terwillegar and Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 9, 2016   

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday 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

Men Women
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 III Indoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, March 11-12, in Grinnell, Iowa.

The championships will be streamed live on NCAA.com.

 

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Nicodemus Gambill — Utica
Gambill, a junior from Rochester, New York, won titles at 60 meters and 200 meters at the Empire 8, NYSCTC and ECAC championship meets. He was named Empire 8 Track Athlete of the Meet. He will compete at the NCAA Championships over the 60 and 200-meter distances with seed times of 6.91 and 22.11.

CENTRAL – Paul Escher — St. Olaf
Escher, a senior from La Crosse, Wisconsin, is ranked No. 2 among all DIII milers in 2016 and No. 14 at 3000 meters. He ran 4:08.27 in the mile and 8:21.96 over 3000 meters. At the MIAC Championships, he won the mile and finished runner-up over 1000 meters. He will contest both the mile and 3000 meters at the NCAA Championships, as well as the distance medley relay.

GREAT LAKES – Matt Molinaro — Ohio Northern
Molinaro, a sophomore from Ada, Ohio, is ranked seventh nationally in the 800 (1:52.64). He won the All-Ohio 800 title in record time and was later named the Ohio Athletic Conference Distance Runner of the Meet. Molinaro will contest in that event at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDEAST – Luke Campbell — Salisbury
Campbell, a senior from Brunswick, Maryland, is one of three men in DIII this season to break the eight-second barrier in the 60-meter hurdles (7.98). He is currently ranked third in the nation in that event and will contest in that at the upcoming NCAA meet. Campbell is also a member of the ninth-ranked 4×400 team that will also compete at NCAAs. At the Capital Athlete Conference Championships, he Won the 60-meter hurdles and the 400, and finished third at 200 meters, while running a leg of the winning 4×400 relay.

MIDWEST – Ethan Reschke — Monmouth (Ill.)
Reschke, a junior from Geneseo, Ill., won Midwest Conference titles in the 400 meters as a part of the sprint medley relay while also placing runner-up in the 60 meters. He enters the NCAA meet as the No. 2 seed in the 400 (48.49) and No. 5 seed in the 200 (21.96).

NEW ENGLAND – Mitchell Black — Tufts
Black, a senior from Brunswick, Maine, enters the NCAA meet as the division-leader over 800 meters (1:49.32) and as anchor of the seventh-seeded DMR. Undefeated in open event this season, he won the DIII New England 800 meter crown in a meet record time.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Daniel Pietsch — Emory
Pietsch, a sophomore from Kula, Hawaii, won the UAA 400-meter crown in a conference-championships record time of 47.76 — the best raw time recorded in the division this season. He enters the NCAA meet in the event as the No. 3 seed.

WEST – Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski — Puget Sound
Lizier-Zmudzinski, a freshman from Forest Grove, Oregon, is currently ranked third in the 3000 meters (8:11.96) and 14th in the mile (4:09.66). He will contest in the 3000 at the upcoming NCAA meet.

 

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Amy Regan — Stevens
Regan, a senior from Green Brook, New Jersey, just missed the NCAA DIII record at 5000 meters in 16:23, but still leads all DIII athletes this season in that event. She’s also No. 2 at 3000 meters on the qualifying list and No. 3 in the mile. She is undefeated at 5000 meters, including an Empire 8 title, and she anchored the DMR to a school record 12:04. She will compete both at 3000 and 5000 meters at the NCAA Championships.

CENTRAL – Emily Gapinski — St. Thomas (Minn.)
Gapinski, a senior from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is nationally ranked in three individual distance events and a relay. She’s No. 2 on the mile qualifying list at 4:53.46, No. 17 at 800 meters in 2:13.70, No. 19 at 3000 meters in 9:58.83, and part of the No. 10 DMR. She won mile and 1000-meter titles at the MIAC Championships. She will compete in the mile and DMR at NCAAs.

