NAIA National Award Winners For 2017 Indoor Season
NEW ORLEANS — National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
These awards were voted on my USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances both at this past weekend’s NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships as well as performances throughout the entire regular season.
Information on each of the winners can be found below.
NATIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
MEN’S TRACK – Daniel Garcia, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)
Garcia wrapped up his season in grand fashion at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The junior won the mile with a time of 4:13.63 in addition to anchoring the men’s 4×800 relay to a title in a time of 7:37.97. He wasn’t done, however, as the native of Barcelona, Spain, also anchored the distance medley relay team to a 1st-place finish, wrapping up with a time of 9:59.67. Prior to the national championship meet, he helped Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)’s DMR team to a NAIA record time of 9:46.90 when he anchored the relay with a 4:04.80 mile. He also anchored the 4×800 team to a national-leading time with a 1:52.56 split. Garcia was ranked in the top-10 nationally in four individual events as well – mile (2nd), 1000 (3rd), 3000 (6th), 800 (8th).
WOMEN’S TRACK – Hannah Segrave, Milligan (Tenn.)
Segrave ended her season on a high note. The senior from from Middlesbrough, UK, won the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championship in the 800 meters with a time of 2:07.49, nearly seven seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Her swan song season was outstanding, as she ranked 1st nationally in the 800 with her time of 2:03.80. That marks also left her 50th in the world and 9th among all collegians. She was 1st among all U-23 athletes in the UK. Segrave also ranked 1st nationally at 600 meters (1:31.47) and 2nd in the mile (4:52.89) and 3000 (9:51.73).
MEN’S FIELD – Dakarai Hightower, Doane (Neb.)
Hightower, a junior from Tacoma, Washington, owns the 5th-best high jump mark by an American this indoor season, and is the lone collegiate athlete in the top-5 of that list. His mark of 2.24m (7-4¼r) ranks 1st in both the Midwest Region and all of NAIA. Hightower won or tied for 1st in all seven meets prior to the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships on the season, and is second to only Clayton Brown of Florida in all of college on the year. Hightower finished 2nd to Nate McKeown in the high jump at the NAIA Indoor Championships, posting a leap of 2.10m (6-10¾).
WOMEN’S FIELD – Chelsea Baker, Friends (Kan.)
Baker had a huge day at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. The junior from Pittsburgh, Kansas, won the event title in the pentathlon with a score of 3698, breaking her previous season-high. Additionally, she notched a high jump of 1.74m (5-8½), ranking 2nd at the meet. During the regular season, Baker ranked in the top-7 in the NAIA in four different events. Her regular-season high jump mark of 1.74m (5-8 ½) was the top mark in the South Central Region and the NAIA. Her score of 3,313 in the pentathlon ranked 1st in the South Central Region and 5th nationally. At the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, Baker claimed 1st place in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR
MEN’S HEAD COACH – Doug Edgar, Indiana Tech
Edgar’s Warriors captured the 4th men’s title in program history, winning the title with the 2nd-most points all-time at an NAIA Indoor National Championship (118). His 60 meter sprinter Kajavon Moore captured an individual event title, while his 4×400 relay team successfully defended their title. In his sixth season as head coach of the Warriors, Edgar also led his squad to the Wolverine-Hoosier conference title. They entered the NAIA championships as the USTFCCCA’s top-ranked team and finished the season as the No. 1 team in the Great Lakes Region.
WOMEN’S HEAD COACH – Doug Edgar, Indiana Tech
Edgar’s women’s squad won its first NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championship in program history, scoring 75 total points. Two of his athletes in Brianna Woods (200 meters) and Sarah Dunmore (60 meters) won individual event titles. In his sixth season as head coach of the Warriors, Edgar also led his squad to the Wolverine-Hoosier conference title. They entered the NAIA championships as the USTFCCCA’s top-ranked team and finished the season as the No. 1 team in the Great Lakes Region.
MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH – Austin Roark, Indiana Tech
Roark, in his 3rd year with Indiana Tech, helped lead Indiana Tech’s men’s program to its 4th NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championship. Roark’s long jumpers finished 3rd, 5th and 6th at the meet, while Alain Dixon placed 2nd in the triple jump. Justin McKenzie also finished 2nd in the pole vault. Prior to the national meet, Roark guided the Warriors to the Wolverine-Hoosier Championships this year. The Warriors were 1st in both the Great Lakes Region and the nation, thanks in part to 10 National Championship qualifiers. Roark’s long jump team ranked 1st in the national squad rankings.
WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH – Zac Osgood, Hastings (Neb.)
Osgood’s team finished 8th at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships with 30.5 points, but most of the team’s points came from his athletes. Three of Osgood’s shot putters scored a total of 11 total points. However, Sara Olsen won the national title in the weight throw with a mark of 19.21m (63-0½). Three others totaled six points in the event, bringing the total to 16 in the weight throw. In his 14th year at Hastings (Neb.), Osgood owned the USTFCCCA National Event Squad leading shot put and weight throw squads. Three of his athletes ranked in the top-10 in the NAIA in the shot put, including national-leader Kelbie Lyon. He also has three athletes ranked in the top-10 in the NAIA in the weight throw, including national-leader Olsen.