NAIA Regional Award Winners For 2018 Indoor Season

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season were announced Friday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Each of the five 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 in competition at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships set for next week, March 1-3, in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Men’s Track Athletes of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Kejavon Moore, Indiana Tech

Moore, a junior from Phoenix, Arizona, is currently ranked first nationally in both the 60 and 200. He is undefeated in the 60 and turned in a season best of 6.69, which is a conference record and a school record. Moore is also a member of the fourth-ranked 4×400 relay team.

MIDWEST REGION – Brian Blaylock, St. Francis (Ill.)

Blaylock, a senior from Lowell, Indiana, is ranked fifth nationally in the mile, eighth nationally in the 1000 and ninth nationally in the 3000. His time of 4:11.89 in the mile is a school record. Blaylock is a four-time national qualifier in 2018 when you add his helping hand to the DMR.

SOUTH REGION – Josh Parson, Tennessee Wesleyan

Parson, a senior from Evansville, Tennessee, is ranked second nationally in both the 60 and 200. He is undefeated in both of those events and recorded times of 6.71 and 21.68, respectively.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Tre Hinds, Wayland Baptist (Texas)

Hinds, a junior from Ashton Hall, Barbados, is ranked first nationally in both the 600 and 800. His time of 1:16.99 in the 600 is a school record, as is his mark of 1:49.16 in the 800. Hinds also ran legs of the 4×400, 4×800 and DMR, all of which are ranked in the top-6 nationally.

WEST REGION – Nolan Ryan, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

Ryan, a senior from St. Peters, Missouri, is ranked third nationally in the 5000 (14:37.45), seventh nationally in the mile (4:16.81) and tenth nationally in the 3000 (8:32.14).

Women’s Track Athletes of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Adri Sigafoose, Aquinas (Mich.)

Sigafoose, a senior from McBain, Michigan, owns the second-best 800 time in NAIA this season at 2:11.08, in addition to running a 1:34.26 in the 600 – good for third on the NAIA Descending Order List. In total, she ranks in the top-five in the NAIA in four individual events.

MIDWEST REGION – Jenna Moody, St. Francis (Ill.)

Moody, a senior out of Joliet, Illinois, ran the second-best 400 time in all of NAIA this season at 56.36. She was the CCAC Athlete of the Meet for winning the 60, 200, 400 and 4×400 relay, totaling 40.5 points.

SOUTH REGION – Emily Kearney, SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)

Kearney, a sophomore from Wirral, England, was the NAIA’s top 3000 meter runner tis year at  9:50.89 while also posting the second-best 5000 time at 17:29.84. She was named the NAIA National Track Athlete of the Week once on the season.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Bethany Brown, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

Brown, a senior from Olathe, Kansas, won the Heart Conference Championships in the 1000, 3000, 5000 and mile, picking up Track Athlete of the Meet award honors while also being named the High Point Scorer. Her 1000 meter season-best of 3:00.05 ranked eighth in the NAIA.

WEST REGION – Ariel Jensen, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

Jensen, a senior out of Arlington, Washington, is an NAIA National Indoor qualifier in six events: 600, 800, mile, 4×400, distance medley and 4×800. Her season-best 800 time of 2:13.47 ranked third on the NAIA Descending Order List.

Men’s Field Athletes of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Curtis Bell, Aquinas (Mich.)

Bell, a senior from Coleman, Michigan, leads the NAIA in the pole vault with a top clearance of 5.10m (16-8¾), tying his own school record in the event. Bell won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title in the event.

MIDWEST REGION – Alex Wellington, Hastings (Neb.)

Wellington, a senior from Tucson, Arizona, leads the nation in the shot put 18.46m (60-6¾) and ranks fourth nationally in the weight throw at 20.59m (67-6¾). Wellington won the Great Plains Athletic Conference title in the shot put and finished second in the weight throw.

SOUTH REGION – Georges Chery, Florida Memorial

Chery, a sophomore from Kissimmee, Florida, leads the region in the high jump at 2.05m (6-8¾), which also ranks third overall in the NAIA.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Isaac Zitterkopf, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

Zitterkopf, a junior from Lexington, Nebraska, was the high point scorer and Athlete of the Meet in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Zitterkopf won the high jump and finished second in both the long jump and triple jump. Zitterkopf’s best mark of 7.11m (23-4) ranks second in the region and tenth nationally in the event.

