NCAA Division II Regional Award Winners for 2016 Outdoor Season
UPDATE: The winners of the Central Region’s Women’s Track Athlete of the Year award has been updated.
NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Monday 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 Outdoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, May 26-28, in Bradenton, Florida
The championships will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
ATLANTIC REGION — BURKHEART ELLIS JR — SAINT AUGUSTINE’S
Eliis, a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina, is the top-ranked athlete at 200 meters with a time of 20.36 and fourth in the 100 meters with a wind-aided time of 10.25. He is also a member of the nation’s top-ranked 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.
CENTRAL REGION — VINCENT KIPROP — MISSOURI SOUTHERN
Kiprop, a freshman from Kericho, Kenya, is ranked fifth nationally at 10000 meters and 24th in the 5000 meters. He dominated the MIAA conference meet in winning the 5000, 10000 and steeplechase.
EAST REGION — LEAKEY KIPKOSGEI — AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
Kipkosgei, a freshmen from Kapsabet, Kenya, is the top-ranked athlete in the steeplechase this season and has the best time by three seconds. The Kenyan will also compete in the 5000 at the national meet, where he has a personal best of 14:11.57 this season.
MIDWEST REGION — JOHNNIE GUY — SOUTHERN INDIANA
Guy, a senior from Palmyra, Indiana, is one of the best NCAA athletes at 10000 meters. This season Guy ranks first in DII and second among all NCAA athletes with his time of 28:34.79. His time in the 5000 is 13:39.14 and ranks second in the nation.
SOUTH REGION — ALFRED CHELANGA — SHORTER
Chelanga, a sophomore from Kenya, is the top-ranked athlete in the region in the 1500, 5000 and 10000. The Kenyan is ranked fourth nationally in the 5000 (13:55.45) and sixth in the 10000 (29:27.88).
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — LUIS PEREZ — ANGELO STATE
Perez, a senior from Forney, Texas, is ranked in the top-7 nationally in two individual events: the 200 (seventh, 20.82) and the 400 (fifth, 46.51). He also anchors his team’s 4×400 relay team, which sits in third place on the national list (3:08.39).
SOUTHEAST REGION — KEVIN SNEAD — CARSON-NEWMAN
Snead, a junior from Richmond, Virginia, is ranked second in the nation at 100 meters with a time of 10.21. His time of 20.75 in the 200 is good enough for sixth nationally. Both of those times put him first in the Southeast Region.
WEST REGION — KHALLIFAH ROSSER — CAL STATE LA
Rosser, a junior from Fontana, California, is among the best hurdlers in the nation. The junior ranks third among all divisions in the 400 hurdles with a time of 49.27 and ranks second in DII (45.74). Rosser has yet to lose this season in the 400 hurdles.
ATLANTIC REGION — TIA-ADANA BELLE — SAINT AUGUSTINE’S
Belle, a junior from St. George, Barbados, is ranked No. 1 in DII in the 400 hurdles, No. 3 in the 100 hurdles. Her time of 55.82 in the 400 hurdles is ninth among all collegians and is an NCAA Division II record.
CENTRAL REGION — BREANNA COLBENSON — MINNESOTA DULUTH
Colbenson, a junior from Spring Valley, Wisconsin, was named NSIC Female Track Athlete of the Year after winning conference titles both in the steeplechase and the 10,000 meters. She ran 10:21.11 in the steeplechase for the fourth-fastest time in the country, and is ranked No. 11 nationally at 5000 meters and No. 16 at 10,000 meters. She will compete in the 5000 and the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships.
EAST REGION — CARLY MUSCARO — MERRIMACK
Muscaro, a junior from Ashland, Massachusetts, has turned into one of the top runners in DII history this season. At the NEICAAA Championships, Muscaro clocked a division-leading time of 51.17 which also turned out to be the third fastest time in DII history. Muscaro is also highly ranked in the 200 (second, 23.41) and 100 (11th, 11.69).
MIDWEST REGION — EMILY OREN — HILLSDALE
Oren, a senior from Holland, Michigan, set a DII record this year in the steeplechase with her time of 9:50.54. She also has strong marks in the 1500 (4:21.69) and the 5000 (16:22.93), in which she is ranked second and eighth nationally, respectively.
