NCAA DIII Regional Award Winners For 2017 Outdoor T&F Season

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

Each of the eight 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.

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 Outdoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, May 25-27, in Geneva, Ohio.

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Isaac Garcia-Cassani – SUNY Geneseo

Garcia-Cassani, a junior from Holbrook, New York, is ranked 1st nationally in the 1500 with a time of 3:42.66 that also stands as the 6th best time in NCAA DIII history.  He is also ranked 10th nationally at 5000 meters (14:16.80) and finished 4th at the prestigious Penn Relays in the Olympic Development Mile (4:02.91).

CENTRAL REGION – Donson Cook-Gallardo – Carleton

Cook-Gallardo, a junior from Moscow, Idaho, is ranked 4th nationally at 800 meters with a time of 1:49.51. He is also ranked 8th nationally at 1500 meters (3:48.82).

GREAT LAKES REGION – Matt Molinaro – Ohio Northern

Molinaro, a junior from Sterling Heights, Michigan, is ranked 1st nationally at 800 meters with a time of 1:48.92. He ran that time on the back end of an impressive double where he ran two sub-1:50s over the span of two days. Molinaro is also ranked in the top-20 of the 1500.

MIDEAST REGION – Ernie Pitone – Widener

Pitone, a senior from Springfield, Pennsylvania, is ranked 3rd nationally at 5000 meters with a time of 14:08.18 and 4th nationally over 1500 meters (3:47.20). He led his team to a conference title by winning event titles in the 1500, 5000 and 10000.

MIDWEST REGION – Ian LaMere – UW-Platteville

LaMere, a senior from Green Bay, Wisconsin, is ranked 1st nationally at both 5000 meters and 10000 meters. His time in the 5000-meter run (13:56.76) stands as the 3rd fastest time in NCAA DIII history. LaMere already owned the top mark in NCAA DIII history in the 10000, but added the 8th fastest mark this season of 29:18.92.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Luke O’Connor – Tufts

O’Connor, a senior from Chicago, Illinois, is ranked 1st nationally in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:58.46. He only lost to one collegian all season long and that was to an NCAA Division I runner earlier this season.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Marquis Brown – Texas Lutheran

Brown, a junior from Refugio, Texas, is the top-ranked athlete at 400 meters in NCAA DIII with a time of 46.90 (47.01 altitude conversion). He is also ranked 7th nationally at 200 meters with a time of 21.31 and is the anchor of the 3rd-ranked 4×100 relay team in the nation.

WEST REGION – Joshua Sealand – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Sealand, a senior, is ranked 5th nationally at 800 meters with a time of 1:49.90. He is also ranked 9th nationally in the 1500 with a time of 3:49.94

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Taryn Cordani – Ithaca

Cordani, a junior from Douglas, Massachusetts, owned the top time in the 10,000 meters on the season at 34:27.37, breaking a 33-year-old school record by over 43 seconds. She also notched the 3rd-best 5,000-meter time on the season at 16:35.71.

CENTRAL REGION – Audrey Miller – Loras

Miller, a sophomore from Appleton, Wisconsin, was the Iowa Conference Champion in the 5000 and 10,000 meter runs. Her time of 34:53.98 in the 10,000 meters ranked her 4th nationally and 1st regionally, and she claimed the 1st Drake Relays Championship in school history since 2006 in the event on the season.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Emily Richards – Ohio Northern

Richards, a junior from Delaware, Ohio, set the NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor record in the 800 meters at 2:02.34.  Her top time in the 1500 meters on the season (4:21.19) also ranks her 6th in NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor history. She won conference championships in both events in addition to leading the Polar Bears to a title in the 4×400 relay.

MIDEAST REGION – Felicia Koerner – Johns Hopkins

Koerner, a sophomore from Munich, Germany, owned the region’s top 5000 and 10,000 meter times on the season at 16:44.67 and 34:27.60, respectively. Additionally, Koerner posted the top time in the Mideast Region in the 1500 meters (4:28.81). Koerner set a school and conference record in the 10,000 meters, winning the Centennial Conference Championship.

MIDWEST REGION – Daisy Ogede – Washington (Mo.)

