NCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (Feb. 26)
NEW ORLEANS – There was a staggering number of incredible performances during Conference Championships Weekend.
Yet, here are six athletes that stood out from their peers and were named National Athletes of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.
- NCAA Division I Men – Grant Holloway, Florida
- NCAA Division I Women – Lexi Jacobus, Arkansas
- NCAA Division II Men – Eldred Henry, Findlay
- NCAA Division II Women – Kandace Thomas, Adams State
- NCAA Division III Men – David Kornack, UW-Eau Claire
- NCAA Division III Women – Kaitlyn Mooney, Coast Guard
Find out more about each of these athletes by clicking their names or scrolling below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to eight collegiate indoor track & field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and the one NJCAA division that sponsors indoor track & field).
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
Junior | Sprints/Hurdles/Jumps
Before this past weekend, only one man had won both the 60 and 60 hurdles in the same year at the SEC Championships: That was South Carolina’s Terrence Trammell 19 years ago.
Also, before this past weekend, no man had scored more than 22½ points at SECs.
That all changed as Grant Holloway stole the spotlight on a weekend that saw a pair of collegiate records fall (Mondo Duplantis of LSU raised the bar in the pole vault; Payton Otterdahl of North Dakota State smashed the shot put record by three inches). Holloway swept the 60 and the 60 hurdles and finished second in the long jump to amass 28 points as he led Florida to the SEC title at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Set the SEC Indoors scoring record ✅
Break the SEC Indoors 60m hurdle record ✅
Become the 2nd man in history to sweep the 60m AND 60m hurdles ✅
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 24, 2019
Before the weekend was done, Holloway also broke and then lowered the meet record in the 60 hurdles with a pair of times that now sit No. 3 and t-No. 8 on the all-time collegiate chart at 7.44 and 7.48, respectively. Holloway needed all of that 7.44 in the final as Kentucky’s Daniel Roberts, the runner-up, clocked a time of 7.48 to become the fourth fastest performer in collegiate history.
This is the second time this season that Holloway has been named National Athlete of the Week. He also earned the honor back on January 22.
Senior | Pole Vault
Lexi Jacobus put herself in rarefied air this past weekend at the SEC Championships.
Jacobus, competing in front of her home crowd at the Randal Tyson Track Center, became the second best performer with the second best performance in collegiate history with her title-winning clearance of 4.68m (15-4¼) in the pole vault.
— Arkansas Track & Field/Cross Country (@RazorbackTF) February 23, 2019
Gritty doesn’t even begin to describe Jacobus’ effort on Saturday. She needed three attempts at both 4.52m (14-10) and 4.60m (15-1) before setting a PR on her first try at the height. If Jacobus failed to get over the bar on either of those first two heights, the conference title would have gone home with her twin sister, Tori Hoggard.
This is the second time in her career that Jacobus has been named National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. Her first honor came back on February 21, 2017.
Senior | Throws
British Virgin Islands
Eldred Henry picked up the National Athlete of the Week honor after setting the NCAA Division II record in the shot put this past weekend.
The senior posted a best toss of 20.61m (67-7½) to win the event title at the G-MAC Championships, which topped the old record by nearly two feet. The mark also made Henry the fourth-best performer in the event across all divisions this season.
He also took fourth in the weight throw to help the Findlay team to a runner-up finish in the team standings.
This is the second time this season that Henry has been named National Athlete of the Week. His first honor came back on January 15.
Senior | Sprints & Jumps
For the second time this season, Kandace Thomas is a National Athlete of the Week selection after posting her name in the record book across two different events this past weekend.
The Canton, Ohio native tied the NCAA Division II record with a 7.18 performance in the 60 and followed it by becoming the sixth-best performer all-time in the long jump at 6.32m (20-9). She won the individual title in both events at the RMAC Championships.
Thomas helped Adams State win its first RMAC indoor title since the 2017 season. It is the Grizzlies’ 24th overall indoor conference crown.
Senior | Throws
David Kornack continues to take aim at the NCAA Division III record book.
Kornack put together an incredible series this past weekend at the WIAC Championships to cement his standing as one of the best throwers to ever compete at the NCAA DIII level.
After three attempts, which amounted to a warm-up, Kornack went to work. His fourth, fifth and sixth throws now stand as the fifth-best (18.81m/61-8½), third-best (19.18m/62-11¼) and seventh-best (18.74m/61-5¾) marks in NCAA DIII history.
This is the second week in a row that Kornack has been named National Athlete of the Week.
Sophomore | Distance
Manahawkin, New Jersey
Kaitlyn Mooney starred at the NCAA Division III New England Women’s Indoor Championships this past weekend.
Mooney swept the distance titles and added another historic mark to her ledger. She crossed the finish line of the 5000 in 16:36.89, which is the ninth fastest mark in NCAA DIII history and barely missed another all-time top-10 mark in the 3000, a list on which she sits third already.
This is the third time this season that Mooney has been named National Athlete of the Week. She also took home the honor on January 29 and February 12.