NCAA & NJCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (February 7)
NEW ORLEANS — Collegiate records. Dominos. They’re one in the same.
Standards continued to fall this past weekend and some of our National Athletes of the Week had their fingerprints all over them.
Without further ado, here are the National Athletes of the Week for February 6, as selected by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
- NCAA Division I Men — Christian Coleman, Tennessee
- NCAA Division I Women — Sage Watson, Arizona
- NCAA Division II Men — Sydney Gidabuday, Adams State
- NCAA Division II Women — Carly Muscaro, Merrimack
- NCAA Division III Men — Jeremy Hernandez, Ramapo
- NCAA Division III Women — Katherine Pitman, Ithaca
- NJCAA Men — Thobile Mosito, Cloud County CC
- NJCAA Women — Zakiya Denoon, Monroe College
Find out more about these athletes by clicking their names or scrolling below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 8 collegiate outdoor track & field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and the NJCAA).
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
Junior | Sprints
Three men in NCAA Division I have combined to go sub-6.70 in the 60 five times this season so far. It just so happens to be that Tennessee’s Christian Coleman holds three of those efforts by himself.
This past weekend at the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite, Coleman notched his fastest time of the season — and his career. Coleman blistered an effort of 6.51 to beat teammate Malik Elion to the tape by 32 tenths of a second. That time of 6.51 leaves Coleman tied as the eighth best performer in collegiate history.
Coleman will be back in action this weekend at the Clemson Invitational.
Senior | Hurdles
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Sage Watson went to the Armory Track Invitational with one goal in mind: Run fast and let the cards fall as they may.
Well, Watson ran fast — and then some — as she established a collegiate and Canadian record over 500 meters. Watson crossed the finish line in 1:08.40, three seconds faster than runner-up Tionna Garner of Monmouth.
“Sage was just special today,” Arizona coach Fred Harvey said. “There is not much more to say about that special of a performance.”
Sophomore | Distance
Competing at high altitudes is no joke. That is, unless your name is Sydney Gidabuday.
Running at Adams State’s home meet, the Grizzly Buffalo Crash dual meet against West Texas A&M, Gidabuday, destroyed all competition in the 3,000 meters, finishing in an altitude-converted time of 7:58.53. The sophomore nearly ran solo for most of the race, as he finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
While many would have called that a successful day, the native of Orange, California, was not done. Gidabuday anchored the men’s distance medley relay to an event title, finishing in a time of 10:20.24, which is good for sixth in DII on the season.
Senior | Sprints
If Carly Muscaro was planning on leaving her mark on the NCAA Track & Field record books, she is doing just that with her performances over the last few weeks.
Competing at the Boston University Scarlet and White meet, the senior sprinter from Ashland, Massachusetts, wowed the fans from her home state as she posted a blistering 1:09.05 in the 500 meters. The mark is good for second best in the history of the NCAA, while also ranking as the DII record in the event.
Muscaro has had a torrid few weeks. Just two weekends ago, she notched a 52.27 in the 400 meters, which stands as the second-fastest time in DII history. That time was just 0.05 seconds shy of the all-time DII record.
At her current pace, Muscaro could rewrite the history books even further over the remainder of the indoor season.
Junior | Distance
Clifton, New Jersey
After this past weekend, the top-2 times over 800 meters in NCAA DIII this season were run at the Bomber Invitational hosted by Ithaca College.
Jeremy Hernandez and Oswego State’s Ben Griffin went head to head in the first section of the 800. Ultimately it was Hernandez who nipped Griffin at the line by 44 tenths of a second. Hernandez crossed the finish line in 1:52.38, which was just off an indoor PR.
Last year, Hernandez finished 4th in the mile at NCAA indoors.
Also in consideration for NCAA DIII National Athlete of the Week was Tim Nichols of Tufts, who went 14:19.45 in the 5000 this past weekend.
Sophomore | Pole Vault
Records are meant to be broken and it was just a matter of time until Ithaca’s Katherine Pitman wrote her name atop the NCAA DIII indoor record book.
Pitman did it this past weekend inside her home facility at the Bomber Invitational. She cleared 4.22m (13-10) in the pole vault to best the previous NCAA DIII indoor standard by one centimeter, which was set by Michelle Favre of Ramapo College in 2013.
This was also an overall PR for Pitman, who previously cleared 4.21m (13-9¾).
Freshman | Distance
Pretoria, South Africa
Thobile Mosito doubled up this past weekend in a big way.
Running at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, Mosito competed in both the 3000 and 5000. Mosito excelled at both, recording top NJCAA marks in both.
He finished the 3000 in 8:26.12, which edged Iowa Central’s Karim Achengli at the line (2nd in NJCAA, 8:26.24) and owns a four-second lead over Jhordan Ccope Tapara in the 5000 after his effort of 14:34.39 in that race.
Sophomore | Sprints
Belle Garden, Tobago
Zakiya Denoon showed this past weekend why LSU wants her with its program once she finishes up in the NJCAA ranks.
Denoon clipped off a pair of NJCAA-leading times at the Armory Track Invitational and beat several NCAA DI athletes in the process.
In the 60, Denoon won the race in 7.33 and toppled athletes from Oklahoma, Connecticut and Ohio State.
Then in the 200, Denoon crossed the finish line in 24.11, which put her 5th in the final.