NCAA & NJCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (February 6)

NEW ORLEANS – Record books across all collegiate levels are taking a hit this indoor season.

It continued this past weekend as numerous athletes turned in top-10 marks, several of which broke collegiate records.

Here are eight of those athletes who stood out and were named National Athletes of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.

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 Kerr, New Mexico

Junior | Mid-Distance
Edinburgh, Scotland

Big moments don’t scare Josh Kerr.

Kerr proved that three times last year and did it once again this past weekend at the 111th annual NYRR Millrose Games.

The Scotland native toed the starting line in the Wanamaker Men’s Mile against the who’s who of mid-distance running: Ben Blankenship, Kyle Merber, Chris O’Hare and Nick Willis, among others. That didn’t bother Kerr: He rose to the occasion.

Kerr finished second behind O’Hare and clocked the sixth fastest time in collegiate indoor history (3:54.72). He was in eighth with three laps to go, then worked his way up to sixth, third and then the runner-up spot.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Karissa Schweizer, Missouri

Senior | Distance
Urbandale, Iowa

There are very few words to describe the season Karissa Schweizer is having.

Here’s one: incredible.

This past weekend at the 111th annual NYRR Millrose Games, Schweizer demolished the collegiate indoor record in the 3000. Schweizer crossed the finish line in 8:41.60, which bettered the standard of 8:42.03 that Jenny Barringer set in 2009.

When you talk about range, look no further than Schweizer. This season Schweizer has etched her name into three all-time top-10 lists: the mile, the 5000 and now the 3000.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Thomas Staines, CSU-Pueblo

Sophomore | Mid-Distance
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thomas Staines entered his name into the NCAA Division II indoor track & field record book this past weekend at the Colorado Invitational with an outstanding performance in the 800.

The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, dominated in the 800 in Boulder over the weekend, winning the event title with an NCAA Division II Automatic Qualifying Time of 1:47.82, ahead of a slew of NCAA Division I talent.

Not only was the sophomore’s time tops on the NCAA Division II Descending Order List on the season, but the mark also sits third in NCAA Division II indoor track & field history. Staines mark is just .04 seconds behind Savieri Hgidhi’s second-place time of 1:47.78 – set in 1995 – and just .44 seconds behind the NCAA Division II all-time record, set by Selasi Lumax in 2012.

Staines’ time is also fifth on the All-College Descending Order List on the season.

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Rachael Walters, Grand Valley State

Junior | Mid-Distance
Belding, Michigan

Much like Staines, Racheal Walters etched her name into history with her performance in the 800 at the Meyo Invitational this past weekend.

The junior from Belding, Michigan, posted an NCAA Division II Descending Order List leading 2:06.41 in the 800 this past weekend, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. More importantly, Walters’ time puts her amongst the best in NCAA Division II history, as she now sits fourth all-time in the event during the indoor season. Her time is just .41 seconds behind the third-best mark of Lana Jekabsone, set in 1999, and just .48 seconds behind Helen Crofts’ time of 2:05.96, set in 2013.

Walters’ time is also good for 22nd on the All-College Descending Order List.

NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Dan Evers, Monmouth (Ill.)

Senior | Pole Vault
Sugar Grove, Illinois

Dan Evers vaulted into the NCAA Division III record book this past weekend.

Evers cleared 5.30m (17-4½) at the Keck DIII Select Invitational to break into the top-10 of the all-time chart. That was also a lifetime PR for Evers, whose previous best was 5.25m (17-2¾) recorded two weeks earlier at the Monmouth College Midwest Invitational.

We’ll see if Evers can challenge North Central (Ill.)’s Luke Winder for the NCAA title come March.

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Wadeline Jonathas, UMass Boston

Sophomore | Sprints
Gonavies, Haiti

Just rename the NCAA Division III record book after Wadeline Jonathas.

The sophomore smashed yet another record this past weekend.

Jonathas blistered the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.43, which shattered Nia Joyner’s two-year-old standard of 7.49.

If you’re counting at home, Jonathas now has the NCAA DIII indoor record in the 60 and 400, in addition to several outdoor records as well.

NJCAA DIVISION I MEN – Thobile Mosito, Cloud County (Kan.) CC

Sophomore | Distance
Mogale City, South Africa

Thobile Mosito put a lot of work on his legs last weekend at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite, but it was all worth it.

The sophomore from Mogale City, South Africa, notched the top 3000 and 5000 times in all of NJCAA this year with respective times of 8:24.33 and 14:42.87. Competing against a bevy of NCAA Division I talent, Mosito captured both event titles on the weekend.

Both times are NJCAA Automatic Qualifying marks. 

NJCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Adva Cohen, Iowa Central CC

Freshman | Distance
Jerusalem, Israel

Adva Cohen. Ever heard of her?

The product out of Jerusalem, Israel, won her third USTFCCA National Athlete of the Week honor during the indoor season with yet another stellar outing in the mile. At the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite, Cohen posted a time of 4:42.44, bettering her NJCAA-leading time. Cohen won the event title, too, besting athletes from Maryland, Arizona State and Nebraska, among others.

Cohen’s time sits 20th on the All-College Descending Order List.