2019 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Postseason Awards
NEW ORLEANS – Postseason awards for the 2019 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field season were released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), following the conclusion of the 2019 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which were held two weeks ago in Pittsburg, Kansas.
USTFCCCA Regional & National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.
These awards are voted on by member coaches and based on performances at both the NJCAA Championships and throughout the regular season.
National Athletes of the Year
Men’s Track Athlete of the Year
Nehemiah Too – Colby (Kan.) CC
Too, a sophomore, scored a whopping 28 points at the NJCAA Championships thanks to victories in the mile and 5000 as well as a runner-up finish in the 3000. He entered the meet ranked first nationally in the 3000 at 8:12.78 –which is the second fastest all-conditions mark in NJCAA history – second nationally in the 5000 at 14:32.74 and fourth in the mile at 4:12.93.
Women’s Track Athlete of the Year
T’Nia Riley – Barton (Kan.) CC
Riley, a freshman from Minneapolis, Minnesota, scored 20½ points at the NJCAA Championships to help lead the Cougars to the national title. The freshman notched individual titles in the 60 and 200 and was a member of the seventh-place 4×400 relay. Riley, who was a triple Region IV champ, entered the national meet ranked second nationally in both the 60 and in the 200.
Men’s Field Athlete of the Year
Jonathan Ply – Central Arizona
Ply scored 18 points at the NJCAA Championships, winning the heptathlon with 5350 points – the fifth best score in NJCAA history – and finishing fourth in both the high jump and pole vault. During the regular season, Ply also amassed 5160 points in the multi, which is the ninth best score in the history of the division.
Women’s Field Athlete of the Year
Grace Chinonyelum – Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Chinonyelum, a freshman from Omor, Nigeria, scored 22 points at the NJCAA Championships. She won individual titles in the high jump and the triple jump, and finished seventh in the long jump. She entered the national meet ranked first nationally in both events that she won and was the Region VI champ in those events as well.
National Coaches of the Year
Men’s Coach of the Year
Nigel Bigbee – Iowa Central CC
Bigbee, in his first year as head coach of the Iowa Central men’s program, led his team to the NJCAA title two weeks ago. The Tritons scored 90½ points to outdistance the rest of the field. During the regular season, Iowa Central dominated the Region XI Championships as athletes he coaches finished 1-2-3-5-6-7 in the triple jump, 2-4-5-7 in the long jump, 1-2 in the 60H and second in the high jump.
Women’s Coach of the Year
David Schenek – Barton (Kan.) CC
Schenek, in his 11 year as head coach of the Cougars, led his team to the NJCAA title as they scored 119 points. Barton (Kan.) entered the national meet ranked first nationally in the TFRI. During the regular season, the Cougars romped to a victory at the Region VI Championships, a meet at which they had seven event champions.
Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year
Drew Mahin – Cloud County (Kan.)
Mahin, in his sixth year with the Thunderbirds, helped them to a third-place team finish at the NJCAA Championships. During the regular season, athletes he coached starred in the jumping events (six were ranked in the top-15 nationally) and athletes he recruited bolstered the No. 1 unit in the #EventSquad Rankings.
Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year
Mark’Quis Frazier – Barton (Kan.) CC
Frazier, in his second year with the Cougars, watched his athletes play a critical role in bringing a team title back to the program for the first time since 2006. His sprinters and hurdlers, as well as the relays that they are on, combined to score 70 of Barton (Kan.)’s 119 points at the meet, of which included three national champs (60, 200 and 4×400).
These awards were voted on by member coaches prior to the NJCAA Championships.
Men’s Track Athletes of the Year
Atlantic Region – Kyle Hinson – Louisburg (N.C.)
Hinson, a sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina, was ranked third nationally in the 3000 at 8:29.16 and seventh nationally in the 5000 at 14:52.53. He qualified for three events at the NJCAA Championships.
Central Region – Santino Kenyi – Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Kenyi, a freshman from Central Equatoria, South Sudan, was ranked first nationally in both the mile (4:08.48) and the 5000 (14:30.10). He was the Region VI High Point Male of the Meet as he won the mile and 5000, placed third in the 800 and seventh in the 3000.
Midwest Region – Kenny Bednarek – Indian Hills (Iowa) CC
Bednarek, a freshman from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was ranked first nationally in both the 200 (20.30) and the 400 (46.65). His time in the 200 doubles as the NJCAA record, while his time in the 400 ranks eighth all-time.