Ogede, a senior from Richton Park, Illinois, currently ranks in the top-10 of the 100 meters (9th), 200 meters (3rd), 100 hurdles (4th) and as the anchor of the top NCAA Division III time in the 4×400 relay. She helped lead the Bears to the UAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship by scoring 30 points individually with 3 UAA event titles and eight additional points in a runner-up 4×100 finish.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Wadeline Jonathas – UMass Boston

Jonathas, a freshman from Worcester, Massachusetts, notched the fastest 200 meter time in NCAA DIII history at 23.67. On the season, not only does she own the top time on the Descending Order List in that event, but she also has the fastest 100 meter time on the season at 11.59, which also sits high on the NCAA DIII all-time chart. At the conference meet, Jonathas won the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay championships on the track.

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

Celen, a junior from Townsend, Delaware, ran the 7th-fastest 100 meter time in NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor history this year at 11.66. She helped guide Bridgewater (Va.) to an ODAC Championship after winning event titles in the 100 meters, 100 hurdles, 200 meters, 4×400 relay and the 4×100 relay. She was named the ODAC Athlete of the Meet for her efforts.

WEST REGION – Maya Weigel – Pomona-Pitzer

Weigel, a senior from Los Altos, California, owned the top 5000-meter time on the season at 16:28.94. Additionally, her regional-leading time of 4:22.83 in the 1500 meters is good for the 10th-best mark in NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor history. That time puts her in 2nd place on this year’s Descending Order List.

MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Jack Flood – SUNY Cortland

Flood, a senior from Blue Point, New York, is the top-ranked decathlete in NCAA DIII this season with a score of 7021 points. He is also ranked 12th nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 2.07m (6-9½).

CENTRAL REGION – Charlie Zilaitis – Cornell College

Zilaitis, a senior from Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, is ranked 8th nationally in the hammer throw with a heave of 57.66m (189-2). He is also ranked 11th nationally in the shot put with an effort of 16.67m (54-8¼). Zilaitis scored 34 points by himself at the Midwest Conference Championships to pace his team.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Nate Newman – Ohio Wesleyan

Newman, a junior from Chillicothe, Ohio, is ranked 11th nationally in the decathlon with a total score of 6436 points.

MIDEAST REGION – Andrew Bartnett – Johns Hopkins

Bartnett, a senior from St. Louis, Missouri, is ranked 3rd nationally in the decathlon with a score of 6625 points. He is also ranked 6th nationally in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.05m (16-6¾).

MIDWEST REGION – Luke Winder – North Central (Ill.)

Winder, a junior from Joilet, Illinois, is a mainstay in this award. He won the College Division title at the Drake Relays with a clearance of 5.53m (18-1¾) and later cleared 5.56m (18-3) for the all-conditions NCAA DIII record.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Adedire Fakorede – Bates

Fakorede, a junior from Newark, New Jersey, is ranked 6th nationally in the hammer throw with an effort of 57.83m (189-9) and 8th nationally in the discus throw with a heave of 51.10m (167-8). He improved by nearly five feet in the shot put this season as well.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Matt Love – Trinity (Texas)

Love, a junior from New Braunfels, Texas, is ranked 8th nationally in the discus throw with a heave of 51.52m (169-0).

WEST REGION – Andrew Bloom – Whitworth

Bloom, a junior from Stanwood, Washington, is ranked 1st nationally in the javelin throw with a heave of 69.88m (229-3). That mark put Bloom 7th in NCAA DIII history.

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Alexa Wandy – SUNY Geneseo

Wandy, a senior from Lagrangeville, New York, not only recorded the top triple jump mark in NCAA Division III this year at 12.79m (41-11½), but she added her name to the collegiate record book with that jump, coming in at 4th. She also recorded the 2nd-best long jump in NCAA Division III this year (6.09m/19-11¾), winning her conference championships in both events.

CENTRAL REGION – Emma Peterson – Concordia Moorhead

Peterson, a senior from Benson, Minnesota, won the MIAC Championships – as well as the MIAC Field Event Athlete of the Meet Award – in the high jump and the triple jump. Her top high jump mark on the season of 1.72m (5-7¾) is the top jump in the Central Region (5th, nationally) and was good for 5th-place at the Drake Relays.     

