2018 NJCAA DIII Cross Country Postseason Awards

NEW ORLEANS – Postseason awards for the 2018 NJCAA Division III Cross Country season were released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), following the conclusion of the 2018 NJCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, which were held this past weekend at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts.

QUICK LINKS
National Athletes of the Year: Men’s | Women’s
National Coaches of the Year: Men’s | Women’s
USTFCCCA All-Americans: Men’s | Women’s
Regional Athletes of the Year: Men’s | Women’s
Regional Coaches of the Year: Men’s | Women’s

Scroll below or click the above links to jump to a respective award category.

National Awards

These awards are based on finish at the NJCAA Championships.

USTFCCCA National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

National Men’s Athlete of the Year

Daniel Taylor, Sandhills (N.C.)

Daniel Taylor made the most out of his last year at the NJCAA DIII level. Taylor, a sophomore from Whispering Pines, North Carolina, cruised to the individual title at the NJCAA DIII meet this past weekend as he won by 46 seconds. He averaged a full five seconds per kilometer faster than the runner-up. Earlier in the season, Taylor won the Region X individual title by more than two minutes and finished runner-up at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational back in September.

National Women’s Athlete of the Year

Tyesha James, Kingsborough (N.Y.)

Tyesha James bided her time at the NJCAA DIII meet this past weekend and then pulled away at the right moment. James couldn’t be caught down the stretch as she outkicked the closest competitor and won the individual national title by nearly five seconds in 19:30.83. James, a sophomore from Brooklyn, New York, also won the CUNYAC individual title and was named National Athlete of the Week twice during the regular season.

National Men’s Coach of the Year

Jim Macnider, Harper (Ill.)

Jim Macnider has created some kind of juggernaut at Harper (Ill.). Macnider, in his sixth year with the Hawks, led them to yet another national title. This one seemed to be a formality once Harper (Ill.)’s men packed up early and traipsed along the 8K course. The Hawks put all five of their scoring athletes in the top-15 – four in the top-10 – and won by 45 points. Harper (Ill.) ran well throughout the season, especially against several meets hosted by NCAA DI institutions.

National Women’s Coach of the Year

Jim Macnider, Harper (Ill.)

Jim Macnider watched his women’s team roll to the team title this past weekend at the NJCAA DIII meet. Macnider, in his sixth year with the Hawks, directed them to a 51-point victory over Oxford College of Emory University. Harper (Ill.) put three of its athletes in the top-5 as Misbah Baig finished runner-up and Rachael Temple and Taylor Kreiss finished fourth and fifth.

USTFCCCA All-Americans

Here is a list of those athletes who were named All-American by the USTFCCCA. For an athlete to earn All-America status, they must have finished in the top-15 of the NJCAA Championships and belong to a USTFCCCA member program.

2018 NJCAA DIVISION III CROSS COUNTRY – MEN’S ALL-AMERICANS

Name Class Program
Daniel Taylor Sophomore Sandhills (N.C.)
Mike Dowd Sophomore Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.)
Jonathan Gonzalez Sophomore Suffolk County (N.Y.)
Jared Craw Sophomore Hudson Valley (N.Y.)
Michael Sisko Sophomore Harper College
Tony Espinoza Sophomore Harper College
Jacob Melgosa Freshman Harper College
Jeff Glatz Sophomore Harper College
Micah Swartz Sophomore Lorain (Ohio) CC
Luis-Antonio Fernandez Freshman Suffolk County (N.Y.)
Jack Casey Sophomore Harper College
Andrew Bowen Sophomore Sandhills (N.C.)
Daniel Hagen Sophomore Sandhills (N.C.)
Chris Benitez Freshman Bergen (N.J.) CC

 

2018 NJCAA DIVISION III CROSS COUNTRY – WOMEN’S ALL-AMERICANS

Name Class Program
Tyesha James Sophomore Kingsborough (N.Y.)
Misbah Baig Sophomore Harper College
Emily Elder Freshman Oxford College (Ga.)
Rachael Temple Sophomore Harper College
Taylor Kreiss Sophomore Harper College
Sara Loew Freshman Camden County (N.J.)
Taylor McClay Freshman Suffolk County (N.Y.)
Katherine Dorten Freshman Oxford College (Ga.)
Mercedes Planavsky Sophomore Hudson Valley (N.Y.)
Piper Warren Freshman Jefferson (N.Y.)
Jessi Gessner Freshman Harper College
Ana Mendoza Freshman Joilet (Ill.)
Sarah Carpenter Sophomore FIT (N.Y.)
Allaura Dashnaw Freshman Suffolk County (N.Y.)

