Regional Award Winners For 2018 NAIA Outdoor Season

NEW ORLEANS — Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Each of the five 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

Men Women
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 at the 2018 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships this weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Joey DeBoer – Cornerstone (Mich.)

DeBoer, a junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is ranked second nationally and first regionally in the steeplechase at 9:05.07. He also excelled in mid-distance events this season as he anchored the Golden Eagles’ 4×800 team to the No. 9 mark nationally and sits 17th in the 1500 at 3:54.66. DeBoer was named WHAC Performer of the Meet after scoring 23 points at the conference championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Caleb Drake – Dordt (Iowa)

Drake, a senior, is ranked in the top-15 nationally in both the 10,000 (31:04.99, eighth) and 5000 (14:51.44, 15th). He is atop the region in both of those events and is the only male athlete in the Midwest Region to own that distinction.

SOUTH REGION – Geoffrey Kipchumba – William Carey (Miss.)

Kipchumba, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, is ranked first nationally in both the 5000 (14:42.84) and 10,000 (29:19.80). He won four events at the SSAC Championships to give the Crusaders 40 points and helped them win the conference title.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Oraine Palmer – Wiley (Texas)

Palmer, a junior from Kingston, Jamaica, is ranked first nationally in both the 100 (10.19) and 200 (20.56). He is also a member of the Wildcats’ 4×100 relay team.

WEST REGION – John Gay – British Columbia

Gay, a senior from Kelowna, British Columbia, is ranked first nationally in both the steeplechase (8:59.03) and 5000 (13:57.68). He is also ranked second nationally (first regionally) in the 1500 (3:49.79).

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Erik Escobedo – Bethel (Ind.)

Escobedo, a senior from Mishawaka, Indiana, is ranked first nationally in the hammer at 69.05m (226-6), which also counts as the NCCAA record. He is also ranked 14th nationally in the shot put with a mark of 16.47m (54-0¼).

MIDWEST REGION – Alex Wellington – Hastings (Neb.)

Wellington, a senior from Tucson, Arizona, is ranked first nationally in the shot put with a mark of 18.47m (60-7¼) and is the only athlete in the NAIA this season with a throw better than 60 feet. He is also ranked eighth nationally in the hammer at 57.49m (188-7). Wellington put together a fine performance at the GPAC Championships, where he scored 24 points with a win in the shot put, runner-up finish in the discus and third place in the hammer.

SOUTH REGION – Qua Stocks – Reinhardt (Ga.)

Stocks, a sophomore from Acworth, Georgia, is ranked first nationally in the high jump at 2.13m (6-11¾) and is undefeated in the event. He is also ranked eighth nationally (first regionally) in the long jump at 7.33m (24-0¾).

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Leon Boyd – Wayland Baptist (Texas)

Boyd, a senior from Orlando, Florida, is ranked first nationally in the long jump at 7.64mw (25-0¾) and fourth nationally in the triple jump at 15.05w (49-4½). He posted one win this year in the long jump at the West Texas A&M Last Chance Meet.

WEST REGION – Seth Gretz – Oregon Tech

Gertz, a senior from Rouge Rive, Oregon, is ranked first nationally in the decathlon with a score of 6895 points. He is also ranked in a tie for ninth nationally (tied for third regionally) in the pole vault at 4.75m (15-7).

Men’s Coach of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Doug Edgar – Indiana Tech

Edgar, in his eighth year, has the No. 1-ranked team entering the NAIA Championships. His team won its sixth-straight Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championships title with a meet-record 301 points.

MIDWEST REGION – Ed Fye – Doane (Neb.)

Fye’s Tigers won the GPAC Championships crown with six event champions and 237 points, 121 more than the runner-up squad.  His team currently ranks third in the USTFCCCA National Rankings, and they finished the regular season as the No. 1-ranked team in the region and on the top of five #EventSquad rankings. Fye is in his 16th year at Doane.