GREAT LAKES REGION – Monique Newton – Oberlin

Newton, a junior from Sacramento, California, owned the 2nd-best shot put mark on the Descending Order list this year at 14.85m (48-8¾). She captured the NCAC Championship in the event, setting the conference meet record in the process. Additionally, Newton was ranked in the top-4 in the region in the hammer throw (52.38m/171-10/2nd) and the discus throw (45.24m/148-5/4th).  

MIDEAST REGION – Gabrielle Alguire – Susquehanna

Alguire, a senior from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, posted the top javelin throw mark in NCAA Division III this year at 47.35m (155-4). Earning Landmark Field Athlete of the Year honors, Alguire broke the conference record in the event this year.

MIDWEST REGION – Amber Williams – UW-Platteville

Williams, a senior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recorded the 9th-best NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor mark in the long jump with a leap of 6.09m (19-11¾). She captured the WIAC Championship in the event, setting the conference record in the event on the season. She became the 1st woman in WIAC history to win the Field Performer of the Meet award 4 years in a row.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Carly Markos – Springfield (Mass.)

Markos, a senior from Wallkill, New York, was the NEWMAC Field Athlete of the Year after winning the hammer & shot put throws at the championship & breaking the NEWMAC meet record for hammer throw. Her hammer throw mark of 56.62m (185-9) ranked 1st regionally and 6th nationally this year, while her shot put mark of 12.74m (41-9¾) was good for 5th in the region.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Whitney Simmons – UT Tyler

Simmons, a senior from White Oak, Texas, broke the NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor record in the hammer throw with a mark of 63.08m (206-11). She won 7 out of 8 hammer throw competitions on the season, competing primarily against NCAA Division I competitors. A conference champion in the hammer throw, she also won the conference title in the discus throw, where her top mark on the season came in at 40.39m (132-6).

WEST REGION – Vaiva Palunas – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Palunas, a senior from Seattle, Washington, successfully defended her shot put and discus throw titles while adding the hammer title to her trophy case at the 2017 SCIAC Championships. Her top mark of 49.31m (161-9) in the discus ranked her 3rd nationally, while her hammer throw mark of 556.83m (186-5) sat at 5th on the NCAA Division III Descending Order List.

MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Dustin Dimit – Rowan

Dimit, in his third year with Rowan, led his squad to the NJAC championship title, securing 15 event victories and breaking their own conference record with 323 points. Rowan went undefeated in scored meets during the outdoor season and enter the NCAA Championships with 15 entries and as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team.

CENTRAL REGION – Steve Mathre – St. Thomas (Minn.)

Mathre led the Tommies to the MIAC crown, their sixth straight, with 218 points — 127 ahead of the next team. St. Thomas finished the season as the No. 1 team in the region and are have five that qualified for the national championships.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Kevin Lucas – Mount Union

Lucas, in his eighth year leading the Raiders, led his crew to the OAC crown with a championships record 272 points and 11 event titles. His OAC Staff of the Year will go to the NCAA meet ranked in the nation’s top ten with 12 championship entries.

MIDEAST REGION – Greg Cooper – Penn State Behrend

Cooper guided Behrend to the Colonial States Athletic Conference title and the team’s first national top 25 ranking this season. He will bring three qualifiers to the national championships. Cooper is in his 11th year with the program.

MIDWEST REGION – Joshua Buchholtz – UW-La Crosse

Buchholtz, in his ninth year with the program, led the Eagles to their 27th-consecutive conference crown and the top spot in the final region rankings. The nation’s No. 2-ranked team will bring 18 entries to the NCAA Championships.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Joel Williams – Tufts

Williams, in his second year leading the Jumbos, has the highest national ranking in program history at No. 4 and will enter the NCAA meet with nine entries. His team finished runner-up in the NESCAC with six event titles.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Darlene Holland – Texas Lutheran

Holland, in her third year with Texas Lutheran, guided the Bulldogs to the SCAC title. Scoring 272 points, her team won 10 of the 20 events contested at the league meet. TLU will have four entries into the NCAA meet and have a top-20 national ranking.

