2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country Regional Awards

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as voted on by member coaches from that division.

More information on each of those winners can be found below.

QUICK LINKS
MEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year
WOMEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year

NCAA DII REGIONAL AWARD HISTORY
MEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year
WOMEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year

The 2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held November 18 in Evansville, Indiana.

Men’s Athletes of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Robert Moser — Shippensburg
Moser, a sophomore from West Chester, Pennsylvania, won the Atlantic Region title with a time of 30:51.4. He placed seventh at the PSAC Championships. This is the first time a male athlete from Shippensburg has been named Athlete of the Year in the Atlantic Region.

CENTRAL REGION — Mason Phillips — Sioux Falls
Phillips, a sophomore from Bailey, Colorado, took home the Central Region title, finishing in 31:12.7. He was undefeated on the year, winning all five meets in which he competed, including the NSIC Championships.

EAST REGION — Leakey Kipkosgei — American International
Kipkosgei, a junior from Kapsabet, Kenya, won four of the five meets in which he competed this season, including the East Regional, where he finished in 32:38.8. He also captured the Northeast 10 XC Championship. This is the second year in a row that Kipsoegi has been named Men’s Athlete of the Year in the East Region.

MIDWEST REGION — James Ngandu — Tiffin
Ngandu, a senior from Nakuru, Kenya, was undefeated on the season, winning the GLIAC Championship and the Midwest Region title. He won both races by more than 10 seconds each. This is the second year in a row that Ngandu has been named Men’s Athlete of the Year in the Midwest Region.

SOUTH REGION — Ronald Cheserek — Saint Leo
Cheserek, a sophomore from Kitale, Kenya, won four meets on the season, including the Sunshine State Conference and South Region titles. Cheserek has won the last two individual titles at the Sunshine State Conference Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — Lucio Ramirez — Adams State
Ramirez, a senior from Santa Ana, California, won the South Central Region title with a time of 30:38.5. He was also a runner-up at the 24th Annual Joe I. Vigil Open.

SOUTHEAST REGION — Silus Kipkoech — UNC Pembroke
Kipkoech, a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won five out of the six races in which he competed on the season. He won the Southeast Region individual title with a time of 31:23.6 and also captured the Peach Belt Conference crown.

WEST REGION — David Ribich — Western Oregon
Ribich, a senior from Enterprise, Oregon, won all three meets in which he competed on the season. Ribich captured the GNAC Championship before winning the West Region title with a time of 29:49.2.

Women’s Athletes of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Julie Friend — California (Pa.)
Friend, a senior from Markleysburg, Pennsylvania won the Atlantic Region title in 20:36.7. She also won the individual title at the PSAC Championships.

CENTRAL REGION — Alexis Zeis — U-Mary
Zeis, a senior from Bismark, North Dakota, won the Central Region title in 20:53.5. That was her fourth individual title on the season, which also includes victories at the NSIC Championships and the Roy Griak Invitational. This is the third year in a row that Zeis has been named Women’s Athlete of the Year in the Central Region.

EAST REGION — Emily Knox — Stonehill
Knox, a senior from Worcester, Massachusetts, won the East Region title in 22:43.6. She also won the individual title at the Northeast 10 Championships.

MIDWEST REGION — Sarah Berger — Walsh
Berger, a junior from Wadsworth, Ohio, won the Midwest Region title in 21:19.3. She also won the individual title at the G-MAC Championships.

SOUTH REGION — Colett Rampf — Saint Leo
Colett Rampf, a senior from Premnitz, Germany, won the South Region title in 20:49.2. She is undefeated this season and won her fourth consecutive individual title at the Sunshine Conference Championships. This is the third year in a row that Rampf has been named Women’s Athlete of the Year in the South Region.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — Malena Grover — Adams State
Grover, a senior from Salinas, California, won the South Central Region title in 21:03.6. She placed third at the RMAC Championships in October.

SOUTHEAST REGION — Leah Hanle — Mount Olive
Hanle, a sophomore from Lichtenstein, Germany, won the Southeast Region title in 21:15.5. She also won the individual title at the Conference Carolinas Championships.