SOUTH REGION – Sam Roberts – Tennessee Wesleyan

Roberts, in his first year at TWU, has the No. 5-ranked team in the country and has 12 potential national qualifiers. The Bulldogs were runners-up of the AAC this season, and finished the year with five events in the top 10 of the USTFCCCA #EventSquad rankings.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Marlon Baugh – Wiley (Texas)

Baugh’s Wildcats won 10 of 13 events to take the Red River Athletic Conference crown for the sixth-straight year. They scored 236 points, 90 more than runner-up Texas College. Wiley has NAIA leaders in four events and are currently ranked No. 2 in the NAIA. Baugh is in his third year at the school.

WEST REGION – Ben Welch – Eastern Oregon

Welch’s Mountaineers won the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships title with eight event crowns and 208 points. Welch, the conference’s Men’s Coach of the Year, is in his 14th year at EOU.

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Mike Wojciakowski – Aquinas (Mich.)

Wojciakowski, middle-distance and distance coach for the Saints in his 20th season, has a crew that finished in the top five of the USTFCCCA #EventSquad rankings in three events and finished the year as the No. 1 team in the 800 meters.  His group’s efforts helped the Saints to a runner-up showing at the WHAC Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Seth Roberson – Grand View (Iowa)

Roberson, in his 13th year with Grand View, was named the Heart of America Conference Assistant Coach of the Year. His throws group scored 79 of the 158 points tallied by the Vikings at the conference meet as they swept the top three spots in the discus and claimed six scoring positions in the hammer. In the final #EventSquad rankings, Grand View had the No. 1 discus and hammer foursome in the NAIA.

SOUTH REGION – Malcolm Dias – William Carey (Miss.)

Dias’ sprints and hurdles group has six marks that rank in the NAIA’s top ten nationally. His team compiled eight school and two conference records this season. Dias is in his second year at the school.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Kurt Henry – Wayland Baptist (Texas)

Henry, in his first year as sprints and jumps coach, led Quintaveon Poole to a national qualifier, 45.26 clocking, in the 400 meters. He also has coached two of the NAIA’s top-five ranked triple jumpers this season and the second-ranked 4×400.

WEST REGION – Chris Johnson – British Columbia

Johnson, in his 11th year as a coach of distance events at UBC, has the top three-ranked athletes in the NAIA in the 5000 meters and seven of the top 18 runners in the 1500 meters. In addition, UBC has the NAIA’s top-ranked steeplechaser.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Anna Shields – Point Park (Pa.)

Shields, a junior from Torrington, Connecticut, is ranked first nationally in the 800 (2:05.78) and 1500 (4:17.39). She was named the River States Conference Runner of the Year after setting four facility records and scoring 45 points at the conference meet. Shields was named NAIA Women’s National Track Athlete of the Week three times this season.

MIDWEST REGION – Michelle Mumm – Morningside (Iowa)

Mumm, a senior from Neola, Iowa, is ranked in the top-11 nationally and first regionally in both the 800 (2:11.75, seventh) and 1500 (4:36.47). She is the only woman in the Midwest Region to be ranked first in two track events.

SOUTH REGION – Shadae Hylton – Southern-New Orleans (La.)

Hylton, a senior, is ranked first nationally in the 400 with a time of 53.20. She is also a member of the Knights’ 4×100 relay team that clocked a time of 45.93.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Aminat Olowara – Oklahoma City

Olowara, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria, is ranked first nationally in the 5000 at 16:00.08 and third nationally in the 10,000 at 35:06.03. She set school records in both of those events and also qualified for the NAIA Championships in the 1500 and 4×800.

WEST REGION – Jessa Perkinson – Southern Oregon

Perkinson, a senior from Roseburg, Oregon, is ranked first nationally in the 10,000 at 34:35.33 and second nationally in the 5000 at 16:13.79. She was named the NAIA Women’s Track Athlete of the Week on April 24 after finishing 13th at the Bryan Clay Invitational in the 5000.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Danielle Wojciechowski – Bethel (Ind.)

Wojciechowski, a junior from Roselle, Illinois, is ranked first nationally in the pole vault at 4.00m (13-1½). She posted four wins in the pole vault during the outdoor circuit.

MIDWEST REGION – Kate Grint – Doane (Neb.)

