2016 NJCAA Outdoor National Awards Announced
NEW ORLEANS — National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
These awards were determined voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances both at this past weekend’s NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships and throughout the entire regular season.
Information on each of the winners can be found below.
MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Festus Lagat — Gillette
Lagat, a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won the NJCAA national titles at 800 meters in 1:51.22 and at 1500 meters in 3:52.58. The national titles capped an undefeated season against NJCAA competition. During the regular season, he was ranked No. 2 nationally at 800 meters and fourth nationally at 5000 meters.
WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Leanne Pompeani — Iowa Central CC
Pompeani, a freshman from Canberra, Australia, won NJCAA national titles both at 5000 meters in 17:09.03 and 10,000 meters in 37:48.46, and finished third at 1500 meters in 4:41.29. She also ran a leg of Iowa Central’s third-place 4×800 meter relay. She won NJCAA Region XI titles at 5000 and 10,000 meters, and ran a career-best 16:30.32 over 5000 meters at the Drake Relays.
MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Fabian Edoki — South Plains
Edoki, a freshman from Nigeria, won the NJCAA national long jump title at 7.91m (25-11½) and finished runner-up in the triple jump at 15.84m. He finished the regular season ranked first in the long jump with a slightly windy jump of 8.02m (26-3¾, +2.3m/s) and has the No. 2 triple jump mark for the outdoor season at 15.73m (51-7¼).
WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Janeah Stewart — Iowa Central CC
Stewart, a sophomore from Chicago, Illinois, won the national NJCAA titles in the discus throw at 50.79m (166-8) and the hammer throw at 58.95m (193-5), and finished runner-up in the shot put at 15.78m (51-9¼). During the regular season, her shot put mark of 16.31m (53-6¼) was the best throw of the campaign, while her marks in the discus and hammer throw were second and third nationally, respectively.
MEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR
Chris Beene — South Plains
Beene, in his 12th year as head coach at South Plains, coached South Plains to an NJCAA national team title by 57 points with 146 points. His athletes won national titles in the 400, the steeplechase, the 4×400 relay, the men’s long jump, the javelin and the decathlon. South Plains competitors also took three of the top four spots at 1500 meters, two of the top four spots at 5000 meters, and the runner-up spots at 10,000 meters and in the steeplechase.
WOMEN’S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR
Denny Myers — Iowa Central CC
Myers, in his sixth year leading the Tritons, led Iowa Central to the NJCAA national team title with 148 points. His athletes won national titles in the 100, the 5000, the 10,000. the 100-meter hurdles, the discus, and the hammer throw. Overall, his athletes scored in 17 different events at the NJCAA Championships. Iowa Central also won the Region XI Outdoor Championships with 327.5 points
MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR
Willie Calvin — Hinds CC
Calvin, in his second season as an assistant at his alma mater, has provided guidance for a team that finished tied for third at the NJCAA Championships.
WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR
Nigel Bigbee — Iowa Central CC
Bigbee, in his second year leading the Tritons’ sprinters, hurdlers and horizontal jumps, guided Eboni Coby to the NJCAA national title at 100 meters and Danielle Riggins to the national crown in the 100-meter hurdles. Riggins was also fourth both at 100 and 200 meters, while Coby was seventh at 200 meters. Mesha Newbold was also fourth in the 400-meter hurdles, as was Iowa Central’s 4×400 relay team. Annastacia Forrester was third in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump.