NCAA DI Regional Award Winners For 2018 Indoor Season
NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season were announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the nine 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
|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 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, March 9-10, in College Station, Texas.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Nick Gray – Ohio State
Gray, a junior from Pickerington, Ohio, was a big reason why Ohio State is ranked ninth in the nation. He is the second fastest man in the nation at 200 meters with his Big Ten meet record setting time of 20.45 and helped the Buckeyes’ 4×400 relay team to a school record time of 3:05.09, which puts them eighth nationally.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Isaiah Harris – Penn State
Harris, a junior from Lewiston, Maine, is ranked seventh in the nation at 800 meters in 1:47.38 and helped the Nittany Lions to the ninth fastest time in the nation in the 4×400 relay (3:05.12). He went undefeated in the 800 during the regular season and postseason so far.
MIDWEST REGION – Jonathan Davis – Illinois
Davis, a freshman from Fithian, Illinois, is ranked second nationally in the mile at 3:55.46 and sixth nationally in the 3000 (7:49.92). He will only contest the 3000 at the NCAA meet.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Josh Kerr – New Mexico
Kerr, a sophomore from Edinburgh, Scotland, ran his way into the collegiate indoor record book at the NYRR Millrose Games. He clocked the sixth fastest time in NCAA DI history (3:54.72) and finished runner-up in the race to former collegiate record holder Chris O’Hare. Kerr also anchored the Lobos’ DMR team at the Mountain West Championships that has the top seed going into NCAAs.
NORTHEAST REGION – Justyn Knight – Syracuse
Knight, a junior from Vaughan, Ontario, is ranked first nationally in the 3000 (7:45.86) and second nationally at 5000 meters (13:39.59). He once again swept the 3000 and 5000 at the ACC Championships and is also ranked in the top-4 nationally in the mile. He will contest the 3000 and 5000 at NCAAs.
SOUTH REGION – Grant Holloway – Florida
Holloway, a sophomore from Chesapeake, Virginia, broke the collegiate indoor record in the 60 hurdles with a time of 7.42. That mark left him as the 11th fastest American and put him 20th on the all-time world list. Holloway also split 45.12 on the second fastest 4×400 relay team in collegiate indoor history. He is the only collegian in history with all-time top-10 efforts in the 60 hurdles and 4×400 relay.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Elijah Hall – Houston
Hall, a senior from Katy, Texas, is ranked third nationally in the 60 with a time of 6.58 and fifth nationally in the 200 with a time of 20.51. He also ran a leg of the fourth-ranked 4×400 team.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Neil Gourley – Virginia Tech
Gourley, a senior from Glasgow, Scotland, is ranked second nationally in the 800 with a time of 1:47.04 and 10th nationally in the mile with a time of 4:00.21. He is also a member of the nation’s sixth fastest DMR team and ran 2:21.89 over 1000 meters.
WEST REGION – Michael Norman – Southern California
Norman, a sophomore from Murrieta, California, scorched the track at the Tiger Paw Invitational on his way to the fifth fastest time in collegiate indoor history over 400 meters (45.00). Later in that same meet, Norman took the baton last for the Trojans’ 4×400 relay team that ran a collegiate record-setting 3:01.98 that also doubles as the second fastest time in world history.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Zack Bazile – Ohio State
Bazile, a senior from Montvale, New Jersey, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the long jump with a mark of 8.13m (26-8¼). His leap also has him currently ranked top-10 in the world. Bazile helped Ohio State win its first Big Ten title in 25 years.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – David Lucas – Penn State
Lucas, a sophomore from Warwick, Pennsylvania, is ranked fourth nationally in the weight throw with a mark of 23.31m (76-5¾). He set the school record in the event four of the six times he competed this season.
MIDWEST REGION – Chris Nilsen – South Dakota
Nilsen, a sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri, vaulted his way into the collegiate indoor record book. He cleared 5.80m (19-0¼) to equal the No. 5 performer in collegiate history and take firm control of the NCAA lead. Nilsen cleared 18 feet four times so far this season.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Trey Culver – Texas Tech
Culver, a senior from Lubbock, Texas, tied the fourth best clearance in NCAA history this season when he soared over 2.33m (7-7¾) at the Corky Classic. He also made it over 2.31m (7-7) at the Big 12 Championships, where he won his first conference title indoors.
