NJCAA National Award Winners for 2018 Indoor Season
NEW ORLEANS — National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
These awards were voted on my USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances both at this past weekend’s NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships as well as performances throughout the entire regular season.
Information on each of the winners can be found below.
NATIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
MEN’S TRACK – Derek Holdsworth, Trinidad State (Colo.)
Holdsworth didn’t take long to make his mark on collegiate track and field. The freshman totaled 22 team points at the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, winning a pair of titles in the 800 with a time of 1:52.73 and the mile with a finish of 4:16.10. Holdsworth also anchored the distance medley relay team that placed second with a time of 10:15.64. During the regular season, he broke two NJCAA records in the 800 (1:48.53) and the 1000 (2:22.72), both of which previously stood since the early 1990s.
WOMEN’S TRACK – Adva Cohen, Iowa Central CC
Cohen followed up her stellar cross country season with an even more impressive indoor track & field campaign. The rookie out of Jerusalem, Israel, set three NJCAA records this year in the mile (4:42.44), the 3000 (9:29.04) and the 5000 (16:16.50). She totaled 25 points for Iowa Central CC at the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, winning the 1000 and the 3000 while anchoring the 4×800 and distance medley relay. Her 5000 mark is an Israeli U23 national mark, while her mile and 3000 times are good for Israeli indoor national records.
MEN’S FIELD – Holland Martin, South Plains (Texas)
Martin, much like Holdsworth, made his presence felt early in his career. The rookie from the Bahamas led the South Plains (Texas) to an NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship, winning the lone individual title for the Texans in the triple jump at 16.06m (52-8¼). Martin also placed third in the long jump with a leap of 7.36m (24-1¾), totaling 16 points for the Texans at the meet. His triple jump mark at the national meet was the best mark in the event in the NJCAA this season and ranks 16th on the All-College Descending Order List.
WOMEN’S FIELD – Kristal Liburd, New Mexico JC
Liburd, a freshman from Sandy Point, St. Kitts and Nevis, was responsible for 18 team points at the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships for the Thunderbirds. She took home the title in the long jump with a leap of 6.21m (20-4½) while placing second in the triple jump at 12.46m (40-10½). Her season-best marks in the long jump and triple jump rank second and third, respectively, on the NJCAA Descending Order List while her long jump mark also sits tied for 24th on the All-College Descending Order List.
NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR
MEN’S HEAD COACH – Erik Vance, South Plains (Texas)
Vance’s Texans picked up its first NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship since 2015 this year, beating Barton (Kan.) CC by two points. Vance’s athletes owned 22 top-10 NJCAA Descending Order List marks when all was said and done, including the top mark in the triple jump and the third-best marks in the 400, 60 hurdles, 4×400 relay, 4×800 relay, distance medley relay, heptathlon, long jump and pole vault. South Plains (Texas) headed into the national meet ranked second nationally.
WOMEN’S HEAD COACH – Keith Blackwill, New Mexico JC
Blackwill’s Thunderbirds won their second-straight NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship this year, scoring 120 points to defeat runner-up South Plains (Texas) by an astounding 30 points. His athletes took home individual titles in the long jump, mile and 200 in addition to posting a slew of runner-up finishes on the weekend. On the season, his women posted 24 top-10 NJCAA Descending Order List marks, including the top marks in the 200, 1000 and distance medley relay while placing second in the 400, mile, 3000 and long jump.
MEN’S ASSISTANT COACH – Mark’Quis Frazier, Barton (Kan.) CC
Frazier is responsible for the sprinters, mid-distance runners and relay athletes at Barton (Kan.) CC, and his group was highly responsible for the Cougars’ runner-up finish at the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Frazier coached Terence Ware to the 60 event title at the NJCAA meet, after his men finished 1-2-3 in the event at the Region VI Championships where the Cougars took home first place. At that meet, his 4×800 relay placed first, and his athletes notched two top-three finishes in the 800 and 1000 while also posting three top-10 performances in the 200.
WOMEN’S ASSISTANT COACH – Justin Hobbs, South Plains (Texas)
Hobbs’ athletes posted some historic performances this season. Jelena Rowe notched four of the top-10 all-time NJCAA indoor high jump performances, including an NJCAA record 1.84m (6-0½). Sprinter Natassha McDonald’s season-best in the 400 (54.37) sat third nationally this year, as well as seventh in NJCAA indoor history. Additionally, his 4×400 relay squad was the tops in the nation this year and also notched the eighth-best performance in NJCAA indoor history with a time of 3:42.43.