WEST REGION – Pieter Top, Westmont (Calif.)

Top, a sophomore from Wilsonville, Oregon, ranks second in the region and fourth in the nation in the heptathlon with a top score of 4943. The mark also reset the Westmont (Calif.) school record in the event.

Women’s Field Athletes of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Danielle Wojciechowski, Bethel (Ind.)

Wojciechowski, a junior from Roselle, Illinois, is the NAIA national leader in the pole vault at 4.12m (13-6¼), breaking the Bethel (Ind.) school record in the event three times during the 2018 Indoor Track & Field season. Wojciechowski is the 2018 Crossroads League champion in the pole vault.

MIDWEST REGION – Sara Olsen, Hastings (Neb.)

Olsen, a senior from Blair, Nebraska, recorded the top mark in the NAIA in the weight throw during the regular season with a school-record throw of 19.12m (62-8-¾). She currently leads the NAIA by over 1 ½ feet in the event and also has a top-15 mark in the shot put. Olsen captured the 2018 Great Plains Athletic Conference crown in the indoor shot put.

SOUTH REGION – Elizabeth Maller, Milligan (Tenn.)

Maller, a junior from Gillette, Wyoming, has the top mark in the South Region in the weight throw and the second-best mark in the region in the shot put. Her top mark of 16.46m (54-0) in the weight throw ranks 19th in the NAIA and reset the Milligan (Tenn.) school record in the event.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chelsea Baker, Friends (Kan.)

Baker, a senior from Pittsburg, Kansas, leads the NAIA in the pentathlon with a top score of 3776, also a new Friends (Kan.) school record and conference record. Baker is a true multi-event talent who also leads the NAIA in the high jump at 1.75m (5-8¾), another conference and school record. All told, Baker reset school records in three field events this season and won three field events at the conference championships, earning Athlete of the Meet honors.

WEST REGION – Dana Bowers, Westmont (Calif.)

Dana Bowers, a junior from Woodland, California, recorded the West Region’s top mark in the pole vault at 3.72m (12-2½). That clearance is also good for 4th in all of NAIA.

Men’s Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Doug Edgar, Indiana Tech

Edgar, in his eighth year as head coach of the Warriors, led his men to the top rank in both the nation and Great Lakes Region. Indiana Tech qualified 33 entries for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships and recently broke the conference scoring record for most points scored by a winning team at the conference championship.

MIDWEST REGION – Ed Fye, Doane (Neb.)

Fye, in his 16th year as head coach of the Tigers, led his men to the No. 3 rank nationally and No. 1 spot in the Midwest Region. Doane (Neb.) won the Great Plains Athletic Conference title with 215.5 points and only had five event champions. The Tigers qualified 15 entries for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Blake Hegstrom, William Carey (Miss.)

Hegstrom, in his sixth year as head coach at William Carey (Miss.), led his men to the 28th rank in the nation and the No. 5 spot in the South Region. William Carey (Miss.) will send 11 men to the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which is the most in program history.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Cole Davis, Friends (Kan.)

Davis, in his second year as head coach at Friends (Kan.), led his men to the 13th rank in the nation and No. 2 spot in the South Central Region. The Falcons finished runner-up at the KCAC Indoor Championships after taking fifth place a year ago. Friends (Kan.) currently holds 17 marks that are ranked in the top-8 of the South Central Region with seven of those in the top-10 nationally.

WEST REGION – Ben Welch – Eastern Oregon

Welch, in his 14th year as head coach at Eastern Oregon, led his men to the 16th rank nationally and No. 2 spot in the West Region. Eastern Oregon qualified five men for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships as well as one relay team.

Women’s Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Doug Edgar – Indiana Tech

Edgar, in his eighth year with Indiana Tech, led the Warriors to the Wolverine-Hoosier Championship, breaking a conference record for most points scored at the meet. His squad was ranked first nationally throughout the entire season.

MIDWEST REGION – Dan Tomlin – St. Ambrose (Iowa)

Tomlin, in his 11th season at St. Ambrose (Iowa), led the Bees to a Chicagoland Championship, where the squad scored 248.5 points. His team had 18 different women finish All-CCAC, and he has eight individuals and one relay team qualified for the NAIA National meet.

SOUTH REGION – Younne Reid – Southern-New Orleans (La.)

