NJCAA DIII Region Award Winners For 2017 Outdoor T&F Season

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

Each of the three 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 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, May 11-13, in Columbia, Maryland.

MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Ryan Ziolkowski – Harper (Ill.)

Ziolkowski, a freshman, is ranked among NJCAA DIII’s top-5 in the 1500 (4:11.14) and steeplechase (10:27.59) and also leads the region in both. He is also in the top-15 in the region in the 800 (2:02.96) and leads the region in that event.

EAST REGION – Jake Caruso – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Caruso, a freshman from Berlin, New Jersey, is currently the NJCAA DIII leader at both 1500 meters (4:08.25) and 5000 meters (15:47.03). He is also on the NJCAA DIII-leading 4×800 relay team and leads the region in the steeplechase (6th nationally).

NORTHEAST REGION – Stephen Cadogan – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Cadogan, a sophomore, is ranked 1st nationally in both the 400 (49.03) and 800 (1:56.59). He is also the top-ranked athlete in the region in both events.

WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Dianne Barajas – Harper (Ill.)

Barajas, a sophomore from Schaumburg, Illinois, is ranked 1st nationally in the 800 (2:21.02) and 5000 (18:21.53). She is a national qualifier in the 800, 1500, 5000 and in the 4×800 relay.

EAST REGION – Alyssa Moran – Montgomery-Rockville

Moran, a freshman from Onley, Maryland, is ranked 7th nationally in the 100 (12.73) and 10th nationally in the 200 (26.71). She is ranked 3rd in the region in both events.

NORTHEAST REGION – Tatyana Mills – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Mills, a sophomore, is ranked 1st nationally at 200 meters (23.74w) and 400 meters (54.09) and is ranked 2nd nationally at 100 meters with a time of 12.11. She is also a member of the top-ranked 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.

MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Gustavo Alvarez – Triton

Alvarez, a freshman, is the NJCAA DIII leader in the pole vault with a best mark of 4.30m (14-1¾). He will compete for an NJCAA DIII title in the event later this week.

EAST REGION – Peter Flacco – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Flacco, a sophomore from Westmont, New Jersey, is ranked 1st nationally in the javelin throw with a heave of 61.24m (200-11). He is undefeated this year with the exception of the Penn Relays, in which he was just one of two JUCO throwers accepted to the prestigious meet.

NORTHEAST REGION – Michael James – Hostos (N.Y.) CC

James, a sophomore from Bronx, New York, is extremely versatile. He is currently ranked 5th nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 1.85m (6-0¾) and 10th nationally in the shot put (11.43m/37-6). He competes in the high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin throw.

WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Ashley Proska – Harper (Ill.)

Proska, a sophomore, is currently the NJCAA DIII leader in the long jump with a leap of 5.52m (18-1½).

EAST REGION – Justina Ababio – Montgomery-Rockville

Ababio, a freshman, is currently the NJCAA DIII leader in the discus throw with a heave of 35.39m (116-1) and ranked 2nd in the shot put (12.68m/41-7¼).

NORTHEAST REGION – Keziann Jones – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Jones, a sophomore, is currently the NJCAA DIII leader in the shot put (12.68m/41-7¼) and hammer throw (47.05m/154-4). She is also ranked 2nd nationally in the discus throw (34.83m/114-3).

MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Renee Zellner – Harper (Ill.)

Zellner, in her 37th year with the program, has led Harper’s (Ill.) men’s program to 3rd in the USTFCCCA National Rankings this season. Zellner’s jumpers and distance runners should make a splash at the NJCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, while his program will nearly have a full team competing.

EAST REGION – Ryan Hughes – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Hughes, in his 14th year with the program, has led Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC to the top spot in the USTFCCCA National Rankings, holding 1st place since the start of the season. His athletes hold the top descending order list spot in 4 events, with two events within striking distance of national records (hammer throw/javelin throw). In the East Region, his athletes hold 7 top marks.

NORTHEAST REGION – Dave Loobie – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Loobie, in his 17th year with the program, has his men’s squad ranked 2nd nationally and 2nd in the Northeast Region. His athletes hold the top descending order list spot in the region in 8 events.

WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Renee Zellner – Harper (Ill.)

Zellner, in her 37th year with the program, has led the Hawks to the top of the USTFCCCA National Rankings and the Central Region Rankings. Two of Zellner’s athletes, as well as the 3200 meter relay squad, are ranked at the top of the descending order list in their respective events.

EAST REGION – Jamaal Schools – Montgomery-Rockville

Schools, in his 7th year with the program, has helped lead the Raptors to 8th in the USTFCCCA National Rankings, in addition to being the top ranked East Region team. His athletes have 18 marks within the top-8 in the region. Additionally, Schools’ athletes have the top marks in the region in the 800 meters, shot put, discus throw and long jump.

NORTHEAST REGION – Dave Loobie – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Loobie, in his 17th year with the program, has his women’s squad ranked 2nd nationally in 1st in the Northeast Region. His athletes hold the top descending order list spot in the region in 12 events.

MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Jim Macnider – Harper (Ill.)

Macnider, ini his 7th year with the program, has 4 of his distance runners ranked in the top-4 on the national descending order list.  His men’s distance runners from Harper (Ill.) hold 8 top-10 descending order list marks nationally, as well.

EAST REGION – Joseph Kalnas – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Kalnas, in his 11th year with the program, has multiple nationally ranked athletes in all throws events and in the decathlon. Three of the top-4 national marks in the hammer throw are from Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC, as well as 3 of the top-10 in the javelin, three of the top-8 in the shot put, 2 of the top-9 in the discus and the 4th-best decathlete. His athletes also hold the top mark in the nation in the hammer and javelin.

NORTHEAST REGION – Kerri Herrmann – Onondaga (N.Y.) CC

Herrmann, in her 2nd year with the program, has helped Onondaga (N.Y.) CC train the top decathlete and long jumper in the country this season. Additionally, her athletes hold the top spots in the 110 hurdles and long jump in the Northeast Region. Herrmann’s work with the sprints and jumps has put this team after top-5 in the country after just a few y years of existence.

WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

CENTRAL REGION – Jim Macnider – Harper (Ill.)

Macnider, in his 7th year with the program, has 4 distance runners ranked 1st regionally going into the National Championship meet. On the national descending order list, his athletes hold 12 top-10 spots in the 800 meters, 1500 meters, 5000 meters and 10000 meters, including the top mark in each of the 1st 3 events mentioned.

EAST REGION – Joseph Kalnas – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Kalnas, in his 11th year with the program, has helped coach a team of just 6 women, with 5 of them being throwers. Despite this, Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC managed to be ranked 7th in the nation and 4th regionally. On the national scene, 2 of his shot putters are ranked in the top-10, 3 are ranked in the top-6 in the discus throw, 3 are ranked in the top-10 in the javelin and 3 are ranked in the top-14 in the hammer throw.

NORTHEAST REGION – Rasheen Nicholson – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Nicholson has helped the women’s squad of Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC to a 2nd-place ranking, nationally, as well as the top ranking in the Northeast Region. Nicholson’s athletes hold the top descending order list spot in the region in 12 events.