WEST REGION — Caroline Kurgat — Alaska Anchorage
Kurgat, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, won the West Region title in 20:26.1. She also won individual titles at the GNAC Championships and the Lewis Conference Crossover.

Men’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Steve Spence — Shippensburg
Spence, in his 20th year at Shippensburg, won the Atlantic Region championship with a meager 35 points. The Raiders also took home the team title at the PSAC Championships.

CENTRAL REGION — Tracy Hellman — Augustana (S.D.)
Hellman, in his 17th year at Augustana (S.D.), won the Central Region championship with 43 points. He also led the Vikings to an NSIC team title. This is the sixth year in a row that Hellman has been named Men’s Coach of the Year in the Central Region.

EAST REGION — Karen Boen — Stonehill
Boen, in her 20th year at Stonehill, led the Skyhawks to an East Regional title, winning with 39 points. Her squad also took home the Northeast-10 title.

MIDWEST REGION — Rob Mizicko — Walsh
Mizicko, in his sixth year at Walsh, led  the Cavaliers to a fourth-place finish at the Midwest Region Championships. Walsh also captured the G-MAC title under Mizicko’s watch this season.

SOUTH REGION — Caleb Morgan — Lee (Tenn.)
Morgan, in his fourth season at Lee (Tenn.), guided his program to a South Region championship, scoring 82 points. Morgan and the Flames also won the team title at the Gulf South Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — Damon Martin — Adams State
Martin, in his 23rd year with the program, coached his men to a South Central Region title, scoring just 35 points. His Grizzlies were the runner-up at the RMAC Championships. This is the fifth time in the past six years that Martin has been named Men’s Coach of the Year in the South Central Region.

SOUTHEAST REGION — Matt Van Lierop — Mount Olive
Van Lierop, in his ninth year at Mount Olive, led his team to a Southeast Regional championship with 50 points. The Trojans also captured the team title at the Conference Carolinas Championships. This is the third year in a row that Van Lierop has been named Men’s Coach of the Year in the Southeast Region.

WEST REGION — Gary Towne — Chico State
Towne, in his 22nd year at Chico State, guided the Wildcats to a West Region title, notching just 55 points. The Wildcats also took home the CCAA title under Towne’s tutelage.

Women’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Ryan Foster — Edinboro
Foster, in his second year at Edinboro, led his team to the Atlantic Region title. The Fighting Scots scored 67 points to capture the crown. Foster also guided his squad to the team title at the PSAC Championships.

CENTRAL REGION — Dennis Newell — U-Mary
Newell, in his 12th year at U-Mary, led his team to the Central Region title. The Marauders scored 61 points to outdistance the rest of the field. Newell also guided his squad to the team title at the NSIC Championships.

EAST REGION — Trent Baltzell — Assumption
Baltzell, in his first year at Assumption, led his team to the East Region title. The Greyhounds won the crown by one point over Stonehill. Baltzell also guided his team to a runner-up finish at the Northeast-10 Championships.

MIDWEST REGION — Jerry Baltes — Grand Valley State
Baltes, in his 19th year at Grand Valley State, led his team to the Midwest Region title. The Lakers captured the crown with 46 points. Baltes also guided his squad to the team title at the GLIAC Championships.

SOUTH REGION — Kent Reiber — Saint Leo
Reiber, in his third year at Saint Leo, led his team to the South Region title. The Lions captured the crown with 78 points. Reiber also guided his squad to a runner-up finish at the Sunshine Conference Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION — Damon Martin — Adams State
Martin, in his 30th year at Adams State, led his team to the South Central title. The Grizzlies captured the crown with a meager 26 points. Martin also guided his squad to the team title at the RMAC Championships. This is the fifth time in the past six years that Martin has been named Women’s Coach of the Year in the South Central Region.

SOUTHEAST REGION — Kevin Licht — Queens (N.C.)
Licht, in his first year at Queens (N.C.), led his team to the Southeast Region title. The Royals captured the crown thanks to a 76-point output. Licht also guided his squad to the team title at the SAC Championships.

WEST REGION — Ben Gall — Cal Baptist
Gall, in his sixth year at Cal Baptist, led his team to the West Region title. The Lancers captured the crown with 68 points. Gall also guided his squad to the team title at the PacWest Championships.