NCAA DIII National Award Winners For 2018 Indoor Season

NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NCAA Division III 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 III Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend and throughout the regular season.

NATIONAL INDOOR AWARD HISTORY
National Athletes of the Year | National Coaches of the Year

Information on each of the winners can be found below.

NATIONAL ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Men’s Track – Jeremy Hernandez, Ramapo

Before this season, no man in NCAA DIII history had gone sub-4 in the indoor mile. Jeremy Hernandez changed all of that over eight laps back in February. It was at the Boston University Last Chance Qualifier where Hernandez clocked a time of 3:59.01 to lower the standard of 4:00.41 that had been set in 2014. Hernandez continued his dominance of the event at NCAAs when he broke the meet record with his time of 4:05.95. During the regular season, the senior from Clifton, New Jersey also ranked eighth nationally in the 800.

Women’s Track – Wadeline Jonathas, UMass Boston

Historic doesn’t begin to describe Wadeline Jonathas’ season. Her name is all over the NCAA DIII record book and this past weekend the sophomore from Haiti became just the third athlete in history to win four individual titles at a single NCAA meet (Ohio State’s Jesse Owens and Christopher Newport’s Sheila Trice are the others). Three of those victories at NCAAs came on the track as she won the 60, 200 and 400. Jonathas broke her own NCAA DIII records in the 60 and 200 prelims when she ran 7.41 and 24.07, respectively. She also set a meet record in the 400 with her time of 54.28. Jonathas would have outscored all but two teams by herself. This is the first national indoor award for Jonathas.

Men’s Field – Sam Elsner, UW-Stout

No man at NCAAs this year scored more points than Sam Elsner. The senior from Portage, Wisconsin, finished first in the shot put and second in the weight throw for 18 combined points. It could have very well been 20 points, but Elsner lost the weight throw by just one centimeter. Elsner never fell out of the national top-3 in the shot put throughout the season and hovered in the top-10 of the weight throw.

Women’s Field – Katherine Pitman, Ithaca

Katherine Pitman raised the bar to new heights in the pole vault this season. Pitman, a senior from Swampscott, Massachusetts, became the first woman in NCAA DIII history to clear 14 feet indoors. She increased her own NCAA DIII record at the AARTFC Indoor Championships when she made it over 4.27m (14-0), then went even higher the next week at NCAAs. Pitman flew over 4.28m (14-0½) and topped her own meet record in the process.

NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR

Men’s Coach – Kevin Lucas, Mount Union

Kevin Lucas brought his Purple Raiders into NCAAs ranked fourth, which put them in prime position to make the podium. Mount Union ended up winning the national title by one point over North Central (Ill.). The Purple Raiders won an individual title in the 60 hurdles, a relay title (4×400), posted runner-up finishes in the 60 and pole vault and added a sixth-place finish in the shot put. A few weeks earlier, Mount Union won the OAC title by 76.5 points and won every event from the 500 meters on down. This is the first time since 1998 that a coach from Mount Union was named National Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year (John Homon).

Women’s Coach – Consandria Walker-Hall, UMass Boston

UMass Boston had five entries into the NCAA DIII Championships this past weekend. Consandria Walker-Hall’s athletes scored 46 points out of those entries (four individual titles, one third-place finish) to win the national team title by nine points over Williams. Walker-Hall directly coaches Wadeline Jonathas, who broke NCAA DIII records in the 60, 200 and 400 this season and added another all-time top-10 mark in the long jump. This is the first time a coach from UMass Boston has been named National Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year.

Men’s Assistant – Jim Fuller, Central (Iowa)

Jim Fuller oversaw two athletes at the NCAA DIII Championships: Will Daniels and Ryan Kruse. By the time the meet ended, Daniels and Kruse combined for 18 points and the Dutch placed in a tie for ninth in the team standings. Fuller coached Daniels and Kruse to a 1-3 finish in the heptathlon and Daniels to a seventh-place effort in the high jump. Fuller’s athletes scored 54 points at the IIAC Championships and won two individual titles. This is the first time since 2011 that a coach from Central (Iowa) was named National Men’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year (Guy Mosher).

Women’s Assistant – Ethan Barron, Williams

Ethan Barron’s athletes scored 27 of the Ephs’ 37 points at NCAAs this past weekend. Barron’s athletes went 2-3-4 in the high jump, 5-8 in the pentathlon and placed sixth in the long jump. During the regular season, Barron’s jumpers were tied for first and second on the national list and his athletes were ranked second and fourth in the pentathlon. This is the first time a coach from Williams has been named National Assistant Coach of the Year either indoors or outdoors.