 

Regional Awards

These awards were voted on by member coaches before the NJCAA Championships.

USTFCCCA Regional Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

Men’s Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION — Daniel Taylor — Sandhills (N.C.) CC

Taylor, a sophomore from Whispering Pines, North Carolina, won the Region X individual title in 26:27.6. He beat the runner-up by nearly two minutes. Taylor’s season was also highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Chick-fil-A Invitational back in September.

EAST REGION — Mike Dowd — Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Dowd, a sophomore from Williamstown, New Jersey, won the Region XIX individual title in 28:15.33. He was a two-time National Athlete of the Week this season, capturing the award on October 8 and October 15.

NORTHEAST REGION — Jonathan Gonzalez — Suffolk County (N.Y.) CC

Gonzalez, a sophomore from Brentwood, New York, paced the Sharks throughout the season. He raced six times this season and was named National Athlete of the Week following his third-place finish at the LIU Post Invitational on September 22.

Women’s Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION — Misbah Baig — Harper (Ill.)

Baig, a sophomore from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, won the Region IV individual title in 19:16.4, three seconds ahead of the runner-up. She was also posted strong efforts at both the Benedictine Eagle Invitational and the Bradley Pink Classic, among others.

EAST REGION — Sara Loew — Camden County (N.J.)

Loew, a freshman from Newport, New Jersey, won the Region XIX individual title in 21:06.71. She also posted top-10 finishes this season at the Bryn Mawr Invitational and the NJAIAW/Osprey Open.

NORTHEAST REGION — Tyesha James — Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

James, a sophomore from Brooklyn, New York, has been a standout runner for the Wave throughout the season. This past weekend she won the CUNYAC individual title. James was named National Athlete of the Week twice during the regular season.

Men’s Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION — Jim Macnider — Harper (Ill.)

Macnider, in his sixth year as head coach of the Hawks, led them to the Region IV title once again. Harper nearly swept the proceedings as it scored just 16 points in the meet (1-2-3-4-6). The Hawks ran well at several meets throughout the year, including several hosted by NCAA Division I institutions.

EAST REGION — Jen Nelson — Ocean County (N.J.)

Nelson, in her second year as head coach of the Vikings, led them to the Region XIX title. Ocean County (N.J.) had four runner finish in the top-15, including two in the top-6. This was the second meet title of the season for the Vikings, as they also beat six teams at the Luzerne (N.J.) CC Invitational.

NORTHEAST REGION — Sarah Popovics — Hudson Valley (N.Y.) CC

Popovics, in her fifth year as head coach of the Vikings, led them to the Region III title. Hudson Valley (N.Y.) had four runners finish in the top-15, led by individual champion Jared Craw. The Vikings also won meet titles at the Herkimer CC Invitational and the Mountain Valley Conference Championships.

Women’s Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION — Ella O’Kelley — Oxford College (Ga.)

O’Kelley led the Eagles to the Region XVII team title. Oxford College swept the race clean as it had runners finish in the top-5 spots. The Eagles also finished well as a team at the Berry College Invitational and at the Bobcat Invitational.

EAST REGION — Wayne Merkh — Camden County (N.J.)

Merkh, in his fifth year with the Cougars, led the team to the Region XIX title. Even though Camden County CC has been competing with only five runners all season long, that didn’t keep the program from putting all five of them in the top-11. It was the Cougars’ first regional title in program history.

NORTHEAST REGION — Matthew French — Suffolk County (N.Y.) CC

French, in his fifth year as head coach of the Sharks, led his team to remarkable success in 2018. Suffolk County CC fared well at the Queensborough CC Invitational, Mount St. Mary Invitational and the James Earley Invitational, among others.