NCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (February 27)
NEW ORLEANS – Fast and strong doesn’t even begin to describe our National Athletes of the Week.
Our six National Athletes of the Week stepped up over Conference Championship Weekend and in final qualifying meets.
Here are those six athletes honored Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
- NCAA Division I Men – Josh Davis, NC State
- NCAA Division I Women – Sydney McLaughlin, Kentucky
- NCAA Division II Men – Mobolade Ajomale, Academy of Art
- NCAA Division II Women – Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M
- NCAA Division III Men – Jeremy Hernandez, Ramapo
- NCAA Division III Women – Quinn Harlan, Roanoke
Find out more about these athletes 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 eight collegiate indoor track & field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and NJCAA Division I).
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 I MEN – Josh Davis, NC State
Senior | Throws
Pelham, North Carolina
Josh Davis made sure his name would be atop the NCAA Division I Descending Order List heading into College Station, Texas and in the all-time collegiate indoor record book to boot.
Davis launched the weight 23.83m (78-2¼) and captured the individual title at the ACC Indoor Championships. That heave was also a near three-foot PR and made him the eight-best performer in collegiate history.
Later in the weekend, Georgia’s Denzel Comententia hurled the chained implement 23.71m (77-9½), which would have given him the national lead if it weren’t for Davis’ massive PR.
This is the second time that Davis has been named National Athlete of the Week this season.
NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Sydney McLaughlin, Kentucky
Freshman | Sprints
Dunellen, New Jersey
Sydney McLaughlin continues to leave us speechless.
This past weekend at the SEC Indoor Championships, McLaughlin won the 400-meter title with a time of 50.52 – the second fastest time in collegiate indoor history. McLaughlin also now owns the IAAF World U20 indoor record – previously held by Sanya Richards (50.82) – and it was the fastest time ever run by a collegiate freshman indoors.
The freshman phenom needed every bit of those 50.52 seconds as Georgia’s Lynna Irby finished runner-up in 50.62 – the fourth fastest time in collegiate indoor history.
This came after McLaughlin clocked a time of 50.97 in the prelims, the fastest non-final performance in collegiate indoor history.
McLaughlin now turns her attention to NCAAs, where she is favored to win her first title.
This is the second time that McLaughlin has been named National Athlete of the Week.
NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Mobolade Ajomale, Academy of Art
Redshirt Junior | Sprints
Richmond Hill, Canada
Mobolade Ajomale was a monster this past weekend at the BU Last Chance Qualifier, offering a preview of what’s to come during the national meet.
The native of Richmond Hill, Canada, posted a 6.63 in the 60, claiming the top spot in all of NCAA Division II this year shortly before running an NCAA Division II record 20.67 in the 200 that also made him the 10th-best performer in the event across all divisions this season.
Wrapping things up, Ajomale notched a 45-second split in his leg of the 4×400 relay, helping Academy of Art finish at 3:12.42 for the second-fastest time in program history, as well as a mark that sits seventh on the Descending Order List this year.
NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M
Sophomore | Jumps
Fatim Affessi had a historic week for the Lady Buffs at the Lone Star Conference Indoor Championships this past weekend.
The product out of Switzerland set a new Lone Star Conference record in the long jump with a mark of 6.30m (20-8), tying her for the eighth-best mark in NCAA Division II indoor history. Affessi followed up that performance with another Lone Star Conference record in the triple jump at 13.20m (43-3¾), which gives her the sixth-best mark in NCAA Division II indoor history.
Couple that with the fact her two performances helped West Texas A&M claim the program’s fifth-straight league title, and you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better weekend.
NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Jeremy Hernandez, Ramapo
Senior | Distance
Clifton, New Jersey
Before this past weekend, no man in NCAA Division III history had gone sub-4 minutes in the mile. Enter Jeremy Hernandez.
It was in Boston at the Last Chance Qualifier, where Hernandez clocked a time of 3:59.01 to hurdle that elusive barrier. Hernandez placed ninth overall out of 87 finishers and was the top-finishing collegian in the bunch. This was also the seventh fastest time in the collegiate season, regardless of division.
Hernandez is the odds-on favorite to win the mile at NCAAs in two weeks and is also ranked in the top-16 in both the 800 and 3000, so we could see him double in Birmingham, Alabama.
NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Quinn Harlan, Roanoke
Freshman | Sprints
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Quinn Harlan is fast.
Try second fastest in NCAA Division III history over 60 meters fast.
Harlan blistered the track at the ODAC Indoor Championships this past weekend to the tune of 7.46. She beat Amber Celen, the 60-meter champ and 100-meter champ at NCAAs last year, by .18 seconds, a substantial margin.
If Harland and UMass Boston’s Wadeline Jonathas make the final in Birmingham, Alabama in two weeks, it’s going to be super quick and they could lower that record of 7.43 even more.