NCAA DI National Athletes of the Year For 2017 Indoor Season
By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA
March 14, 2017
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Winners were voted on by member coaches following the conclusion of the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which were held this past weekend in College Station, Texas.
QUICK LINKS TO AWARDS
|National Track Athlete of the Year||National Track Athlete of the Year|
|National Field Athlete of the Year||National Field Athlete of the Year|
Information on each of the winners can be found below.
For a full list of former winners, you can check the designated award page.
Christian Coleman – Tennessee
Coleman put an exclamation point on his fine indoor season this past weekend at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The junior from Atlanta, Georgia won the 60 and 200 to become the first man to sweep the short sprint titles since Justin Gatlin in 2002. Coleman’s time in the 60 equaled the collegiate record (6.45), set the meet record and his margin of victory (0.09) is the largest in meet history. Coleman doubled back with a time of 22.11 in the 200, which is the 2nd fastest time in collegiate history, one one-hundredth of a second off the standard set by Wallace Spearmon (20.10). He went undefeated in the 60 during the indoor season and notched five sub-6.56 efforts. Coleman is the first male athlete from Tennessee to receive this honor and first from the SEC to do so since 2010 (Torrin Lawrence, Georgia).
Hannah Cunliffe – Oregon
Cunliffe had a solid outing at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships to help her Ducks squad win its 7th title in 8 years. The junior won the 60 meters with a time of 7.14, followed by a 2nd-place finish in the 200 meters at 22.53, behind teammate Ariana Washington. Washington and Cunliffe became the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the 200 meters at NCAAs since Auburn did so in 2010. During the regular season, the product from Federal Way, Washington broke the indoor collegiate record in the 60 meters with a time of 7.07 at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational. Cunliffe is the first sprinter to win the award since 2012 (Diamond Dixon, Kansas) and first from Oregon to win since 2011 (Jordan Hasay).
KeAndre Bates – Florida
Bates capped a stellar indoor season at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend. The junior from El Paso, Texas won the long jump with a mark of 8.04m (26-4½) and placed 2nd in the triple jump with a mark of 16.62m (54-6½). Bates became the 4th man since 2006 with top-2 finishes in both horizontal jumps. Just a few weeks earlier, Bates was a double winner at the SEC Indoor Championships as he won the long jump and triple jump titles – the latter of which over two-time defending NCAA champ Clive Pullen. Bates is the 2nd jumper from Florida to win this award in the past three years (Marquis Dendy, 2015).
Keturah Orji – Georgia
Raven Saunders – Ole Miss
Orji and Saunders share the award after the vote was too close to call. This is the second year in a row that the vote was split (Akela Jones and Kendell Williams were named Co-Women’s National Field Athletes of the Year in 2016).
Orji continued her dominant junior season this past weekend at NCAAs where she won the triple jump and placed 3rd in the long jump to score 16 points for the Bulldogs. The native of Mount Olive, New Jersey only took two attempts in the triple jump, but only really needed one since her 1st mark put her more than a foot ahead of the competition. Just a few weeks earlier, Orji rewrote the collegiate record books at the SEC Indoor Championships. Orji posted three marks better than the old collegiate record and her best of the event – 14.32m/46-11¾ – also stands as the American record.
Saunders had a historic outing at NCAAs this past weekend, as she put her name all over the collegiate record books. Her final attempt in the shot put on the night soared 19.56m (64-2¼) to shatter her own collegiate record by more than a foot. Shortly before that, she posted another lob of more than 19 meters, earning her the 4th-best mark in collegiate history. All of this came after an outstanding indoor season for the Rebels, where she won the SEC title in the shot put with a throw of 19.07m (62-6¾) that doubles as a meet record. The native of Charleston, South Carolina was undefeated on the year in the shot put. She also placed 7th at NCAAs in the weight throw with a heave of 20.81m (68-3¼).