Grint, a sophomore from Ord, Nebraska, is ranked first nationally in the shot put at 14.95m (49-0¾). She is also ranked fourth nationally in the discus with a heave of 47.58m (156-1). Grint is the only woman in the NAIA to rank in the top-4 of both the shot put and discus.

SOUTH REGION – Felicia Frimpong – Keiser (Fla.)

Frimpong, a sophomore from Accra, Ghana, is ranked second nationally in the triple jump at 12.47m (40-11). He is also ranked in the top-30 of the long jump at 5.63m (18-5¾).

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Chelsea Baker – Friends (Kan.)

Baker, a senior from Pittsburg, Kansas, is ranked first nationally in the heptathlon with a score of 4983. She is also ranked first nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 1.79m (5-10½). Baker was named Athlete of the Meet at the KCAC Championships after scoring 30 points by winning the high jump, long jump and triple jump.

WEST REGION – Hayley Morse – College of Idaho

Morse, a senior from Boise, Idaho, is ranked sixth nationally in the shot put with a mark of 14.26m (46-9½). She is also ranked 16th nationally (first regionally) in the hammer with a heave of 51.09m (167-7). Morse also sits third regionally in the discus at 42.37m (139-0).

Women’s Coach of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Doug Edgar – Indiana Tech

Edgar, in his eighth year as head coach at Indiana Tech, led the Warriors to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championship and the number two overall national ranking headed into the championships. Indiana Tech athletes won eight individual conference titles this season.

MIDWEST REGION – Ed Fye – Doane (Neb.)

Fye led the Tigers to the Great Plains Conference championship with 215 points, over 50 points ahead of second place. Doane ranks fifth nationally headed into the championships. Fye is in his 16th year at Doane.

SOUTH REGION – Blake Hegstrom – William Carey (Miss.)

Hegstrom, in his sixth year at William Carey, led the Crusaders to their first-ever Southern State Athletic Conference championship with an incredible 19 individual event winners. William Carey athletes also reset eight school records this season and earned a top-15 national ranking headed into the championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Brian Whitlock – Wayland Baptist (Texas)

Whitlock led the Pioneers to the top of the USTFCCCA national rankings this season and the number two slot in the South Central Region. Wayland Baptist has 11 athletes ranked in the top 12 of their events. Whitlock is in his 14th year as head coach at Wayland Baptist.

WEST REGION – Austin Basterrechea – College of Idaho

Basterrechea, in his second year at College of Idaho, led the Yotes to the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship and earned CCC Coach of the Year honors in the process. College of Idaho is ranked second in the region and in the nation’s top twenty headed into the Championships.

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

GREAT LAKES REGION – Quinn White – Taylor (Ind.)

White, a distance coach in his eighth year at Taylor, coached nine athletes to qualifying marks in six of seven distance events. Taylor’s distance athletes scored 111 points to help lead the Trojans to the Crossroads League championship, placing first and second in every distance event but one.

MIDWEST REGION – Zac Osgood – Hastings (Neb.)

Osgood, a throws coach in his 15th year at Hastings, coached Bronco athletes to the top event squad ranking in the Shot Put with three athletes in the nation’s top ten. Osgood’s athletes also achieved the top two performances of the season in both the Discus and the Hammer.

SOUTH REGION – Ryan McKenzie – William Carey (Miss.)

McKenzie, a sprints and jumps coach in his fourth year at William Carey, helped the Crusaders to their first-ever conference title. Under McKenzie’s direction, William Carey athletes broke eight school records and the conference record in the 4×100 Relay.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Kurt Henry – Wayland Baptist (Texas)

Henry, a sprints, jumps, and hurdles coach in his first year at Wayland Baptist, had an immediate impact on the Pioneers program, with top-ranked qualifiers in the 100 Hurdles, Triple Jump, and 4×100 Relay. Wayland Baptist also achieved top eight national rankings in the 100 Meters, 200 Meters, and 4×400 Relay.

WEST REGION – Norm Tinkham – British Columbia

Tinkham, a distance coach in his third year at British Columbia, coached the Thunderbirds to 13 top-twelve qualifying performances in five different distance events. In the 1500 Meters alone, British Columbia has three of the top four performances in the event this season.