Reid, in his first year at Southern-New Orleans (La.), led the Knights to a third-place ranking in the USTFCCCA rankings this season. His squad had 11 athletes reach top-10 NAIA Descending Order List Marks on the year, including the top-ranked 4×400 relay team.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Cole Davis – Friends (Kan.)

Davis, in his seventh year at Friends (Kan.), led the Falcons to the Kansas Collegiate Championship, earning KCAC Women’s Coach of the Year in the process. The team scored a meet record 312 points, and 15 of his athletes have marks ranked in the top-10 of the NAIA Descending Order List.  

WEST REGION – Harry Clark – Carroll (Mont.)

Clark, in his fifth year at Carroll (Mont.), led the Fighting Saints to a second-place regional ranking on the year in addition to ranking 14th nationally. His team owns six top-10 Descending Order List marks.

Men’s Assistant Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Nate Van Holten, Cornerstone (Mich.)

Van Holten, in his 15th year at Cornerstone (Mich.), helped lead the men’s team to a fourth rank nationally and the No. 3 spot in the Great Lakes Region. His athletes have combined for the No. 1 ranking in the DMR and No. 4 billing in the 4×800. Colin De Young has the fastest time over 5000 meters in in the NAIA and hit automatic qualifying marks in three other events, including the DMR. Joey DeBoer has automatic qualifying marks in the 1000 and 5000 as well as a ‘B’ standard in the mile. Van Holten’s athletes scored 92.5 points at the WHAC Indoor Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Zac Osgood, Hastings (Neb.)

Osgood, in his 15th year at Hastings (Neb.), helped lead the men’s team to the No. 5 rank nationally and the No. 6 rank in the Midwest Region. Three of Osgood’s throwers accounted for five national entries. Osgood’s prized pupil, Alex Wellington, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the shot put and No. 4 in the weight throw. Grant Wickham is ranked No. 2 nationally in the weight throw and No. 6 nationally in the shot put.

SOUTH REGION – Malcolm Dias, William Carey (Miss.)

Dias, in his second year at William Carey (Miss.), helped lead the men’s team to a 28th ranking nationally and the No. 5 spot in the South Region. His sprinters and hurdlers accounted for 11 national qualifiers in seven events. Each of those national qualifying athletes have notched PRs under Dias’ direction this season.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Jason Parr, Friends (Kan.)

Parr, in his first year at Friends (Kan.), helped the men’s team to a 13th rank nationally and the No. 2 spot in the South Central Region. His mid-distance and distance athletes have recorded top-5 marks in the South Central Region in the 600, 800, 1000, mile, 4×400 and 4×800. That 4×800 relay is currently ranked fifth nationally.

WEST REGION – Josh Priester, Westmont (Calif.)

Priester, in his sixth year at Westmont (Calif.), helped the men’s team to the No. 7 spot in the USTFCCCA National Rankings and the No. 1 billing in the West Region. Three of Priester’s heptathletes qualified for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships with scores of 4919, 4752 and 4749. Another one of Priester’s athletes qualified in the high jump.

Women’s Assistant Coaches of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Austin Roark, Indiana Tech

Roark, in his fourth year coaching jumps for Indiana Tech, assisted in the Warriors Wolverine-Hoosier Championship title run. Roark’s long jump and triple jump squads are ranked first nationally in the squad rankings.

MIDWEST REGION – Adam Driver, Hastings (Neb.)

Driver, in his seventh year coaching horizontal jumps and pole vault for Hastings (Neb.), helped guide the Broncos to a runner-up finish at the Great Plains Conference Championship. His women won GPAC Championships in the long jump, triple jump and pole vault.  

SOUTH REGION – Malcolm Dias, William Carey (Miss.)

Dias, in his second year coaching sprints and hurdles at William Carey (Miss.), assisted in the Crusader’s fifth-place regional ranking. Every one of his national qualifiers have hit PRs this season, including the 4×400 relay that is ranked fourth nationally.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Dylan Biedron, Friends (Kan.)

Biedron, in his third year coaching jumps, throws and multis at Friends (Kan.), assisted in the Falcons run towards a Kansas Collegiate Championship. His athletes won titles in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. In total, his athletes scored 111 out of the team’s 312 points.  

WEST REGION – Lindsey Connolly, Westmont (Calif.)

Connolly, in her 10th season coaching distance at Westmont (Calif.), helped guide the Warriors to a first-place ranking in the West Region. Her distance medley relay squad has qualified for the NAIA Indoor Championships, and a number of PRs were set by her athletes this season.