NCAA Division III Regional Award Winners For 2017 Indoor Season

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Each of the 8 regions 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 following a nomination period. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.

QUICK LINKS TO AWARDS

Men Women
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 at the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships set to begin Friday in Naperville, Illinois on the campus of North Central (Ill.).

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Benjamin Fazio – RPI

Fazio, a senior from East Greenwich, Rhode Island, is ranked 5th nationally in the mile and 6th nationally at 3000 meters. His time in the mile (4:10.24) set a championship record at the NYSCTC Indoor Championships. His time in the 3000 (8:18.57) set a school record. He was undefeated against NCAA DIII opponents during the regular season. He will anchor the men’s distance medley relay in addition to competing in the 3000 meters at the NCAAs.

CENTRAL REGION – Alec Bass – Dubuque

Bass, a junior from Spring Green, Wisconsin, qualified for NCAAs in the 3000 with his time of 8:19.49, which ranked him 7th in the nation and 1st regionally. He was also ranked in the top-20 nationally over 5000 meters (14:43.25). Bass won the 3000 at the IIAC Indoor Championships, as well as the mile and 5000 and helped lead his team to its first indoor conference title in program history.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Ethan Valentine – Calvin

Valentine, a junior from Mason, Ohio, is the top-ranked athlete at 400 meters in NCAA Division III. He ran a time of 48.13 earlier this season, which set a conference, fieldhouse and school record in the process. Valentine also helped set a school record in the 4×400 relay.

MIDEAST REGION – Devonte Williams – Stevenson

Williams, a senior from Clinton, Maryland, is ranked 2nd nationally at 200 meters and 10th nationally over 60 meters. His time in the 200 (21.79) set a MAC Indoor Championship record as well as a school record. Williams’ time in the 60 (6.88) also puts him 1st in the region.

MIDWEST REGION – Ian LaMere – UW-Platteville

LaMere, a senior from Green Bay, Wisconsin, had an indoor season to remember. Earlier this season he ran the 2nd fastest time over 5000 meters in NCAA Division III history (13:54.88), which also was the fastest time run in the past 23 years. LaMere ran a solo 3000 earlier this season that still stands as the converted NCAA Division III best (8:12.06). NCAAs aren’t in his future, unfortunately as he is recovering from a stress fracture.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Peter Hale – Williams

Hale, a senior from Swampscott, Massachusetts, is ranked 2nd nationally over 3000 meters and 9th nationally over 5000 meters. He is undefeated this winter against NCAA Division III competition and ran the 6th fastest time over 3000 meters in NCAA DIII history (8:09.51).

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Jamal Watkins – Birmingham-Southern

Watkins, a junior from Hampton, Georgia, is ranked 3rd nationally over 60 meters and 21st nationally at 200 meters. His time in the 60 (6.79) stood as the best time in NCAA Division III until the postseason. Watkins has been ranked in the top-20 of the 60 and 200 all season.

WEST REGION – Jake Milhelich – Linfield

Milhelich, a senior, is ranked 6th nationally over 400 meters with his time of 47.89. He is also ranked 1st regionally over 200 meters with his time of 22.10.

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Taryn Cordani – Ithaca

Cordani, a junior from Douglas, Massachusetts, is ranked 2nd nationally at 5000 meters, 6th nationally at 3000 meters and anchored the 3rd ranked DMR team. Her time in the 5000 (16:58.37) is a school record and was run at the Cornell Big Red Invitational. She was named the Track Athlete of the Meet at the NYSCTC Indoor Championships.

CENTRAL REGION – Katie Krick – Nebraska Wesleyan

Krick, a senior from Lincoln, Nebraska, is ranked 12th nationally over 400 meters (57.21), 14th nationally over 200 meters (25.07) and anchored the nation’s 3rd fastest 4×400 team. She was named the Women’s Track Athletes of the Year for the IIAC after winning the 200, 400, anchoring the winning 4×200 and placing 3rd in the 60 at the IIAC Indoor Championships.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Emily Richards – Ohio Northern

Richards, a junior from Delaware, Ohio, is the top-ranked woman in both the 800 and the mile in NCAA Division III. She ran a time of 2:08.83 in the 800, which ranks the 6th fastest time in NCAA Division III history. Richards also set a school record in the mile with her time of 4:50.11. She became the first woman in OAC history to win the 800, 1000 and mile in the same indoor championship meet.

