NCAA & NJCAA XC National Athletes of the Week (October 23)

NEW ORLEANS – Athletes from NCAA Division II as well as NJCAA Division I and NJCAA Division III got the postseason started this past weekend.

We saw some great performances and those efforts earned several athletes National Athlete of the Week honors as released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

We’ll have National Athletes of the Week in NCAA Division I and NCAA Division III again next week.

Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.

National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 10 collegiate cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and two NJCAA divisions).

Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.

The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Grant Colligan, Colorado Mines

Junior | Holt, Michigan

Grant Colligan blew away the competition at the RMAC Championships this past weekend, claiming the individual title in a meet filled with top-notch talent.

Collins posted a time of 24:59.9 and crossed the finish line 13 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor to help the Orediggers take home its second RMAC Championship in a row. The junior from Holt, Michigan was pitted against runners from No. 1-ranked Adams State, No. 13-ranked CSU-Pueblo and No. 18-ranked Western State. Colligan also defeated Collins Kurui of New Mexico Highlands, the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week from September 5.

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Caroline Kurgat, Alaska Anchorage

Senior | Eldoret, Kenya

Alaska Anchorage might see an uptick in the National Coaches’ Poll this week, and that’ll be attributed to Caroline Kurgat.

The senior from Eldoret, Kenya captured her second consecutive Great Northwest Conference individual title while leading the Seawolves to its third-straight GNAC Championship. Kurgat posted a winning-time of 20:49.42, finishing nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up. Kurgat bettered her GNAC time of 21:17.1 from the 2016 season, earning GNAC Women’s Runner of the Year accolades while allowing Alaska Anchorage to pull off a minor upset over nationally-ranked Simon Fraser.

NJCAA DIVISION I MEN – James Majenge, Monroe College

Sophomore | Secunda, South Africa

James Majenge ran well at the JUCO Northeast Championships this past weekend.

Marjenge finished third overall and was the first NJCAA Division I finisher. He covered the 8K tract in 27:33.7, 51 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher from his division.

NJCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Claudrice McKoy, Monroe College

Freshman | Georgetown, Guyana

Claudrice McKoy earned a big win this past weekend.

McKoy, running at the JUCO Northeast Championships, took the women’s individual title in 20:22.0, more than five seconds ahead of the closest competitor. This was the second win of the year for McKoy, who also won the Queensborough CC Invitational back in September.

NJCAA DIVISION III MEN – Mike Dowd, Rowan-Gloucester

Freshman | Williamstown, New Jersey

Mike Dowd is in top form going into the NJCAA Division III Championships.

This past weekend Dowd won the JUCO Northeast Championship hosted by the Community College of Rhode Island. Dowd crossed the finish line in 27:21.5, more than two seconds ahead of teammate Jake Caruso, who took runner-up honors.

The NJCAA Division III Championships will be held November 4 in Westfield, Massachusetts.

NJCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Olivia Mullins, Northern Essex CC

Freshman | Plaistow, New Hampshire

Olivia Mullins was the top NJCAA Division III finisher at the JUCO Northeast Championships this past weekend in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Mullins finished nearly 26 seconds ahead of the next best finisher from NJCAA Division III.

This is the first National Athlete of the Week honor for Northern Essex CC.