SOUTH REGION — TRISANA FAIRWEATHER — CLAFLIN
Fairweather, a sophomore from Portland, Jamaica, is ranked third in DII in the 100 with a time of 11.49, third in the 200 (23.43) and eighth in the 400 (54.32). She is ranked atop the South Region in the 100 and 200.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — GEORGIA PORTER — WESTERN STATE
Porter, a junior from Stevenson, Washington, is ranked highly in DII in several events. Her time of 16:20.61 in the 5000 has her ranked sixth, while her time of 34:01.62 puts her fourth in the 10000. Then in the 1500, Porter is ranked seventh with an effort of 4:25.38.
SOUTHEAST REGION — NIKIA SQUIRE — QUEENS (N.C.)
Squire, a senior from Columbia, South Carolina, is the DII leader in the 100 (11.36) and sits ninth among those at 200 meters (23.75). The senior is also part of her program’s 4×100 relay team that is ranked 13th nationally.
WEST REGION — JOYCE CHELIMO — ALASKA ANCHORAGE
Chelimo, a senior from Kapsowar, Kenya, is the top-ranked woman in DII at 5000 meters (15:59.55) and 10000 meters (33:14.41). That time in the 10000 has her ranked fifth in DII history.
ATLANTIC REGION — BRYAN PEARSON — SHIPPENSBURG
Pearson, a sophomore from Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, is ranked eighth in DII in the discus throw at 55.42m (181-10). During the PSAC Championships, Pearson won conference titles in the shot put, discus throw and took fifth in the hammer throw to give him 24 points.
CENTRAL REGION — GARRETT APPIER — PITTSBURG STATE
Appier, a senior from Paola, Kansas, put together quite the senior year. The senior owns the DII record for best outdoor throw as well as nine others on the top-10 all-time chart and is the top-ranked collegian regardless of division with a heave of 20.79m (68-2½).
EAST REGION — MICHAEL BRAZZEL — GEORGIAN COURT
Brazzel, a sophomore from North Arlington, New Jersey, owns the second best heave in the javelin throw this season at 69.68m (228-7). In every meet this season, Brazzel threw the javelin more than 64 meters and has the best throw in the region by 20 feet.
MIDWEST REGION — DARIEN THORNTON — GRAND VALLEY STATE
Thornton, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, is ranked No. 1 in DII in the hammer throw with a heave of 70.45m (231-2). That mark stands as a school record and the fifth farthest throw in DII history. He is also ranked in the top-16 of DII athletes the shot put.
SOUTH REGION — KALEB DANIELS — BENEDICT
Daniels, a freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, is ranked No. 12 in DII in the triple jump with a wind-aided leap of 15.31m (50-3¼). That mark also puts him second in the South Region.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — JERON ROBINSON — TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE
Robinson, a senior from Houston, Texas, went undefeated in the high jump this spring which included victories at the Texas Relays and the LSU Alumni Gold. His season best jump of 2.26m (7-5) has him ranked No. 1 in DII and second among all collegians.
SOUTHEAST REGION — ISAIAH KYLE — WINGATE
Wynne, a freshman from Morristown, Tennessee, enters NCAAs with the third best mark in the high jump this season (2.15m/7-0½) . That left him the best jumper in the South Atlantic Coast and the top man in the Southeast Region.
WEST REGION — JUSTIN BALCZAK — AZUSA PACIFIC
Balczak, a senior from Cedar Springs, Michigan, is third nationally in the decathlon with 7276 points. He earned PacWest Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet honors and was named All-PacWest in three events.
ATLANTIC REGION — SHAKINAH BROOKS — SAINT AUGUSTINE’S
Brooks, a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina, is ranked fourth in DII in the long jump with a leap of 6.24m (20-7¾). She won a long jump title at the Penn Relays earlier this season.
CENTRAL REGION — HEAVIN WARNER — CENTRAL MISSOURI
Warner, a senior from St. Joseph, Missouri, is truly versatile. The senior is ranked first in DII in the hammer throw (67.04m/219-11), second in the discus (55.00m/180-5) and third in the shot put (15.82m/51-11).