MIDEAST REGION – Felicia Koerner – Johns Hopkins

Koerner, a sophomore from Munich, Germany, is the top-ranked woman in NCAA Division III in the 3000 and 5000. Her time in the 3000 (9:24.34) is the 2nd fastest mark in NCAA Division III history and her time of 16:41.95 in the 5000 is the 9th fastest in NCAA DIII history. She was also ranked 6th in NCAA Division III this season in the mile.

MIDWEST REGION – Daisy Ogede – Washington (Mo.)

Ogede, a senior from Richton Park, Illinois, is ranked in the top-3 of NCAA Division III in the 60 (3rd, 7.67), 200 (3rd, 24.92) and 60 hurdles (3rd, 8.78). She had a memorable few days at the UAA Indoor Championships, where she won three individual titles and anchored the nation’s fastest 4×400 team to victory.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Allison Hill – Bates

Hill, a senior from Brunswick, Maine, is ranked 1st nationally in the 60 hurdles (8.67) and 8th nationally in the 200 (24.92). She is also the lead-off leg of the 12th-ranked 4×400 team in the nation, which ran 3:53.05 on a banked track for a school record. Hill scored 20.5 points at the conference championship meet to lead her team to its best finish since 1990.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Amber Celen – Bridgewater (Va.)

Celen, a junior from Townsend, Delaware, is the top-ranked woman in NCAA Division III in both the 60 and 200. Her time of 24.56 in the 200 is good enough for 6th all-time in NCAA Division III, while her effort of 7.58 in the 60 is tied for 10th all-time. Celen scored 40 points at the ODAC Indoor Championships, of which included victories in the 60, 200 and 60 hurdles.

WEST REGION – Rachael Kraske – George Fox

Kraske, a senior from Omak, Washington, is ranked 2nd nationally in the 60 hurdles with her time of 8.69. She is also ranked 2nd regionally in the 60 (7.89).

MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Jack Flood – SUNY Cortland

Flood, a senior from Blue Point, New York, is ranked 1st nationally in the heptathlon with a score of 5155 points. That mark set a conference, school and personal record. Flood is also ranked 14th in the nation in the high jump at 2.06m (6-9).

CENTRAL REGION – Chris Hawkins – Coe

Hawkins, a junior from Chicago, captured the IIAC Conference title in the long and triple jumps this season. His mark of 7.30m (23-11½) in the long jump led the Central Region while ranking 5th nationally. His season-best triple jump leap of 14.33m (47-0¼) also ranked 1st in the region. For his efforts at the conference meet, Hawkins was named the IIAC Championship Field Athlete of the Meet.   

GREAT LAKES REGION – Jeffery Barnett – Trine

Barnett, a sophomore from Fremont, Ohio, notched the 2nd-best long jump in the nation on the season at 7.61m (24-11¾). That was also the 7th best mark in NCAA Division III history. He earned All-MIAA First Team honors and was unanimously named the MIAA Field MVP.

MIDEAST REGION – Andrew Bartnett – Johns Hopkins

Bartnett, a senior from St. Louis, set a conference record in the heptathlon with an NCAA-qualifying point total of 5141. Additionally, his pole vault mark of 5.15m (16-10¾) ranked 2nd in NCAA Division III.   

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Williams – UW-Stevens Point

Williams, a senior from Watertown, Wisconsin, posted the 6th-best long jump mark in NCAA Division III history at 7.62m (25-0). He captured the WIAC Championship in that event, as well as in the triple jump, where his season-best mark of 14.86m (48-9) ranked 4th in Division III. Williams was named the WIAC Field Athlete of the Meet for his efforts in the long jump and triple jump.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Stefan Duvivier – Tufts

Duvivier, a junior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was the NCAA Division III New England Champion, as well as the NEICAAA Champion in the high jump, where his season-best mark came in at 2.10m (6-10¾) and puts him 3rd on the NCAA Division III Descending Order List. Duvivier was undefeated in the event on the season, and he twice bettered the eight-year-old school record in the high jump.  

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Darin Council – Bridgewater (Va.)

Council, a senior from Stafford, Virginia, won the ODAC Championship and set a new ODAC meet record in the triple jump on the season. His season-best mark of  14.82m (48-7½) stands as the 5th best mark in NCAA Division III this season. Additionally, Council notched the region’s 7th-best shot put mark of 13.83m (45-4½).  

WEST REGION – Jacoby Wolfe – George Fox

Wolfe, a redshirt-freshman from Newberg, Oregon, recorded the NCAA Division III’s 7th-best high jump at 2.08m (6-9¾) this season.  On the season, Wolfe finished outside of the top-4 just once in six meets, while claiming three event titles.