NORTHEAST REGION – Michael Shanahan – New Hampshire
Shanahan, a senior from Dover, New Hampshire, is ranked ninth nationally in the weight throw with a heave of 22.15m (72-8). He went undefeated this season and qualified for his first NCAA Indoor Championships.
SOUTH REGION – Denzel Comenentia – Georgia
Comenentia, a junior from Amsterdam, is ranked in the top-5 nationally in both the weight throw and shot put. His mark of 23.71m (77-9½) in the weight throw puts him No. 2, while his heave of 20.44m (67-0¾) in the shot put leaves him fourth.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Tyler Adams – Sam Houston State
Adams, a senior from Buffalo, Texas, is ranked third nationally in the heptathlon with an altitude-converted score of 6016. He is also ranked 17th nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 2.20m (7-2½).
SOUTHEAST REGION – Joshua Davis – NC State
Davis, a senior from Pelham, North Carolina, hit an all-time mark in the weight throw this year when he heaved the implement 23.83m (78-2¼). That effort put him No. 8 on the all-time collegiate chart, which also established an ACC record.
WEST REGION – Jordan Geist – Arizona
Geist, a freshman from Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the shot put with an effort of 21.45m (70-4½), which is a collegiate freshman record. He improved his PR in the shot put by two meters from the start of the season.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Karen Dennis – Ohio State
Dennis, in her fifth year at Ohio State, led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship where his squad won four event titles. It was the men’s program’s first conference title in 25 years, and the Buckeyes will head into the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships with a 10th-place ranking nationally.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Fred Samara – Princeton
Samara, in his 40th year at Princeton, coached the Tigers to an Ivy Championship. Ranked second in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the Tigers won its league title by a whopping 67 points, good for an Ivy League Championship record. The Tigers captured nine Ivy League individual event titles.
MIDWEST REGION – Jeff Bovee – Illinois State
Bovee, in his fourth year at Illinois State, guided the Redbirds to a Missouri Valley Championship while picking up MVC Coach of the Year honors in the process. ISU tallied 182 total points, winning by 70 points by capturing eight individual event titles. The Redbirds are currently ranked 30th nationally.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Wes Kittley – Texas Tech
Kittley, in his 19th year at Texas Tech, coached the Red Raiders to its first Big 12 Championship in addition to guiding the program to a first-place national ranking for three weeks of the season. Kittley’s squad has nine total entries for the NCAA Indoor Championships, as well as nine Mountain Region-leading marks.
NORTHEAST REGION – John Copeland – Rhode Island
Copeland, in his 36th season at Rhode Island, was named the Atlantic 10 Indoor Coach of the Year after guiding his squad to a Atlantic 10 Championship. The Rams posted the largest margin of victory at the conference championships since 2010 thanks in large part to seven individual champions.
SOUTH REGION – Dan Waters – Alabama
Waters, in his seventh season at Alabama, led the Crimson Tide to its first SEC Championship behind a 31-point performance in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Alabama also claimed an SEC individual title in the high jump and posted runner-up finishes in the shot put and weight throw.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Leroy Burrell – Houston
Burrell, in his 20th year at Houston, coached the Cougars to an American Athletic Conference Championship. Four of his athletes own top-10 NCAA Division I Descending Order List marks in their respective events on the season. Burrell and his staff were named the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Robert Olesen – Charlotte
Olesen, in his 15th year at Charlotte, guided the 49ers to its first Conference USA Championship since rejoining the conference in 2014. Olesen was named the C-USA Coach of the Year for his efforts, as the 49ers scored in 15 of the 17 events at the meet. His jumpers and combined event athletes totaled 43.5 points alone.
WEST REGION – Caryl Smith Gilbert – Southern California
Smith Gilbert, in her fifth year at Southern California, led the Trojans to an MPSF Championship where her men won six individual titles. On the season, her athletes posted 14 school top-10 marks, as well as a world record in the 4×400 relay. Her squad currently ranks fifth nationally.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Joel Brown – Ohio State
Brown, in his fourth year at Ohio State, played a crucial role in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Championship. His sprinters and hurdlers totaled 32 points, including an event title in the 200 from Nick Gray. His 4×400 relay team sits eighth on the NCAA Descending Order List, and Gray sits second in the 200.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Jason Vigilante – Princeton
Vigilante, in his seventh year at Princeton, tutored the Tigers’ distance runners on their way to a Ivy League Championship. His runners accounted for 54 of the team’s 169 points, including a second-place finish in the 3000 by Will Paulson, as well as a runner-up finish by Will Paulson in the 5000. The distance medley relay squad took home the Ivy League title.