EAST REGION — DESTINEY COWARD — SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT
Coward, a sophomore from East Haven, Connecticut, is ranked 12th in DII in the hammer throw with her heave of 57.75m (189-6). Her efforts at the Northeast-10 Championships led Southern Connecticut to a runner-up finish.
MIDWEST REGION — JAMIE SINDELAR — ASHLAND
Sindelar, a senior from Athens, Ohio, wrote her name among the DII greats this season. She is currently the second best shot putter in DII history with a heave of 16.99m (55-9). That puts her No. 1 in DII this season, as well.
SOUTH REGION — CHRISTINA ALBANA — SHORTER
Albana, a junior from Guatemala City, Guatemala, is among the best in DII in the triple jump. She is ranked fourth in that event at 12.50m (41-¼) and will contest it at the NCAA Championships.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — NORMA CUNIGAN — WEST TEXAS A&M
Cunigan, a freshman from Wills Point, Texas, is currently ranked second in the nation in the shot put (16.18m/53-1) and third in the discus throw (51.52m/169-0). At the LSC Championships, she won the discus and shot put to lead her team to its first-ever team title.
SOUTHEAST REGION — JAYNELL BROWN — UNC PEMBROKE
Brown, a senior from Pembroke, North Carolina, leads the Southeast Region in the shot put with a heave of 13.67m (45-10¼). She was named the PBC Field Athlete of the Year after scoring the most points at the conference meet.
WEST REGION — ALLIE UPDIKE — AZUSA PACIFIC
Updike, a senior from Herndon, Virginia, is the top-ranked woman in the javelin throw in DII right now at 53.61m (175-10). She won the javelin title at the PacWest Championships recently.
ATLANTIC REGION — GEORGE WILLIAMS — SAINT AUGUSTINE’S
Williams, in his 40th season as the SAU head coach, led the Falcons of Saint Augustine to the CIAA title with 203 points over Virginia Union’s 139.83 points. He will lead the national No. 1 team to the NCAA Championships with 17 entries.
CENTRAL REGION — BRYAN SCHIDING — MISSOURI SOUTHERN
Schiding, in his third year guiding the Missouri Southern program, led his squad from third in the preseason MIAA poll to the MIAA team champion. MSSU defeated three top-20 teams along the way, and is currently ranked No. 13 nationally. He has 11 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships.
EAST REGION — LEO MAYO — AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
Mayo, in his 10th year as head coach of the Yellow Jackets, led his team to their first ever Northeast-10 team championship along with a final No. 1 ranking in the East Region. Leakey Kipkosgei is ranked No. 1 nationally in the steeplechase and will also compete in the 5000 at the national meet, among four qualifiers to the championships.
MIDWEST REGION — JERRY BALTES — GRAND VALLEY STATE
Baltes, in his 17th season guiding the GVSU program, led the Lakers to the GLIAC title. His men are ranked third nationally and will take a nation-best 18 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships this weekend.
SOUTH REGION — LINCOLN LONDON — CLAFLIN
London, in his third year leading the Claflin program, coached athletes to NCAA Automatic times in the 400 meters and the 4×400 meter relay. The relay is ranked No. 1 in the South Region and is No. 2 on the national list. three entries from Claflin will compete at the NCAA Championships.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — ROCK LIGHT — ADAMS STATE
Light, in his third year leading Adams State, was voted RMAC Men’s Coach of the Year after leaping the Grizzlies to the RMAC team title. His fourth-ranked Adams State men will head to the NCAA Championships with 14 entries, third-most in the nation.
SOUTHEAST REGION — MATTHEW VAN LIEROP — MOUNT OLIVE
Van Lierop, in his eight year leading the Mount Olive program, kept the Trojans atop the Southeast Regional Index all throughout 2016. His squad took the team title at the Conference Carolinas Championships, and will enter the NCAA Championships with three entries.
WEST REGION — KEVIN REID — AZUSA PACIFIC
Reid, in his 21st year at the helm of the Azusa Pacific program, led his men to the PacWest conference team title. APU will enter the NCAA Championships with seven entries, and is ranked No. 14 nationally.