West Region – Emmanuel Yeaboah – Western Texas
Yeaboah, a sophomore from Kumasi, Ghana, was ranked first nationally in the 60 with a time of 6.58. That mark also doubles as the third fastest time in NJCAA history.
Women’s Track Athletes of the Year
Atlantic Region – Faten Laribi – Monroe (N.Y.)
Laribi, a freshman from Algiers, Algeria, was ranked first nationally in both the 800 (2:12.97) and the 1000 (2:52.54). She was also ranked 22nd nationally in the 600 at 1:40.46.
Central Region – Coshan Campbell – Highland (Kan.) CC
Campbell, a sophomore from Freeport, Bahamas, was ranked first nationally in the 600 at 1:31.48 and third nationally in the 800 at 2:15.25. Her time in the 600 was the top time at the NJCAA level by nearly two seconds and doubled as the No. 9 time in NJCAA history. Campbell scored 23¼ points at the Region VI Championships and was named Track Athlete of the Meet.
Midwest Region – Florance Uwajeneza – Iowa Central CC
Uwajeneza, a freshman from St. Paul, Minnesota, was ranked third nationally in both the 3000 (10:05.26) and the 5000 (17:57.54). She was the Region XI champ in the 800 and 5000.
West Region – Mariya Hudson – Western Texas
Hudson, a sophomore from Cahokia, Illinois, was ranked first nationally in both the 200 (23.65) and the 400 (54.34). Her time in the 200 is the sixth fastest mark ever recorded in NJCAA history, while her time in the 400 sits 10th.
Men’s Field Athletes of the Year
Atlantic Region – Lloyd McCurdy – Monroe (N.Y.)
McCurdy, a freshman from Georgetown, Guyana, was ranked second nationally in the triple jump at 15.61m (51-2¾) and sixth nationally in the long jump at 7.26m (23-10).
Central Region – Dodley Thermitus – Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
Thermitus, a sophomore from Elizabeth, New Jersey, was ranked first nationally in both the triple jump (15.73m/51-7) and the long jump (7.73m/25-4½). He was the Region VI champ in both of those events.
Midwest Region – Silas Ristl – Vincennes (Ind.)
Ristl, a freshman, was ranked first nationally in the shot put at 17.82m (58-5¾). That mark made him the ninth best performer in NJCAA history.
West Region – Asani Hylton – South Plains (Texas)
Hylton, a sophomore from Rhodes Hall, Jamaica, was ranked first nationally in the heptathlon with 5136 points and second nationally in the high jump at 2.11m (6-11). His score in the multi is the 10th best tally in NJCAA history.
Women’s Field Athletes of the Year
Atlantic Region – Elisia Lancaster – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC
Lancaster, a sophomore from Glassboro, New Jersey, was ranked third nationally in the weight throw at 17.40m (57-1) and eighth nationally in the shot put at 13.44m (44-1¼).
Central Region – Grace Chinonyelum – Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Chinoyelum, a freshman from Omor, Nigeria, was ranked first nationally in both the triple jump (13.09m/42-11½) and in the high jump (1.71m/5-7¼). She was the Region VI champ in both of those events and broke the Region VI Championships record in the triple jump.
Midwest Region – Lea Grady – Iowa Central CC
Grady, a freshman from Davenport, Iowa, was ranked fourth nationally in the shot put at 14.88m (48-10) and eighth nationally in the weight throw at 16.55m (54-3¾). She was the Region XI champ in the shot put.
West Region – Kristal Liburd – New Mexico JC
Liburd, a sophomore from Sandy Point, St. Kitts and Nevis, was ranked first nationally in the long jump with the fourth-best mark in NJCAA history (6.29m/20-7¾). She was also ranked third nationally in the triple jump at 12.19m (40-0).
Men’s Coaches of the Year
Atlantic Region – Lesleigh Hogg – Monroe (N.Y.)
Hogg, in his fifth year as the head of the program, oversaw the No. 1 ranked regional team in the Atlantic during this indoor season along with being the No. 9 team in the country according to the National TFRI. The team has six performances ranked in the top-10 in the 200, 60H, 4×800, triple jump, shot put and weight throw events.
Central Region – Harry Kitchener – Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Kitchener, in his 42nd year at the helm of the program, had the No. 1 team in both the region and the country in the latest TFRI rankings. The T-Birds had five event champions on their way to winning the Region VI Championships.
Midwest – Nigel Bigbee – Iowa Central CC
In didn’t take Bigbee, in his first year with the program, very long to make his mark on Iowa Central CC as the team cruised to a Region XI Championship with nine individual title winners this indoor season. Bigbee’s main focus is with the hurdle, jumps and mid-distance groups and he had five jumpers, two hurdlers and six middle distance athletes advance to NCAAs.