WEST REGION – John Smith – George Fox

Fox, in his 11th year with George Fox, led the Bruins to its first Northwest Conference title in 22 years with a 97-point margin over the nearest challengers. His squad finished the season as the region’s top-ranked team and enters the NCAA meet nationally-ranked in the top 15 with six entries.

WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Christopher Popovici – SUNY Geneseo

Popovici, in his third year at Geneseo, led his team to the SUNYAC crown with nine event titles. His team qualified 12 entries into the NCAA championships and are ranked No. 2 in the country. In addition, 11 of his squad’s school records fell this spring.

CENTRAL REGION – Ted Bulling – Nebraska Wesleyan

Bulling, in his 30th year with Nebraska Wesleyan, has a team that heads into the NCAA Championships with eight entries and is ranked fifth in the country. They finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the region and placed third at the IIAC meet.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Jason Maus – Ohio Northern

Maus’ Polar Bears claimed the OAC title for the first time in eight years this spring. With 14 event titles, his crew also set four OAC records during the season. They enter the national met with four highly-seeded entries and rank ninth nationally. Maus is in his eighth year with the program.

MIDEAST REGION – Bobby Van Allen – Johns Hopkins

Van Allen led his Blue Jays to the Centennial Conference crown and the final No. 1 region ranking. They enter the national meet ranked in the top-25 and have four event entries.

MIDWEST REGION – Jeff Stiles – Washington (Mo.)

Stiles’ Bears were this season’s champions of the UAA with 213½ points. They are the nation’s No. 1-ranked team with 12 entries into the NCAA Championships. Stiles is in his 16th year with the program.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Consandria Walker-Hall – UMass Boston

Walker-Hall, in her seventh year with the program, has a dominant sprint group that includes freshman Wadeline Jonathas who enters the national meet as the top seed in both the 200 and 400 meters. Her team finished fifth in the DIII New England meet this spring. UMass Boston ranks 16th in the nation.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – John Curtin – Emory

Curtin’s Eagles finished the regular season as the region’s No. 1 team and head into the NCAA meet with seven entries and nation’s 11th-ranked team. Curtin is in his 32nd year with the program.

WEST REGION – Glenn Stewart – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Stewart’s Athenas won the SCIAC crown for the third-straight year this spring. Seven from his team will compete in 11 events at the NCAA Championships and are ranked No. 3 in the nation. He is in his third year with the program.

MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Norman Tate – Rowan

Tate, in his 9th year with the program, helped guide the Profs to the NJAC Championship this year, as his sprinters scored 110 of Rowan’s 323 total points. His athletes won 6 of the 7 sprint/hurdle/relay events at the meet. Additionally, his event squads in the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles are ranked 1st in the nation.

CENTRAL REGION – Jay Hatleli – St. Thomas (Minn.)

Hatleli, in his 4th year with the program, and his jumpers were instrumental in St. Thomas’s (Minn.) run towards the MIAC Championship. His long jumpers finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th at the meet, helping the Tommies score 218 total points. Four of his jumpers rank in the top-30 on the NCAA Division III Descending Order list.

GREAT LAKES REGION – Nate Heddleston – Mount Union

Heddleston, in his 2nd year with the program, led his hurdlers to  1st (14.43), 2nd (14.46), and 5th (15.21) places in the 110 hurdles and 1st (53.50) and 6th place in the 400 hurdles to help the team clinch the OAC Championship. Both 1st-place marks were facility records, and the 110 hurdle race set the conference and school records.

MIDEAST REGION – Bill Hoffman – Penn State Behrend

Hoffman, in his 5th year with the program, helped guide his athletes to win the men’s 100 meters, 110 hurdles and 4×100 relays at the conference championships, as Penn State Behrend won the Colonial States Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Justin Kinseth – Benedictine (Ill.)