ATLANTIC REGION — LENNOX GRAHAM — JOHNSON C. SMITH
Lennox, in his eighth year guiding the Johnson C. Smith program, led the Golden Bulls to a team title at the CIAA Championships. His national No. 8 women will bring nine qualifiers to the NCAA Championships later this week.
CENTRAL REGION — RUSS JEWETT — PITTSBURG STATE
Jewett, in his 30th season at Pittsburg State, led his women to as high as No. 1 in the USTFCCCA National Team Rankings. His Gorillas claimed the MIAA team title over then-No. 1 Lincoln. Now No. 2 in the National Team Rankings, his team will be represented at the NCAA Championships by 15 entries, third-most in the nation.
EAST REGION — KAREN BOEN — STONEHILL
Boen, in her 16th season coaching at Stonehill, led her Skyhawk women to the Northeast-10 with event wins in the 800, 1500, 5000, pole vault, shot put and 4×800 relay. Her Skyhawks will enter the NCAA Championships this weekend with two entries.
MIDWEST REGION — JERRY BALTES — GRAND VALLEY STATE
Baltes, in his 17th year guiding the Lakers program, will bring a nation-best 25 entries to the NCAA Championships later this week. GVSU won the GLIAC title, and will be the only program represented at the NCAA Championships in all overall disciplines (sprints, jumps, throws, endurance, combined events) except for the combined events.
SOUTH REGION — SCOTT BYRD — SHORTER
Byrd, in his ninth season leading the Shorter program, coached his women to the No. 1 rank in the South Region for the entire season. Ranked No. 14 nationally, his Shorter women will send six qualifiers to the NCAA Championships this week.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — BRADLEY GAMBLE — CHADRON STATE
Gamble, in his fifth year coaching at Chadron State, led the school to its first RMAC title in program history. Gamble qualified the most women in school history to the NCAA Championships with seven entrants, including the national leader in the long jump.
SOUTHEAST REGION — JIM VAHRENKAMP — QUEENS (N.C.)
Vahrenkamp, in his fourth season leading the Queens (N.C.) squad, guided his team to the top spot in the Southeast Region rankings the entire season. His women won the SAC Championships by more than 100 points, and will be represented at the NCAA Championships by four entries.
WEST REGION — KARL LERUM — SEATTLE PACIFIC
Lerum, in his 11th season guiding the SPU program, led his women to the GNAC team title with four individual event winners. His team will enter the NCAA Championships later this week with six entries.
ATLANTIC REGION — GLENN THOMPSON — SHIPPENSBURG
Thompson, who for six years has coached the shot put and discus at Shippensburg, guided his athletes to a tremendous weekend at the PSAC Championships. Ship throwers scored a combined 48 points in the shot and disc and one of his athletes was the Meet Field MVP. He will have three competitors at the NCAA Championships.
CENTRAL REGION — BRIAN MANTOOTH — PITTSBURG STATE
Mantooth, in his 15th year guiding Pittsburg State throwers, coached Garrett Appier to the NCAA DII record and the 2016 all-college lead in the shot put. Beyond Appier, his athletes totaled 58 points for the runner-up Gorillas at the MIAA Championships. He will mentor four entrants to the NCAA Championships this weekend.
EAST REGION — JOSEPH NAPOLI — GEORGIAN COURT
Napoli, in his eighth year guiding throwers at Georgian Court, qualified three different athletes to the NCAA Championships in three different events – all of whom are top-four in the East Region. His athletes will compete in the javelin, the hammer throw, and the shot put.
MIDWEST REGION — GRAY HORN — TIFFIN
Horn, in his third year coaching the sprints and multi-events for Tiffin, mentored his athletes to a combined 84 points – in only six events – at the GLIAC Championships, including three meet records. His Dragon proteges are responsible for four entries into the NCAA Championships this weekend.