GREAT LAKES – Emily Richards — Ohio Northern
Richards, a sophomore from Ada, Ohio, is ranked first nationally at 800 meters (2:11.67) and 13th nationally at 400 meters (57.38). She became the first woman in OAC history to win titles in the 400 and 800 at the same championship. She will contest in the 800 at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDEAST – Ashley West — Susquehanna
West, a senior from East Hampton, New York, is ranked eighth nationally in the mile (4:57.08) and 13th in the 800 (2:13.47). Both of those marks also put her first in the region. West will race in the mile at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Nia Joiner — Illinois Wesleyan
Joiner, a senior from Lombard, Ill., equaled the division’s record in the 60 meters this year, clocking 7.51 to win the CCIW crown in the event, shattering the record that was previously 7.67.

NEW ENGLAND – Maryann Gong — MIT
Gong, a junior from Livermore, Calif., is undefeated this year among DIII athletes in the Mile, 3K, 5K and DMR this season. She enters the NCAA meet as the division leader in the Mile (4:52.57) and 3000 meters (9:41.34). She helped her squad to the DIII New England crown in winning the Mile and taking second place in the 1000.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Amber Celen — Bridgewater (Va.)
Celen, a sophomore from Townsend, Delaware, is currently ranked second nationally at 200 meters (25.09) and 14th at 60 meters (7.72). She scored 38 points at the ODAC Indoor Championships. She will contest in the 60 and 200 at the upcoming NCAA meet.

WEST – Katie McKay — Whitworth
McKay, a senior from Missoula, Montana, tops the region in the 800 meters (2:11.79) and is ranked seventh nationally in the event. She also ran a leg of a school-record 4×400 relay team. McKay will contest the 800 at the upcoming NCAA meet.

 


MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Luis Rivera — Nazareth
Rivera, a senior from Rochester, New York, is the NCAA DIII leader in the weight throw by nearly two feet at 19.97m. No one has beaten him in his signature event this year, with wins at the Empire 8 and NYSCTC championship meets – both with marks that set overall and championship meet records.

CENTRAL – Logan Mulford — Central (Iowa)
Mulford, a junior from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is the nation’s top-ranked DIII high jumper at 2.14m (7-¼). His undefeated regular season in the event included an IIAC Championships title with a meet-record 2.13m (6-11¾) clearance. He will compete at the NCAA Championships in the event.

GREAT LAKES – Tyler Burdorff — Baldwin Wallace
Burdorff, a senior from Painesville, Ohio, is ranked eighth nationally in the weight throw (18.13m/59-9 ¾). He was undefeated against Division III competition in the weight throw this season and won the OAC title as well as the All-Ohio championship. He will look to continue his undefeated run at the DIII meet.

MIDEAST – Andrew Bartnett — Johns Hopkins
Bartnett, a junior from St. Louis, Missouri, is ranked second nationally in the pole vault. He recently broke the ECAC meet record with a vault of 5.25m (17-2 ¾). He will contest in the pole vault at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Alex Mess — UW-Eau Claire
Mess, a senior from Lake Mills, Wis., is the division leader in the shot put and the No. 2 seed entering the NCAA meet in the weight throw. His bests of the year in both the shot (57-10½, 17.64m) and weight throw (63-10½, 19.47m) were achieved in winning the WIAC crown in both events. He was named the WIAC Field Athlete of the Championships.

NEW ENGLAND – Arinze Okeke — MIT
Okeke, a junior from Hawthorne, Calif., won DIII New England crowns in the long and triple jumps. He followed up with a fourth-place long jump finish at the open New England Champs   week later. He enters the NCAA meet as the No. 7 seed in the triple jump with a season’s best of 47-7¾ (14.52m). 

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Renn Eason — Rhodes
A sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., broke a 17-year-old school record, high jumping to 6-11 (2.11m) earlier this season. Entering the NCAA meet as the No. 5 seed in the event, Eason is undefeated against DIII competition this season.

WEST – Corey Burt — Whitworth
Burt, a senior from Dundee, Oregon, is the 13th-ranked shot putter in the nation with his heave of 16.22m (53-2 ¾). At the Idaho Vandal Indoor Invitational, he beat a field of DI, DII and NAIA athletes en route to the title. Burt will contest the shot put at the NCAA meet.

 

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Katherine Pitman — Ithaca
Pitman, a sophomore from Swampscott, Massachusetts, has come a long way in just her second year of pole vaulting. She enters the NCAA Championships as the top-ranked vaulter in DIII at 4.15m, breaking ECAC, NYSCTC and Empire 8 records along the way and winning titles in each of those meets.