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Katherine Pitman – Ithaca

Pitman, a junior from Swampscott, Massachusetts, broke the indoor collegiate record in the pole vault twice this season. The first time Pitman jumped 4.22m (13-10) and then followed it up with a vault of 4.25m (13-11¼) not too long after that.

CENTRAL REGION – Tanasha Atwater – Dubuque

Atwater, a junior from Davenport, Iowa, is ranked 2nd nationally in the shot put with a heave of 15.01m (49-3) and 3rd nationally in the weight throw with a heave of 18.71m (61-4¾). She set IIAC Indoor Championship records in the shot put and weight throw and won both events to be named Most Valuable Field Performer honors.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Monique Newton – Oberlin

Newton, a junior from Sacramento, California, is ranked 1st nationally in the the shot put with a heave of 15.17m (49-9¼). That mark is also the 9th best in NCAA Division III history. Newton also ranks in the top-20 nationally in the weight throw (16.86m/55-3¾).  

MIDEAST REGION – Olivia Jendrzejewski – Lebanon Valley

Jendrzejewski, a senior from Hanover, Pennsylvania, is ranked 9th nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 1.70m (5-7). She is also ranked 7th nationally in the long jump at 5.80m (19-0½). She was named the MAC Female Indoor Field Athlete of the Year in 2017.

MIDWEST REGION – Amber Williams – UW-Platteville

Williams, a senior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ranks 1st nationally in the triple jump with a mark of 12.33m (40-5½) that also stands as the WIAC Indoor Championships record. She also ranks 5th in the long jump with a leap of 5.85m (19-2½). Williams became the first woman in WIAC history to win WIAC Indoor Field Performer of the Meet three years in a row.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Nneoma Okonkwo – MIT

Okonkwo, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria, captured a New England Division III Championship in the long jump this year with a season-best mark of 5.90m (19-4¼). Her leap ranked 2nd in the nation, and she posted an undefeated season.  

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Whitney Simmons – UT Tyler

Simmons, a senior from White Oak, Texas, was the NCAA Division III leader in the weight throw with a mark of 19.77m (64-10½). Her throw ranks 5th all-time in NCAA Division III history. Primarily competing against NCAA Division I and Division II athletes all year, she won five out of six event titles in the weight throw on the season.  

WEST REGION – Asia Greene – George Fox

Greene, a senior from Portland, Oregon, is ranked 9th nationally in the long jump with a mark of 5.77m (18-11¼). That also put her as the top-ranked jumper in the West Region.

MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Steve Patrick – SUNY Cortland

Patrick, in his 10th year with SUNY Cortland, leads his team to the NCAA meet with eight entries and a No. 5-national ranking. The team finished second in the SUNYAC Championships with six event champions this winter. They completed the regular season with the top-ranked #EventSquad in the heptathlon.

CENTRAL REGION – Chad Gunnelson – Dubuque

Gunnelson’s Spartans claimed its first IIAC indoor title in program history this season. His squad scored 125 points to claim the title with a 18-point margin over the nearest challenger. The enter the NCAA meet with three entries and a top-25 national ranking. Gunnelson is in his sixth year with Dubuque.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Kevin Lucas – Mount Union

Lucas, in his seventh year at Mount Union, guided the Raiders to its fifth-consecutive OAC title. They also won the Division III All-Ohio crown this season and finished the year as the region’s top-ranked team. Ranked in the nation’s top-15, his crew will have six entries at the national championships.

MIDEAST REGION – Gary Aldrich – Carnegie Mellon

Aldrich’s Tartans won the UAA title for the second time in program history, scoring in all-but-three events and having three event winners for the league crown. His team will have two entries at the national meet, including the school’s first relay team to make the NCAA meet in over a decade. Aldrich is in his third year at the helm at CMU.

MIDWEST REGION – Kevin Paterson – Benedictine (Ill.)

Benedictine, under Paterson’s guide, won the NACC title with six event winners and a conference-record 242½ point total this season. The Eagles have soared to a program-best national ranking of No. 3, entering the NCAA Championships with a school-record eight entries. In the USTFCCCA #EventSquad rankings, his crew had top-three finishes in the 60, 200, long jump, and triple jump.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Joel Williams – Tufts

In just his second year leading the Jumbos, Williams led his squad to the DIII New England Championship crown — the program’s first since 2008 — as his team scored in all-but-three of the competition’s 19 events. They finished the regular season as the region’s top-ranked team and enter the NCAA meet with five entries and ranked in the nation’s top-15.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Tyler Wingard – Christopher Newport

Wingard, in his 11th year at the school, captained the Captains to a defense of their Capital Athletic Conference crown. With ten event winners, CNU scored 233 points at the league meet. They topped the final region rankings and enter the NCAA meet with five entries and a top-15 national ranking.

