2019 NCAA DII Indoor T&F National Award Winners

NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches who took into account both performances at the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Pittsburg, Kansas, and what was accomplished throughout the rest of the season.

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

USTFCCCA National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

National Athletes of the Year

Men’s Track – Mobolade Ajomale, Academy of Art

Ajomale, a redshirt senior from Richmond Hill, Canada, closed his indoor career with a bang at the NCAA Championships as he led the meet in points scored by an individual male athlete. His 19.5 points earned would have placed him 14th in the nation if he was competing as his own team. Ajomale won the 200 (20.88), placed second in the 60 (6.65) and ran a leg of the 4×400 (3:10.02) that took third overall.

Earlier in the season, the senior won the 200 at the Boston University Last Chance meet against a field of NCAA Division I athletes and he posted the second best performance of all-time in DII history with a 6.67 in the 60 at the Pittsburg State Invitational.

It is the second time in his career he has been named the National Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year (He also captured the award in 2017).

Men’s Field – Isaac Grimes, Chadron State

Grimes, a sophomore from Moreno Valley, California, scored all 18 points for his Chadron State squad during the NCAA Championships as he went off in the horizontal jumps. The sophomore won the national title in the long jump (7.84, 25-8¾) and placed second in the triple jump (15.75, 51-8¾).

Earlier in the season, Grimes also recorded the fourth-best performance of all-time in DII history in the long jump with a mark of 15.03 (49-3¾). Despite battling through injuries at the time, he also won the RMAC Championship in the long jump and was named the conference’s Men’s Field Athlete of the Year.

Grimes is the first athlete in Chadron State history to be named the Men’s National Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Women’s Track – Caroline Kurgat, Alaska Anchorage

Kurgat, a redshirt senior from Eldoret, Kenya, led the nation in individual scoring with 22 points at the NCAA Championships which included two national crowns of her own.  She won both the 3000 (9:15.45) and the 5000 (16:06.37) with championship record-setting performances. To go on top of that, Kurgat also ran a leg of the Alaska Anchorage DMR team which placed second overall.

The NCAA showing was just the icing on the cake for an incredible season that saw the redshirt senior post the fastest all-conditions time ran in NCAA DII-history in the 5000 (15:28.46 on an oversized track) at the Washington Invitational and the best all-conditions time in the 3000 (9:07.05 on an oversized track) at the Washington Indoor Preview. Kurgat was also the GNAC champion in the mile, 3000 and as part of the DMR.

She is the first athlete in Seawolves history to earn the National Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year award.

Women’s Field – Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M

Affessi, a junior from Geneva, Switzerland, scored 14 points across the long and triple jumps at the NCAA Championships. She placed second in the long jump (6.11, 20½) and third in the triple jump (12.77, 41-10¾) to help West Texas A&M to a seventh-place finish at nationals. The junior was responsible for 66 percent of her team’s total points.

She also scored 20 points as the Lone Star Conference Championships to help the Lady Buffs win the team title. The junior won both the long and triple jump events and was named the Lone State Conference Field Athlete of the Year.

For her career, Affessi is the No. 3 ranked triple jump and No. 7 ranked long jump performer in DII history.

It is the second year in a row that Affessi has been crowned the National Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, the third athlete to repeat in award history at the NCAA DII level. West Texas A&M has now won the last three National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year honors.

National Coaches of the Year

Men’s Coach – Jud Logan, Ashland

Logan, in his 15th year at the helm of the Ashland program, won his second career National Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year honor after his team captured the national title this past weekend. It was the program’s first national title in school history during indoors. Behind the strength of his throwing unit, along with sprinter Myle Pringle, the group’s 4×400 relay clinched the title on the last race of the evening, giving Ashland a one-point victory over No. 1 Adams State.

Logan coached the GLIAC Runner of the Year and the Field Athlete of the Year and had six scoring athletes at the indoor national meet, which included one individual national title. His squad finished runner up at the GLIAC Indoor Championships.

Women’s Coach – Damon Martin, Adams State

Martin, in his 26th year at the helm of the storied Adams State program, won his second career National Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year after the Grizzlies ran away with the team title at the NCAA Championships over the weekend. It is the second time in the last three seasons that they have won the national crown.

Adams State recorded 87 points overall, the most scored by a program since 2012. The squad notched four event champions and to go with their DMR unit, had 11 athletes score overall.

The Grizzlies also dominated in winning the RMAC Championships with 157 points. They were the nationally-ranked No. 1 squad for the last four rankings of the indoor season leading into nationals.

Martin also won this award back in 2004.

Men’s Assistant – Ray Robinson, Tiffin

Robinson, in his eighth year with the program, won his second career National Men’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year honor after the Dragons placed third at the indoor national meet behind a strong showing from his throwing group.

Tiffin had the No. 1 shot put and No. 3 weight throw #EventSquad in the country as Robinson coached three athletes ranked in the top-15 of the shot put (which included the No. 2 athlete in the nation in the event) and three in the top-18 of the weight throw. His athletes finished No. 3 and 4 in the shot at the NCAA Indoor Championships and No. 6 in the weight throw. Combined Ashland throwing athletes scored 14 points at nationals.

Women’s Assistant – Dustin Imdieke, Adams State

Imdieke, in just his second year with the Adams State program, won the first National Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year award in program history as he guided the Grizzlies sprint squad to tremendous heights in 2019.

Two athletes in particular, Kandace Thomas and Dianna Johnson, spent the indoor season rewriting the NCAA DII record book. Thomas tied the all-time record in the 60 earlier in the year, while Johnson posted the third-fastest time in the event. Johnson won the 60 at indoor nationals while Thomas took top prize in the 200. Imdieke’s sprints group had four entries into NCAAs overall.