NCAA DI National Award Winners For 2018 Indoor Season
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
These awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances both at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in College Station, Texas and throughout the regular season.
Information on each of the winners can be found below.
NATIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Men’s Track – Michael Norman, Southern California
During the regular season, Michael Norman became one of the fastest men in NCAA history. Deep in the heart of Texas, Norman turned his attention to a bigger stage: the world. Norman became the fastest man in world history over 400 meters indoors when he clocked a time of 44.52 to win the NCAA title, which lowered the previous record of 44.57 and also stands as the American record, collegiate record and meet record. The sophomore from Murrieta, California also anchored the Trojan 4×400 team to an all-time world best mark of 3:00.77. Norman is the first athlete from Southern California to win a national indoor award.
Women’s Track – Karissa Schweizer, Missouri
History couldn’t wait for Karissa Schweizer this season, so the senior from Urbandale, Iowa chased it down instead. Schweizer became the fifth woman in NCAA history to complete the distance double as she won the 3000 and 5000 (Three of those other four women brought home this honor that same year). The Missouri star rewrote the record book as she broke the collegiate indoor record in the 3000 (8:41.60) and notched the fifth fastest times in collegiate history in the mile (4:27.54) and 5000 (15:17.31). This is the Tigers’ first national indoor award.
Men’s Field – Tim Duckworth, Kentucky
Tim Duckworth is the human Swiss Army knife. During the regular season, Duckworth led the nation in the heptathlon and was ranked 19th nationally in the long jump. Once the postseason hit, the senior from Phoenix, Arizona turned it up a notch and placed third in the long jump at the SEC Championships and added a sixth place finish in the pole vault. Then at NCAAs, he put it all together and won the heptathlon with 6188 points, the fifth best score in collegiate history and the third best score in meet history.
Women’s Field – Keturah Orji, Georgia
Keturah Orji is saving her best for last. The senior from Mount Union, New Jersey became just the third woman in NCAA DI history to win three consecutive triple jump titles as she broke the meet record with a mark of 14.27m (46-10) – which also doubles as the eight-best mark in collegiate history. Earlier in the season, Orji increased her American record and collegiate record as she bounded 14.53m (47-10). Orji also placed second in the long jump at the NCAA meet, which helped the Bulldogs sweep the top-3 spots. This is the second year in a row that Orji has been named National Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.
NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR
Men’s Coach – Mike Holloway, Florida
Mike Holloway scratched a six-year itch this past weekend in College Station, Texas. Under Holloway’s direction, the Florida men captured their first NCAA indoor title since 2012 and their fourth indoor title in program history. The Gators spread their 40 points over four events as they got an event title in the 60 hurdles (Grant Holloway), finished runner-up and sixth in the long jump, runner-up and fourth in the triple jump and third in the 4×400. This is the fourth time that Holloway has won this honor (2010, 2011 and 2012 are the other iterations).
Women’s Coach – Petros Kyprianou, Georgia
Georgia finally rang the bell this past weekend in College Station, Texas. The Bulldogs, led by Petros Kyprianou, won their first track & field title in program history and it wasn’t even close. Georgia scored 61 points, which included 24 points in the long jump alone. The Bulldogs also added points in the 60, 200, 400, 5000, 60 hurdles, triple jump and pentathlon. Georgia set a number of school records this year, including its place and points at the SEC Championships (runner-up with 84.5). This is the first National Indoor Coach of the Year honor for Kyprianou, who was named National Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year twice (2014 and 2015).
Men’s Assistant Coach – Quincy Watts, Southern California
Quincy Watts coached Southern California’s sprinters and 4×400 relay to greatness this season. Watts, in his fifth year with the Trojans, oversaw an incredible performance at NCAAs. Southern California athletes broke the world record in the 400 (Michael Norman, 44.52) and established an all-time world best in the 4×400 (3:00.77). All told, Watts’ athletes combined for 27 of the Trojans’ 37 points in College Station, Texas, which helped them to a runner-up finish. Don’t forget that during the regular season, Norman clocked the then-fifth fastest time in collegiate indoor history and the 4×400 relay broke what was the collegiate indoor record at the time.
Women’s Assistant Coach – Chris Johnson, Arkansas
Nine of Arkansas’ 14 NCAA qualifiers came from event groups coached by Chris Johnson. When the dust settled in College Station, Texas, those athletes scored 21 of the Razorbacks’ 49 points. Johnson’s athletes won two event titles: Taliyah Brooks in the pentathlon and Payton Chadwick in the 60 hurdles. It should be mentioned that Chadwick was the only athlete to qualify for three individual events at NCAAs: 60 hurdles, 200 and long jump, all under the supervision of Johnson. This is the first national indoor award for Johnson and the first time a coach from Arkansas has been named National Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year.