CENTRAL – Samantha Dolezal — Nebraska Wesleyan
Dolezal, a senior from North Bend, Nebraska, enters the NCAA Championships ranked No. 2 in the shot put at 14.71m and No. 13 in the weight throw at 17.27m. She finished runner-up in the shot put and fourth in the weight throw at the GPAC Championships. She will compete in both events at NCAAs.

GREAT LAKES – Kim Gallavan — Baldwin Wallace
Gallavan, a senior from Auburn Township, Ohio, is ranked in the top-6 nationally in both the weight throw (second) and shot put (sixth). She won OAC titles in the weight throw and shot put. She was named the OAC Field Athlete of the Meet. She will participate in both the shot put and weight throw at NCAAs.

MIDEAST – Olivia Jendrzejewski — Lebanon Valley
Jendrzejewski, a junior from Hanover, Pennsylvania, is currently ranked fifth in the nation in the high jump, 13th in the long jump and 22nd in the triple jump. She will contest in the high jump and long jump at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Amber Williams — UW-Platteville
Williams, a junior from Milwaukee, Wis., swept WIAC titles in the long and triple jumps, adding a runner-up showing in the high jump. She enters the NCAA meet as the division leader in the long jump via a school-record best of 19-½ (5.80m). In addition, she’s the No. 2 seed in the triple jump where she’s leapt to 40-2¾ (12.26m) this season.

NEW ENGLAND – Cimran Virdi — MIT
Virdi, a senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., is undefeated in the pole vault this year against division competition. Her season best of 13-5¼ (4.10m) is second best among the division so far this season. She helped her team to the DIII New England team title with a pole vault win.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Dana Lee — Washington and Lee
Lee, a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, is ranked first in the region in the long jump and fifth in the region in the triple jump. At the upcoming NCAA meet, she will compete in the long jump.

WEST – Asia Greene — George Fox
Greene, a junior from Linn, Oregon, is ranked 13th nationally in the long jump with a leap of 5.70m (18-8 ½). She will contest in that event at the upcoming NCAA meet.

 


MEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Steve Patrick — SUNY Cortland
Patrick, in his ninth year leading the SUNY Cortland program, led his Red Dragons to the SUNYAC team title with 135 points. Five of his men earned conference titles in the field events and the distance races as the team topped the runner-up by 25½ points. SUNY Cortland will be represented at the NCAA Championships by five entries in the jumps and combined events.

CENTRAL – Steve Mathre — St. Thomas (Minn.)
Mathre, in his 21st season leading the Tommies program, guided his squad to his 21st consecutive MIAC Championships team title, this time with a 61-point win over runner-up St. Olaf. His men have one entry into the NCAA Championships, with nine events ranked top-50 nationally.

GREAT LAKES – Kevin Lucas — Mount Union
Lucas, in his sixth year as head coach of the Purple Raider men, led them to yet another Ohio Athletic Conference championship. Mount Union also won the All-Ohio championship. Lucas led his team to a consistent presence in the top-10 nationally and four of his athletes qualified for the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDEAST – Stephen Kimes — Wesley
Kimes, in his fourth year as head coach of the Pride, led his men to an incredible season. Wesley is ranked in the top-20 for the first time in program history (now No. 10) and is the only program in the nation with three runners in the top-20 of the 60 (two in the top-10). Kimes had nine of his athletes qualify for the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Roger Haynes — Monmouth (Ill.)
Haynes, in his 33rd year at Monmouth, has a squad with its highest national ranking in program history. They sit No. 4 in the country heading into the NCAA meet where his crew has eight entries. His team won the Midwest Conference by 50 points this season for its 17th-straight crown.

NEW ENGLAND – Halston Taylor — MIT
Taylor led MIT to its seventh-straight DIII New England title, edging out Williams College for the crown. The Engineer men enter the NCAA meet ranked 12th in the country and with seven entries, including five in the track events, his coaching specialties. Taylor is in his 34th year at MIT.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Tyler Wingard — Christopher Newport
Wingard, in his 10th year at the helm, led his squad to the No. 1 final USTFCCCA region ranking and the best dual-meet ranking among all region squads. His team broke Salisbury’s four-year CAC Championship winning streak, taking the conference crown by 48 points.