MIDWEST REGION – Brenton Emanuel – Illinois State
Emanuel, in his fourth year at Illinois State, coached the sprints, hurdles and relays for the Redbirds’ Missouri Valley Championship squad this season. His athletes scored 77.5 points out of ISU’s total of 180, sweeping the event titles in the 60, 200, 400, 4×400 and 60 hurdles. Three of his athletes have qualified for the NCAA national meet.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Calvin Robinson – Texas Tech
Robinson, in his third year at Texas Tech, mentored the sprinters and hurdlers for a team that captured the Big 12 Championship. Robinson coaches two world-leading 200 sprinters in Divine Oduduru and Andrew Hudson. Oduduru posted the third-fastest 200 mark in collegiate history this season.
NORTHEAST REGION – Dave Hegland – Syracuse
Hegland, in his 13th year at Syracuse, coached six All-ACC performers in sprints and jumps, helping lead the Orange to a No. 12 ranking nationally. Hegland was responsible for the success of Angelo Goss and Matt Moore, both of whom qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 60 hurdles.
SOUTH REGION – Keith Herston – Florida State
Herston, in his first year at Florida State, made an immediate impact on a squad that captured an ACC Championship. Three of his jumpers have qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, and his long jumpers and triple jumpers both own the top spot in the USTFCCCA National Squad Rankings.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Carl Lewis – Houston
Lewis, in his fourth year at Houston, was a member of the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year that took home a conference title. Four of his sprinter and jumpers rank amongst the top-10 of the NCAA Division I Descending Order List in their respective events.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Ben Thomas – Virginia Tech
Thomas, in his 17th season at Virginia Tech, coached the distance runners for the ACC runner-up ACC squad. Thomas has two NCAA Qualifiers in the 800 and three in the mile, as well as a distance medley relay team. His athletes scored 62 of the Hokies’ 107 points at the ACC Championships.
WEST REGION – Quincy Watts – Southern California
Watts, in his fifth year at Southern California, helped guide the Trojans to an MPSF Championship. His athletes finished 1-2-3 in the 400m at the conference championships. On the season, Michael Norman posted the fifth-fastest 400 time in collegiate history at 45.00. His 4×400 relay team set a world record on the season at 3:01.98, as well.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Jahneya Mitchell – Purdue
Mitchell, a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recorded the top mark in the world this season in the 600 meters in a school- and conference-record time of 1:26.65. She also helped Purdue break school and conference records in the 4×400 Relay with a time of 3:30.40, which ranks second in the nation. Mitchell won the Big Ten Conference championship in the 600 meters and helped Purdue to the conference crown in the 4×400 relay, scoring a total of 12½ points at the Championships.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Danae Rivers – Penn State
Rivers, a sophomore from Derby, Connecticut, won the Big Ten 800 meters and anchored Penn State’s distance medley relay to a runner-up finish to score a total of 12 team points. Her top time of 2:03.13 in the 800 meters ranks third nationally in the event and is a new school record.
MIDWEST REGION – Karissa Schweizer – Missouri
Schweizer, a senior from Urbandale, Iowa, blazed through a record-setting campaign during the regular season. First, she recorded the fifth-fastest time in collegiate history in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:17.31, also the top time recorded among collegians this year in the event. Next, she clocked the fifth-fastest time in collegiate history in the mile at 4:27.54. Then, she recorded a new collegiate record of 8:41.60 in the 3000 meters. Schweizer won the Southeastern Conference title in the 3000 meters and anchored Missouri’s distance medley relay to the conference title.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Ednah Kurgat – New Mexico
Kurgat, a redshirt junior from Eldoret, Kenya, ranks second nationally in the 5000 meters with a best time of 15:19.03. That time is the seventh-best ever recorded by a collegian in the event, as well as a school and conference record. She ranks third nationally in the 3000 meters with a clocking of 8:57.47 and anchored New Mexico’s distance medley relay to a top time of 10:57.77, also third-best nationally in the event. She also ranks 12th nationally in the mile.