WEST REGION – John Smith – George Fox

Smith, in his 11th year with George Fox, led his crew to a final No. 1 ranking in the West region. They travel to the NCAA meet with a national qualifier in the jumps.

WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Jennifer Potter – Ithaca

Potter, led her Bombers to the Empire 8, NYSCTC, and ECAC crowns this season. Each title was won by significant margins, including the E8 title that was won 218-84. Ithaca enters the NCAA meet with seven entries and with a No. 2-national ranking.

CENTRAL REGION – Ted Bulling – Nebraska Wesleyan

Bulling, in his 32nd year with the program, led the Prairie Wolves to the IIAC crown in the first year in their new conference home. They are ranked in the nation’s top 25 and have three entries going into the NCAA meet.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Ray Appenheimer – Oberlin

Appenheimer delivered Oberlin its first NCAC crown in eight years this season. The Yeowomen, with six event winners, scored 181 points in the meet, beating their nearest competition by 38 points. The NCAC Coach of the Year is in his 13th year with the program and enters the NCAA meet with four event champions.

MIDEAST REGION – Bobby Van Allen – Johns Hopkins

Van Allen, in his 18th year with Johns Hopkins, led his Blue Jays to the Centennial Conference crown and six event league titles this season. His team finished the season ranked No. 1 in the region and enter the NCAA meet with three entries and ranked in the nation’s top-15.

MIDWEST REGION – Jeff Stiles – Washington (Mo.)

Stiles, in his 16th year at WASH-U, led the Bears to the UAA crown. His crew scored 159 points to outpace runner-up Chicago by 60 as nine events were won. The region’s top team of the year is also ranked No. 1 in the nation on its way to the NCAA meet with a meet-best 11 entries.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Halston Taylor – MIT

Taylor, in his 9th year at MIT, guided his program to its 3rd-straight New England NCAA Division III Indoor Championship. Taylor has coached 10 athletes ranked inside of the top-35 across 12 events, including the NCAA Division III 4th-best distance medley relay squad. Senior Maryann Gong ranks in the top-5 in four events, while junior Nneoma Okonkwo owns two top-20 rankings.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Brian Flynn – Bridgewater (Va.)

Flynn, in his 2nd year with the program, led Bridgewater (Va.) to an ODAC Championship for the 4th-year in a row. Flynn tutored 18 All-ODAC athletes, seven of which were ODAC Champions. Four of his athletes set ODAC Championship meet records, as well as three all-time ODAC records. For his efforts on the season, Flynn was named the ODAC Women’s Coach of the Year.

WEST REGION – John Smith – George Fox

Smith, in his 11th year with the program, has developed the women’s indoor program into a regional leader and national contender with five athletes qualified and highly ranked in their events. This year, he has three national qualifying athletes in his primary event areas – jumps and multis.

MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – John Lynch – RPI

Lynch, in his 6th year with the program, helped guide RPI to Liberty League and NYSCTC championships. Lynch’s distance runners have produced five national qualifiers this season, including top-five rankings in the mile, 3000 meters, and distance medley relay. Ben Fazio was named the runner of the meet at both the Liberty League and NYSCTC Championships.

CENTRAL REGION – Jake Malm – Dubuque

Malm, in his 4th year with the program, helped lead the Spartans to their first-ever Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference indoor title. Malm’s throwers won both the weight throw and the shot put and scored a total of 38 points in the two events. Spartans Ron Brown and Blaze Murfin are ranked 1st and 3rd nationally in the weight throw, and Murfin also ranks 7th in the shot put heading into the NCAA Championships.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Nate Heddleston – Mount Union

Heddleston, in his 2nd year with the program, helped the Mount Union Raiders win their fifth-consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference championship. Heddleston’s hurdlers finished 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th in the 60-meter hurdles to score 22 points, and Connor Troyer broke a 37-year-old conference record in the event. Troyer also established a new school record in the event with a time of 8.07 at the All-Ohio Championships.

MIDEAST REGION – Alex Jebb – Johns Hopkins

Jebb, in his 2nd year with the program, helped lead Johns Hopkins to the Centennial Conference championship with an impressive 89.5 point effort from just four athletes in the jumps and combined events. Matt Su won the conference long jump title and reset the Johns Hopkins school record. Multi-event athlete Andrew Bartnett ranks second nationally in the heptathlon headed into the NCAA Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Justin Kinseth – Benedictine (Ill.)

