Postseason Awards Announced For NCAA DIII Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday its National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country season following the championships in Louisville, Kentucky this past weekend.
NCAA Division III Cross Country individual champions Ian LaMere of UW-Platteville and Amy Regan of Stevens Institute were named the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Year, respectively.
Al Carius of North Central (Ill.) and Bobby Van Allen of Johns Hopkins took home the men’s and women’s National Coach of the Year honors, respectively, for leading their teams to national titles.
MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Ian LaMere, UW-Platteville
Once Ian LaMere turns on the jets, there’s no catching him.
Such was the case this past weekend at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park when LaMere broke away from the pack at the 2K mark and pushed it from there. LaMere extended his lead to 16 seconds by 6K and eventually won by 29 seconds over Widener’s Ernie Pitone.
This was LaMere’s second individual XC title in a row as he also won last year when the race was held in his home state of Wisconsin. LaMere was also a runaway winner in 2015 as he crossed the finish line nearly 40 seconds ahead of the runner-up.
WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Amy Regan, Stevens Institute
After taking off the 2015 season, Amy Regan came back with something to prove this season — her final one on the grass. It’s safe to say “Mission accomplished” for the senior from Green Brook, New Jersey.
Regan finished the season undefeated at 7-0, with no win meaning more than the one she earned this past weekend at the NCAA DIII Championships. The Stevens Institute senior led from the gun and topped Loras’ Audrey Miller by nearly 15 seconds.
This is Regan’s second National Women’s Athlete of the Year honor. Regan also won the award back in 2014 when she won her first individual XC title.
MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
Very few teams had the front-end depth this year in DIII XC that North Central (Ill.) did. The Cardinals proved it this past weekend at the NCAA DIII Championships.
North Central (Ill.) had an entire scoring lineup of All-Americans. That’s five if you’re counting at home. Those All-American Cardinals were Zach Plank (9th), Al Baldonado (15th), Dhruvil Patel (18th), Ethan Adlfinger (19th) and Zach Hird (24th). The Cardinals scored just 60 points, 144 fewer than runner-up SUNY Geneseo.
This was North Central (Ill.)’s 17th NCAA XC title in program history.
Earlier in the season, the Cardinals won team titles at the CCIW Championships and at the Midwest Region Championships.
WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins entered the NCAA DIII Championships as the unanimous favorite to win the women’s team title. The Blue Jays showed why they deserved that distinction.
Bobby Van Allen’s team cruised from the start and won by 74 points over runner-up Washington (Mo.). Johns Hopkins did so with just one runner in the top-25.
The Blue Jays did have three All-Americans, however, led by Tess Meehan (25th). The other All-America selections for Johns Hopkins were Felecia Koerner (29th) and Natalia LaSpada (31st).
This was the Blue Jays’ fourth NCAA XC title in the past five years. Johns Hopkins won three in a row from 2012 to 2014 and just added the 2016 trophy to its collection.
The Blue Jays also won team titles at the Centennial Championships and the Mideast Region Championships.