NORTHEAST REGION – Elinor Purrier – New Hampshire
Purrier, a redshirt senior from Montgomery, Vermont, clocked 4:26.55 in the mile, the second-best time ever recorded by a collegian in the event. She also clocked a time of 8:55.65 in the 3000 meters and 2:03.55 in the 800 meters to rank second and tenth, respectively, in those events. Purrier won the America East Conference championship in the 800 meters and 3000 meters in conference-meet-record times to score 20 team points, and she has not lost to a collegian during the indoor season.
SOUTH REGION – Lynna Irby – Georgia
Irby, a freshman from Indianapolis, Indiana, recorded the top time in the world this season in the 200 meters with a clocking of 22.66 in winning the Southeastern Conference championships, her third time dipping under 23 seconds this indoor season. She also recorded the second-fastest time in the world in the 400 meters at 50.62 to finish second at the Southeastern Conference championships. That time also ranks fourth all-time among collegians in the event. Irby also recorded an all-time collegiate top-ten performance in the 300 meters with a best time of 36.73.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Mikiah Brisco – LSU
Brisco, a senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recorded the fastest time among collegians, and sixth-fastest in the world, in the 60 meters this season at 7.08, a new LSU school record. She won the Southeastern Conference title in the event and finished second in the 200 meters to score 18 team points. Her top time in the 200 meters of 22.81 ranks second nationally in the event, as well as being the second-fastest time recorded in the world this season.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Sydney McLaughlin – Kentucky
McLaughlin, a freshman from Dunellen, New Jersey, rewrote the record books during her first collegiate indoor campaign. Her top time of 50.52 in the 400 meters, set in winning the Southeastern Conference crown, is a world junior record, a collegiate freshman record, and the second-best time ever recorded by a collegian in the event. She also broke the American junior record in the 300 meters earlier in the season with a time of 36.12, the second-fastest time ever recorded in the event on any level. McLaughlin also ranks ninth in the 200 meters with a clocking of 22.95, and she runs on Kentucky’s ninth-ranked 4×400 relay.
WEST REGION – Sadi Henderson – Boise State
Henderson, a senior from Corvallis, Montana, is undefeated against collegians in her signature event, the 800 meters. She ranks fifth nationally in the event with a top clocking of 2:03.95, and Mountain West Championship record. She also runs the opening leg on Boise State’s top-ranked distance medley relay. Henderson scored 13¼ points at the Mountain West Championships in winning the 800 meters, running a leg on the winning distance medley relay, and running on Boise State’s sixth-place 4×400 relay.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Annette Echikunwoke – Cincinnati
Echikunwoke, a senior from Pickerington, Ohio, leads the nation in the weight throw with a top mark of 24.78m (81-3¾), the fourth-best performance ever by a collegian in that event. She is only the second woman in NCAA history to surpass 81 feet in the event. Echikunwoke also ranks in the top 20 nationally in the shot put with a toss of 16.72m (54-10¼), and she won both throwing events at the American Athletic Conference championships, earning 20 team points to help lead Cincinnati to its first indoor conference title in program history.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Maddie Gardner – West Virginia
Gardner, a redshirt junior from Williamstown, West Virginia, ranks eighth nationally in the pole vault with a top clearance of 4.37m (14-4). She set the indoor school record in the women’s pole vault on Feb. 3 at the Akron Invitational. The jump ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic Regional and second in the Big 12 Conference during the 2017-18 indoor campaign.
MIDWEST REGION – Kaitlyn Long – Minnesota
Long, a senior from Monona Grove, Wisconsin, ranks second in the nation in the weight throw with her school – and Big Ten Conference-record best of 24.37m (79-11½). Records are nothing new for Long, who set meet and facility records at four different competitions over the course of the season, becoming the third-best performer in NCAA history in the event. Long is the 2018 Big Ten Indoor champion in the weight throw.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Zarriea Willis – Texas Tech
Willis, a junior from Phoenix, Arizona, won four high jump competitions during the indoor campaign and finished second in the event at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. Her top clearance of 1.89m (6-2¼) is a school record and ranks second nationally in the event. Willis practically rewrote the Texas Tech record book during the season, with each of her five competitions ranking in the all-time top ten for the Red Raiders.