Kinseth, in his 3rd year at Benedictine, helped lead the program to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference championship. Kinseth’s jumpers won titles in the long jump, triple jump, and high jump, scoring a total of 77 points in the three events. Benedictine qualified five student-athletes to the NCAA Championships in the long jump and triple jump, led by top-ranked triple jumper Luther Newburn.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Michael Schmidt – Tufts

Schmidt, in his 5th year with the program, helped lead Tufts to the Division III New England championship. Schmidt’s distance runners contributed 35 points to the team effort, including top-three finishes in the 800 meters, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters. The Jumbos have two distance runners qualified to the NCAA Championships, led by top-ranked Tim Nichols in the 5000 meters.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Brandon Spalding – Washington and Lee

Spalding, in his 4th year at Washington and Lee, helped lead the program to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship, the program’s first men’s team title in 28 years. Spalding’s distance runners scored 69 of Washington and Lee’s 164 team points at the championship, including individual titles in both the mile and 5000 meters.

WEST REGION – Adam Haldorson – George Fox

Haldorson, in his 6th year at George Fox, coaches hurdles, high jump, multi-events, and the 400 Meters. Freshman Jacoby Wolfe is ranked 6th nationally in the high jump headed into the NCAA Championships with a top clearance of 2.08m / 6’ 9 ¾”. The George Fox team is ranked first in the West Region team rankings.

WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Matthew Scheffler – Ithaca

Scheffler, in his 11th year at Ithaca, coached Katherine Pitman to a record-breaking season in the pole vault. Pitman twice reset the overall Division III record in the event, with a top clearance of 4.25m / 13’ 11 ½”. Pitman was undefeated against NCAA competition from any Division during the course of the indoor season.

CENTRAL REGION – Jake Malm – Dubuque

Malm, in his 4th year with the program, mentored IIAC champion and undefeated thrower Tanasha Atwater to conference and meet records in the shot put and weight throw this season. Atwater enters the NCAA Championships ranked 2nd in the shot put and 3rd in the weight throw. Malm coached a total of four different women to top-20 regional rankings in the shot put and three women to top-20 regional rankings in the weight throw.

GREAT LAKES REGION – John Hepp – Oberlin

Hepp, in his 7th year at Oberlin, helped lead the program to the North Coast Athletic Conference championship. Hepp’s throwers scored 57 of the team’s 181 points to help the Yeowomen earn their first conference title in nine years. Oberlin has three women qualified to compete in the shot put and weight throw at the NCAA Championships, led by top-ranked Monique Newton in the shot put.

MIDEAST REGION – Roger Erricker – Stevenson

Erricker, in his 2nd year at Stevenson, helped lead the team to a best-ever fourth place at the Middle Atlantic Conference championships. Erricker coaches multi-events and has student-athletes qualified to the NCAA Championships in both the long jump and shot put. These two women are the first-ever NCAA qualifiers for Stevenson’s women’s program.

MIDWEST REGION – Lane Lohr – Washington (Mo.)

Lohr, in his 10th year at Washington (Mo.), helped guide the program to a UAA Championship. His athletes played a significant role at the meet, as they notched 89 of the team’s 159 total points. His athletes captured conference titles in the 60 meters, 60 hurdles, 200 meters, 400 meters, pole vault and 4×400 relay.  

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Arthur Feeley – Bates

Feeley, in his 11th year with the program, sent two Bates’ women to the NCAA Division III National Championships in Allison Hill and Sally Ceesay. Hill ranked 1st in the 60 hurdles and  8th in the 200 meters, nationally, while Ceesay posted the 3rd-best triple jump mark in NCAA Division III this year. Bates finished 3rd at the New England Division III Championships this year.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Denver Davis – Bridgewater (Va.)

Davis, in his 7th year at Bridgewater (Va.), helped guide the program to an ODAC Championship this season. His athletes totaled 111 of the team’s 163 points. Davis coached 13 All-ODAC honorees, five of which were event champions. His athletes earned ODAC Athlete of the Meet (Amber Celen) & Rookie of Year (Emily Valle).

WEST REGION – Adam Haldorson – George Fox

Haldorson, in is 7th year at George Fox, worked directly with the sprinters and hurdlers, overlapping with the multi-eventers, as well. He worked extensively with four of George Fox’s five national qualifiers. All four of the athletes he worked with directly this year ranked 1st in the West Region in their respective events.