WEST – Mike Orechia — Puget Sound
Orechia, in his 19th year in charge of the Puget Sound program, will send a pair of distance runners to the NCAA Championships. His squad is ranked highest in the West Region Team Index in the USTFCCCA rankings, and No. 30 nationally.

 

WOMEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Angelo Posillico — SUNY Oneonta
Posillico, in his seventh season at the helm at SUNY Oneonta, was named the SUNYAC Women’s Coach of the Year after his Red Dragons claimed their first SUNYAC title in program history. His squad won seven events and broke or tied three meet records en route to scoring 142½ points. His squad will have seven entries at the NCAA Championships.

CENTRAL – Ted Bulling — Nebraska Wesleyan
Bulling, in his 29th season leading the Nebraska Wesleyan program, guided his squad to the No. 1 rank in the Central Region Index, per the USTFCCCA rankings. His women finished third in the GPAC Championships, and won the Grinnell Darren Young Invitational. His women have six entries into the NCAA Championships.

GREAT LAKES – Kris Boey — Ohio Wesleyan
Boey, in his 14th year as head coach of the Bishops, led his team to its 10th consecutive conference title and became the winningest coach in conference history. He will oversee three athletes at the upcoming NCAA meet, of which two are ranked in the top-8.

MIDEAST – Bobby Van Allen — Johns Hopkins
Van Allen, in his 17th year as head coach of the Blue Jays, saw his team win yet another conference title, this time by more than 80 points. Johns Hopkins is currently ranked 24th in the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings. The Blue Jays will have three individual entries and one relay team in the upcoming NCAA meet

MIDWEST – Chris Schumacher — Illinois Wesleyan
Schumacher, in his 19th year heading IWU, guided his squad to the CCIW title with individual event wins in the 60, 200, 400, long jump, and triple jump. They enter the NCAA meet as the No. 1-ranked team with a meet-best 11 entries.

NEW ENGLAND – Halston Taylor — MIT
Taylor led MIT to another DIII New England title, superseding top-ranked Williams College for the crown. His team enters the NCAA meet as the No. 3-ranked team with seven entries into the national championships. MIT has three No. 1 seeds at the national championships in the 3k, 5k, and DMR. Taylor is in his 34th year at the school.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – John Curtin — Emory
Curtin, in his 31st year as head coach of the Eagles, has his team ranked first in the South/Southeast Region. At the conference championships, his women totaled 11 All-UAA honors and scored 102 points. He will oversee six qualifiers at the upcoming NCAA meet.

WEST – Toby Schwarz — Whitworth
Schwarz, now in his 20th season, has coached the Whitworth women to the No. 1 West Region Dual Meet ranking as well as the No. 1 West Region Regional Team Index ranking. Three Whitworth women rank among the top 25 on national lists, and Schwarz has coached senior Katie McKay as well as sophomore Kayla Leland to top 15 performances in the 800-meter run. Additionally, the Whitworth women’s team has broken indoor school records in five events during the season under Schwarz’s guidance.

 


MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Jay Petsch — Rochester (N.Y.)
Petsch, in his third year coaching jumps and combined events for Rochester, guided Patrick Rice to the third-best heptathlon score of the 2016 DIII season at 4,980 points. Rice won the NYSCTC crown in the event with a meet record. He also coached Boubacar Diallo to long jump and triple jump wins at the NYSCTC Championships, where Rochester won the team title. He will have two entries into the NCAA Championships.

CENTRAL – Todd Bouchie — St. Scholastica
Bouchie, in his 12th season coaching the throws, vertical jumps and combined events for St. Scholastica, helped his women claim the UMAC Indoor team title. His athletes claimed conference titles in the weight throw and the high jump. He will have two top-10 seeds at the NCAA Championships in the heptathlon and the weight throw.

GREAT LAKES – Tyler Mettille — Mount Union
Mettille, in his first year as jumps coach with the Purple Raiders, helped the team to a conference championship and an All-Ohio crown. His jumpers nabbed a large portion of points at both meets and his prized pupil Zack Wukotich is ranked first nationally in the high jump.