NORTHEAST REGION – Keishorea Armstrong – Binghamton
Armstrong, a redshirt senior from Chatham, New York, took home the America East Coaches Award for the highest individual point total at the conference championships. She won the long jump in meet record fashion and finished second in the triple jump. Her top mark of 6.29m (20-7¾) in the long jump ranks 15th nationally and first in the Northeast Region and is a new school record in the event.
SOUTH REGION – Keturah Orji – Georgia
Orji, a senior from Mount Olive, New Jersey, broke nearly every record possible over the course of the indoor campaign in her signature event, the triple jump. Her top jump of 14.53m (47-8) is an American record, collegiate record, conference record, and school record performance. That mark is also the top mark recorded in the world this season. She won the Southeastern Conference in the triple jump and earned a second-place finish in the long jump, an event in which she also ranks in the national top five with a best jump of 6.53m (21-5¼).
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Taliyah Brooks – Arkansas
Brooks, a redshirt senior from Wichita Falls, Texas, is a multi-event threat. Undefeated in the pentathlon this year including a Southeastern Conference title, her top mark of 4,422 points ranks second in the nation in the event. She also ranks second nationally in the long jump with a school-record mark of 6.57m (21-6½), and 11th nationally in the 60 hurdles. She contributed 12½ points in three events to help Arkansas win the SEC team championship.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Olivia Gruver – Kentucky
Gruver, a junior from Reisterstown, Maryland, reached new heights in the pole vault during the indoor season. Her top clearance of 4.67m (15-3¾) ranks first nationally in the event, and is the second-highest collegiate indoor pole vault clearance ever. She won every pole vault competition she entered during the indoor season, including the Southeastern Conference championship.
WEST REGION – Maggie Ewen – Arizona State
Ewen, a redshirt senior from St. Francis, Minnesota, became just the fourth woman in NCAA history to break 19 meters in the shot put with her school-record mark of 19.20m (63-0), also the top mark recorded in the world this year. Ewen now ranks third all-time among collegians in the event. Ewen won Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships in both the shot put and the weight throw, and her top mark of 22.26m (73-0½) in the weight throw ranks sixth nationally in that event.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Sue Parks – Eastern Michigan
Parks, in her 12th year at Eastern Michigan, led the Eagles to a dominating Mid-American conference win, with the women winning a total of seven conference crowns. Parks’s athletes scored 93 of the team’s 154 team points in just five mid-distance/distance events, and the Eastern Michigan distance medley relay team ranks seventh nationally in the event.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Steve Dolan – Penn
Dolan, in his sixth year at Penn, led the Quakers to their first Ivy League indoor team championship in 22 years, with six event champions. Over the course of the indoor season, the team posted new school records in six events, as well as a total of 36 performances that rank in the school’s all-time top ten.
MIDWEST REGION – Matt Bingle – Minnesota
Bingle, in his seventh year at Minnesota, led the Golden Gophers to the Big Ten Conference championship by the largest margin of victory in the conference in three years. The team broke three school records during the course of the indoor season and qualified six student-athletes for the NCAA Championships, Minnesota’s largest national-qualifying cohort since 2008.
MOUNTAIN REGION – Michael Smith – Northern Arizona
Smith, in his second year as head coach at Northern Arizona, led the Lumberjacks to their second-straight Big Sky Conference team title with 150 points, the most scored at the conference meet since 2010. Northern Arizona qualified four student-athletes to the NCAA Championships.
NORTHEAST REGION – Simon Hodnett – LIU Brooklyn
Hodnett, in his 17th year at LIU Brooklyn, led the Blackbirds to the Northeast Conference team championship with a conference-record total of 109 points. The team title marks their seventh overall conference championship and the first since 2011.