SOUTH REGION — AUSTIN WARNER — NOVA SOUTHEASTERN
Warner, in his third year mentoring mid-distance and distance runners for Nova Southeastern, coached his runners to 49 points at the Peach Belt Conference Championships in the events between 800 and 10,000 meters. Two of his athletes won conference titles.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — CHRIS SIEMERS — COLORADO MINES
Siemers, in his fourth year coaching distance runners at Colorado Mines, led his Orediggers to an impressive 28-point haul over 10,000 meters at the RMAC Championships. Overall, his men scored 49 points to propel CSM’s runner-up team finish. His men combined for seven entries into the NCAA Championships – tied for the most in the distance/mid-distance category.
SOUTHEAST REGION — JACKIE KIRBY — MOUNT OLIVE
Kirby, in his eighth season coaching distance runners and hurdlers at Mount Olive, has a number of nationally-ranked runners in several events – especially the steeplechase. He coached Austin Steagall to No. 6 in the nation with two more teammates in the top-30 nationally. He has 18 runners ranked top-eight in the Southeast Region, and has three entrants into the NCAA Championships.
WEST REGION — RYAN MCWILLIAMS — ALASKA ANCHORAGE
McWilliams, who is in his seventh year at UAA and coaches the combined events, sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws, played a big part in the Seawolves winning their first GNAC title. His athletes account for the No. 1 mark in the javelin and the No. 4 mark in the decathlon – both are events in which UAA won conference titles – as well as the No. 7 mark in the 4×400 relay. All three are competing at the NCAA Championships.
ATLANTIC REGION — AKIL STOKES — MILLERSVILLE
Stokes, in his ninth season coaching Millersville’s sprints and hurdles, led his athletes to 54 of the team’s 98 points at the PSAC Championships. Among those points were three conference titles in both hurdles events and the 100 meters. He will have one competitor at the NCAA Championships this week.
CENTRAL REGION — KYLE RUTLEDGE — PITTSBURG STATE
Rutledge, in his fourth season guiding Pittsburg State’s combined-event athletes, high jumpers and pole vaulters, and his charges played a big part in PSU’s win at the MIAA Championships. HIs athletes posted wins in the heptathlon and high jump as part of a 36-point effort at MIAAs.
He has three entries into the NCAA Championships.
EAST REGION — JOE VAN GILDER — SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT
Van Gilder, in his fourth year supervising the sprints and relays at Southern Connecticut, helped lead the Lady Owls to a runner-up team finish at the Northeast-10 Championships and a third-place effort at the NEICAAA Championships. His athletes account for five of SCSU’s six total entries to the NCAA Championships.
MIDWEST REGION — JOE LYNN — HILLSDALE
Lynn, in his third year leading the Hillsdale distance program, has mentored his athletes to an impressive nine top-10 national performances this year. Under his guidance, Emily Oren broke the NCAA DII steeplechase record and her sister, Emily, is ranked No. 2 this season. He leads eight distance and mid-distance runners to the NCAA Championships, tied for the most in the nation in that category.
SOUTH REGION — JESSICA COUSINS — NOVA SOUTHEASTERN
Cousins, in her first season leading the Nova Southeastern sprinters and hurdlers, has guided three entries to the NCAA Championships. She coached Sherrelle Jordan to a share of the 2016 NCAA Division II lead in the 100 meter hurdles at 13.38.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — MATT STEWART — WEST TEXAS A&M
Stewart, in his sixth year mentoring the sprinters and hurdlers at West Texas A&M, coached his athletes to a 61-point output at the Lone Star Conference Championships as the Lady Buffs won their first-ever team title. Of those points, 32 came at 100 and 200 meters. His athlete will account for six total entries at the NCAA Championships this week.
SOUTHEAST REGION — TSEHAYE BANEY — QUEENS (N.C.)
Baney, in her fourth year guiding the Queens (N.C.) distance program, coaches the only nationally-ranked distance runner in the Southeast Region. Catie Byrd is ranked No. 21 nationally at 10,000 meters and will compete at the NCAA Championships. In total, her athletes scored 61 points at the SAC Championships.
WEST REGION — RYAN VIERRA — CAL STATE STANISLAUS
Vierra, in his eighth season leading the Cal State Stanislaus throwers, saw his athletes have tremendous success at the CCAA Championships, His hammer throwers swept the top two spots while his javelin thrower also took the league title. He has two athletes ranked top-10 nationally, and three NCAA Championships qualifiers.