West – James Williams – Western Texas
Williams, in his seventh year with the school, finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the region and the No. 6 ranked squad overall in the nation. Eleven of his athletes performances ranked in the nation’s top-10 at season’s end.
Men’s Assistant Coaches of the Year
Atlantic Region – Shirvon Greene – Monroe (N.Y.)
Greene, in his ninth year with the school, has a focus on the middle and distance athletes of the program. His Mustangs had the top marks in the region in the 600, 800 and 1000 as well as having the second-ranked mile and 3000 athletes. His 4×800 unit also ranks first in the region and third in the country.
Central Region – Drew Mahin – Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Mahin, in his sixth year with the school, assists with the jumps as well as the hurdles and the short sprint athletes in the program. Mahlin’s athletes ranked in the top-15 nationally across the jump events and he was instrumental in assisting in recruiting the distance talent that has led to a No. 1 national team ranking for the T-Birds.
Midwest Region – Jordan Burkholder – Iowa Central CC
Burkholder, in his second year with the school, had two national qualifiers in the men’s shot put (No. 6 and No. 18 ranked athletes in the nation) to go with six national qualifiers in the weight throw, all of whom sit in the top-14 in the country.
West Region – Trinity Williams – Western Texas
Williams, in her six year at the school, had 21 individual qualifying performances from 12 athletes and two relays in her event areas for the national championships. 11 of those performances were ranked in the top-10 in the nation while one of her athletes posted the third-fastest time in NJCAA history in the 60. Regionally Williams had 27 athletes in the top-10 nationally in their events with five event leading marks.
Women’s Coaches of the Year
Atlantic Region – Lesleigh Hogg – Monroe (N.Y.)
Hogg, in her fifth year with the program, oversaw the No. 1 team in the region and the No. 3 unit in the country this indoor season. Her team posted 12 performances that ranked in the national top-five entering the NJCAA Championships.
Central Region – David Schenek – Barton (Kan.) CC
Schenek, in his 11th year with the school, coached the No. 1 team in both the region and the nation this indoor season. His team captured the Region VI Championships behind the strong performances of seven event title winners.
Midwest Region – Nigel Bigbee – Iowa Central CC
Bigbee, in just his first year with the program, coached the squad to the Region XI Championship with six individual title winners leading the charge. The program was the top-ranked unit in the Midwest to go with being the No. 5 team in the nation. Bigbee coached the 600 champion in India McNeil and his two triple jumpers, who were making their championship debut, finished second and third overall.
West Region – Keith Blackwill – New Mexico JC
Blackwill, is his 14th year leading the program, oversaw the No. 2 ranked program in the NJCAA this season which included a No. 1 ranking in the West Region. Blackwill, with a focus on sprints, hurdles and jump, had four of his athletes rank first in the nation in the 60H, long jump, pole vault and pentathlon this season. In his event areas alone he had 12 athletes qualified for the national meet.
Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year
Atlantic Region – Shirvon Greene – Monroe (N.Y.)
Greene, in his ninth year with the program, had athletes rank in the top-five nationally in every event area he coaches (600 through 5000 meters, 4×800 and DMR). Had the No. 3 and No. 5 ranked athletes in the 600, the top-two athletes in the 800, the top-three 1000 athletes and the No. 6 5000 athlete. The group also boasted the top-ranked 4×800 team in the country.
Central Region – Dan Adler – Cowley (Kan.)
Adler, in his third year with the program, coached five athletes into the top-30 across distance events. The list of standouts include two athletes in the top-12 of the 800, two in the top-14 of the 1000, two in the top-15 in the 3000 and the No. 5 miler to go with the No. 9 ranked 5000 athlete.
Midwest Region – Shellene Williams-Davis – Iowa Western CC
Williams-Davis, in her seventh year at the school, coached one of the most complete sprint groups in the nation this season as her Reivers had athletes ranked at the top of the charts in the 60, 200, 400 and the 4×400. This includes Dorcas Gyimah who is ranked in the top-10 in both the 60 and the 200.
West Region – Frank Barker – South Plains (Texas)
Barker, is his ninth year at the program, oversaw two of the most dominate distance runners in the NJCAA this indoor season in freshmen Gladys Jemaiyo and Dorcus Ewoi. Jemaiyo set a national record in the 5000 and is ranked No. 1 in the 3000, fifth in the 800 and second in the mile while Ewoi is tops in the nation in the mile and fifth in the 3000.