SOUTH REGION – Petros Kyprianou – Georgia
Kyprianou, in his third year at Georgia, led the Bulldogs to a runner-up finish at the Southeastern Conference championships and the overall top ranking in the country heading into the NCAA Championships. Under Kyprianou’s leadership, Georgia qualified seven competitors in eleven events to the Championships, and the Bulldogs set seven school records during the indoor season.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lance Harter – Arkansas
Harter, in his 28th year at Arkansas, led the Razorbacks to the Southeastern Conference championship by a 23½ point margin. Arkansas ranks second nationally headed into the Indoor Championships and has ranked first or second through the indoor season. Eight student-athletes earned All-SEC honors, and Razorbacks broke two school records during the season.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Edrick Floreal – Kentucky
Floreal, in his sixth year at Kentucky, led the Wildcats to a third-place finish at the Southeastern Conference championships, as well as a top-three national team ranking heading in to the NCAA Championships. Kentucky had three event champions at the SEC Indoor Championships, including two champions who recorded the second-best all-time collegiate performances in winning their events (400 meters and pole vault)
WEST REGION – Caryl Smith Gilbert – Southern California
Smith Gilbert, in her fifth year at Southern California, led the Trojans to their fourth Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship in five years, as well as a top-five national team ranking heading in to the NCAA Championships. Smith Gilbert was named the MPSF Women’s Coach of the Year after the Trojans won four individual event crowns on their way to claiming the team trophy.
GREAT LAKES REGION – Derrick Vicars – Bowling Green
Vickers, in his second year at Bowling Green, helped the program have some of the best throwers in the nation. According to the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings, the Falcons are ranked second in the weight throw and third in the shot put. BGSU scored 34 of its 68 points at the MAC Championships in the two throws events and qualified one athlete for NCAAs.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION – Porscha Dobson – Penn
Dobson, in her sixth year at Penn, helped the Quakers win their first Ivy League title in 22 years. Her event groups – sprinters, hurdlers, horizontal jumpers and combined eventers – totaled 58 points at the meet. Dobson’s athletes are scattered throughout the top-10 of the regional rankings and notched several school records.
MIDWEST REGION – Peter Miller – Minnesota
Miller, in his fifth year at Minnesota, saw his athletes qualify six entries for NCAAs. His throwers, high jumpers and combined event athletes scored a total of 41.5 points at the Big Ten Championships, including 23 in the weight throw. The Golden Gophers’ throwers and pentathletes are No. 1 in the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings and his high jumpers sit fourth.
MOUNTAIN REGION – James Thomas – Texas Tech
Thomas, in his sixth year at Texas Tech, saw his athletes notch three region-leading marks (high jump, long jump and the pentathlon). Zarriea Willis established a school record in the high jump (1.89m/6-2¼). Thomas’ athletes scored 42 of the Red Raiders’ 81 points at the Big 12 Conference Championships. One of his athletes qualified for the NCAA meet.
NORTHEAST REGION – Kebba Tolbert – Harvard
Tolbert, in his sixth year at Harvard, saw athletes punch a pair of tickets to the NCAA meet and win four event titles at the Heptagonal Championships. He coaches the Crimson’s sprinters, hurdlers, horizontal jumps and heptathletes.
SOUTH REGION – Brandon Hon – Florida State
Hon, in his third year at Florida State, helped four women qualify in five events to NCAAs. Ka’Tia Seymour qualified in both the 60 and 200, while three others qualified in the 60, 200 and 60 hurdles. Hon’s sprinters, hurdlers and relays scored 49 of the Seminoles’ 91 points at the ACC Championships, a meet which they won.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chris Johnson – Arkansas
Johnson, in his sixth year at Arkansas, helped the Razorbacks win the SEC title and hold the No. 2 spot in the USTFCCCA National Team Rankings. Nine of Arkansas’ 14 qualifiers for the NCAA meet hail from his event groups (sprints, hurdles, jumps, combined events) and his athletes totaled 12 all-time best marks in program history, including two school records.
SOUTHEAST REGION – Delethea Quarles – South Carolina
Quarles, in her 21st year at South Carolina coaching the jumps and combined events, helped four women qualify for NCAAs in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Lissa Labiche finished runner-up at the SEC Championships in the high jump, while Hanifah Abdulqadir notched top-5 marks in program history in both the high jump and triple jump.
WEST REGION – Brian Blutreich – Arizona State
Blutreich, in his second year at Arizona State, helped Maggie Ewen to another historical season. Ewen hit the third best mark in NCAA history in the indoor shot put (19.20m/63-0) and became just the fourth woman in collegiate history to break 19 meters. Blutreich’s athletes scored 25 of Arizona State’s 35 points at the MPSF Championships.