MIDEAST – Jim Townsend — Johns Hopkins
Townsend, in his first year coaching the Blue Jays’ vaulters, saw his athletes score 31 points at the conference championship meet. His prized pupil Andrew Bartnett is ranked second in the nation in the event and will contest it at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Dan Schwamberger — UW-Eau Claire
Schwamberger, in his ninth year leading the Eau Claire distance crew, has athletes with six entries into the NCAA championships. His group captured the WIAC title in the DMR and swept the top three spots in the 3000.

NEW ENGLAND – Michael Schmidt — Tufts
Schmidt, in his fourth year at Tufts as mid-distance and distance coach leads five qualifiers to the NCAA meet, including two in the 800 and 5000 meters each along with a DMR. Mitchell Black is the division leader in the 800 meters. His distance crew scored 39 of the team’s 74 points at the DIII New England meet, second-best among all squads.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Matthew Barreau — Christopher Newport
Barreau, CNU’s distance coach in his fifth year, led his crew to 76 points at the CAC Championships, helping the team to a big conference victory. He qualified CNU’s DMR to the NCAA meet and they stand as the No. 5 seed.

WEST – Tramaine Payne — Linfield
Payne, in his 14th season coaching Linfield sprinters, has guided Jake Mihelich to the No. 4 rank nationally at 400 meters. Mihelich closed out the regular season with a 47.03 showing over 400 meters, and ran a career-best 21.42 earlier in the season. He will compete in the event at the NCAA Championships.

 

WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC – Matthew Scheffler — Ithaca
Scheffler, in his ninth year coaching pole vaulters at Ithaca, has coached Kat Pitman from having never competed in track & field in 2014 to the top of the DIII pole vault leaderboard in 2016. Pitman has cleared 4.15m and has won the Empire 8, ECAC and NYSCTC meets in record-setting fashion. His vaulters went 1-2-3-6 at the Empire 8 Championships, and 1-2-3 at the NYSCTC meet. He will have two vaulters at the NCAA Championships.

CENTRAL – Rich Maleniak — St. Thomas (Minn.)
Maleniak, in his fourth year guiding the distance runners at St. Thomas, mentored Emily Gapinski to top-20 times nationally in three different events, including the No. 2 mile. His endurance runners scored 92 points at the MIAC Championships, more than half of St. Thomas’ winning 182.4 point total. He will have two entries at the NCAA Championships.

GREAT LAKES – Julius Higginbotham — Wooster
Higginbotham, in his fourth year coaching jumps and the pentathlon with the Scots, has two athletes qualified for NCAAs, including the second-ranked pentathlete (Hilary Coady). At the conference championships, his women combined to score a total of 39 points.

MIDEAST – Bradi Rhoades — Westminster (Pa.)
Rhoades, in his ninth year coaching the vaulters, has four women in the top-30 nationally. Two of his athletes will compete at the upcoming NCAA meet.

MIDWEST – Mahesh Narayanan — North Central (Ill.)
Narayanan, distance coach at North Central in his 15th year, coached the Cardinals to 60½ points at the CCIW in the running events Mile and longer. Megan Costanzo earned CCIW Track Athlete of the Meet for winning the 3k and 5k in meet records at the conference meet. His distance crew has two entries into the NCAA meet.

NEW ENGLAND – Sarah Lagasse — Williams
Lagasse, assisting for the second year with Williams’ mid-distance and distance crew, had athletes with 13 performances ranked in the national top 50 this year, three of which qualified for the NCAA Championships. Her DMR squad enters as the No. 4 seed (11:50.47) into the national championships.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST – Denver Davis — Bridgewater (Va.)
Davis, in his sixth year coaching jumps, sprints and hurdles at Bridgewater, will send two qualifiers to the upcoming NCAA meet. At the conference championship meet, his athletes scored 98.5 of the team’s 135 points and set several meet records.

WEST – Shannon Winant — Whitworth
Under Winant’s guidance, sophomore Kayla Brase broke the school record in the triple jump with the best mark in the West Region at 11.45m (37-6¾), a mark ranking in a tie for No. 20 nationally. He has helped lead the Whitworth women to a No. 1 West Region Dual Meet ranking as well as the No. 1 West Region Regional Team Index ranking. He is in his second season coaching at Whitworth.