Kinseth, in his 3rd year with the program, led his athletes to a total of 87 points to help Benedictine (Ill.) capture the NACC Championship. His triple jumper, Luther Newburn, owns the top ranked triple jump in the nation, while Matt Fleming posted the 3rd-best long jump in the country this year. Both of those event squads are tops in the nation, as well.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Michael Schmidt – Tufts

Schmidt, in his 5th year with the program, guided his athletes to the NESCAC 5000 meters, 10,000 meter and steeplechase titles, while posting 2 other top-8 finishes. Under Schmidt’s guidance, Luke O’Connor has posted the top steeplechase mark on the NCAA Division III Descending Order list this year at 8:58.46.

SOUTH/SOUTHEAST REGION – Clay Holland – Texas Lutheran

Holland, in his 1st year with the program, helped Texas Lutheran win their 1st ever SCAC Championship, as his athletes totaled 81 points at the meet, including a 1-4 sweep of the 100 meters. His athletes broke school and conference records in the 100 meters and 4×100 relays. A total of 6 of his athletes are in the top-10 in their respective events across the South/Southeast Region.

WEST REGION – Tyler Yamaguchi – Occidental

Yamaguchi, in his 10th year with the program, guided Occidental won event titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 4×100 relay and the 4×400 relay at the SCIAC Championships. As a group, Yamaguchi’s athletes scored 113 total points at the conference championships, where the team posted a 2nd-place finish.

WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

ATLANTIC REGION – Daniel Moore – SUNY Geneseo

Moore, in his 3rd year with the program, helped tutor the Knights to a fantastic season. SUNY Geneseo is currently ranked 6th nationally and 2nd in the region. Moore coaches a distance group that punched 11 tickets to NCAAs and is ranked first regionally in the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings in the 5000 and steeplechase.

CENTRAL REGION – Martin Peper – Concordia Moorhead

Peper, in his 2nd year with the program, helped Concordia Moorhead to a national rank of 20th and the 7th rank in the Central Region. He coached Emma Peterson to MIAC Field Athlete of the Year honors as she won MIAC titles in the triple jump and high jump – and set a meet record in the triple jump.

GREAT LAKES REGION – John Hepp – Oberlin

Hepp, in his 7th year with the program, helped Oberlin to the top rank in the region. His throwers accounted for 95 of the team’s 156 points at the NCAC Championships. It was at that meet where his athletes went 1-2-4-5-6 in the shot put and discus throw and 1-2-5-6 in the hammer throw. Monique Newton, his prized pupil, is ranked 2nd nationally in the shot put.

MIDEAST REGION – Bradi Rhoades – Westminster (Pa.)

Rhoades, in his 10th year coaching pole vault at Westminster (Pa.), helped four athletes qualify for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in that event. His top-2 athletes are ranked 2nd and 4th in the pole vault on the NCAA DIII Descending Order List.

MIDWEST REGION – Lane Lohr – Washington (Mo.)

Lohr, in his 10th year with the program, helped the Bears to the top rank in the nation throughout the season and the top rank in the region. His athletes accounted for 93 of the 213.5 points WashU scored at the University Athletic Association Championships. Lohr will oversee nine entrants into the NCAA Championships.

NEW ENGLAND REGION – Hamza Abdul – UMass Boston

Abdul, in his 1st year with the program, helped guide the Beacons who are ranked 16th in the latest USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings. He oversaw the development of Wadeline Jonathas, who clocked the fastest time in NCAA DIII history over 200 meters and two of the fastest times over 100 and 400 meters.

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

Davis, in his 7th year with the program, helped the Eagles to a tremendous season. His athletes accounted for 133 of the team’s 202.5 points at the ODAC Championships. Davis’ charges went 1-2-3 in the long jump and 1-2 in the 100 hurdles. One of his prized pupils, Amber Celen, set a ODAC record in the 100 and is tied for 7th on the NCAA DIII all-time list.

WEST REGION – Robert Ramsey – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Ramsey, in his 2nd year with the program, has helped the Athens to the top rank in the West Region and the 3rd spot in the National Team Computer Rankings. His prized pupil, Tyra Abraham, hasn’t lost all season at 100 meters against NCAA DIII competition. CMS has 13 athletes ranked in the top-8 regionally in events he coaches.