NJCAA DIII Regional Award Winners For 2019 Outdoor Season

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2019 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

These awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches prior to the NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which were held two weeks ago in Utica, New York.

Information on each of the winners can be found below.

USTFCCCA Regional Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Demariye Carpenter – Triton (Ill.)

Carpenter, a sophomore from Silvis, Illinois, is ranked first nationally in the 100 at 10.79 and second nationally in the 200 at 21.77. He was honored as a National Athlete of the Week on April 9.

EAST REGION – Marquise Young – Camden County (N.J.)

Young, a freshman from Glendora, New Jersey, is ranked first nationally in both the 110H (15.48) and 400H (56.15). He is also a member of his program’s 4×100 relay team, which qualified for the NJCAA DIII Championships.

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

Gonzalez, a freshman from Brentwood, New York, is ranked first nationally in the 1500 (4:01.56), second nationally in both the 800 (1:55.26) and 5000 (15:52.19). He was honored as the National Athlete of the Week on April 23.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Wesley Morgan – Thaddeus Stevens

Morgan, a sophomore from Ephrata, Pennsylvania, is ranked second nationally in the discus (43.11m/141-5), third nationally in the hammer (42.67m/140-0) and fourth nationally in the shot put (13.86m/45-5¼). He is also ranked first regionally in all three events.

EAST REGION – Adam Hunt – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Hunt, a sophomore from Collingswood, New Jersey, is ranked first nationally in both the discus (50.29m/165-0) and hammer (53.30m/174-11) and second nationally in the shot put (15.54m/51-0). His mark in the hammer throw is an unofficial NJCAA DIII record and he posted four wins in the discus this season. Hunt was honored as the National Athlete of the Week on April 2.

NORTHEAST REGION – Elijah Washington – Hudson Valley (N.Y.) CC

Washington, a sophomore from Ballston Spa, New York, is ranked second nationally in the hammer at 45.50m (149-4) and sixth nationally in the javelin at 43.52m (142-10). He scored 30 points at the conference championships and won each of the throwing events he was entered in (hammer, javelin and shot put).

Men’s Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Mike Olsen – Triton (Ill.)

Olsen, in just his second year with the program, led his team to the No. 1 overall ranking in the Central Region to go with being the No. 2 team in the entire nation this season. His program currently has three national leaders in the 100, pole vault and triple jump heading into the national meet.

EAST REGION – Ryan Hughes – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Hughes, in his 15th year leading the program at Rowan-Gloucester, has guided his squad to the top-ranked spot in the region to go with being ranked either No. 3 or 4 all season long in the National Rating Index. Hughes had 14 athletes qualified for the national meet in 27 positions. His athletes have the lead in 12 events this season regionally, more than half of the events contested at the national meet, to go with five national-leading marks.

NORTHEAST REGION – Jeffrey York – Hudson Valley (N.Y.) CC

York, is his second year as the head track & field coach with the program, guided his Hudson Valley squad to the NJCAA Region III Championships, the first-ever won in school history behind the strong performances of two event champions. His group is also ranked as the No. 1 squad in the region and the third in the nation.

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Tiffany Hayes – Triton (Ill.)

Hayes had one of the most dominant sprints and hurdles squad in the nation this season leading her to the selection of Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year in the Central Region. Her sprinters and hurdlers own 18 of the top-15 nationally ranked marks, including the No. 1 ranked 100 and No. 2 ranked 200 athlete in the country. His group also has the regional lead in the 100, 200, 110H, 400H, 4×100 and 4×400.

EAST REGION – Joseph Kalnas – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Kalnas, in his 13th year as an assistant with the Rowan-Gloucester program, led his throwing group to one of the most dominating performances in the nation this season. His guys sit No. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 in the discus, No. 1, 5 and 6 in the hammer and No. 1 and 14 in the javelin. They also had the only JUCO III individual thrower invited to the Penn Relays.

NORTHEAST REGION – Erik Smith – Hudson Valley (N.Y.) CC

Smith, in his second year with the program, had four athletes score a total of 72 points across four events to help his school win the conference championships. His throwers have posted eight top-5 performance in the Northeast Region in the shot (No. 2, 4 and 5), javelin (1 and 3), discus (1) and hammer (1, 5). Of those performances, four rank amongst the top-10 in the nation with the best being the hammer (second overall) and discus (fourth).

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Rachael Temple – Harper (Ill.)

Temple, a sophomore from Grant, Illinois, is ranked first nationally in the 5000 at 19:01.65 and eighth nationally in the 800 at 2:35.17. She also competed as a member of the Hawks’ 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams this year.

EAST REGION – Chisom Chinedu – Union County (N.J.)

Chinedu, a sophomore from Freehold, New Jersey, is ranked second nationally in both the 400 (58.83) and the 400H (1:05.23). She is a national qualifier in seven events, of which five are of the individual variety (100, 200, 400, 100H, 400H).

NORTHEAST REGION – Jeanne-Marie Johnson – Kingsborough (N.Y.) CC

Johnson, a sophomore from Staten Island, New York, is ranked first nationally in both the 100 (12.36) and the 200 (25.66). She is also a member of the Wave’s top-ranked 4×100 relay team. Johnson was honored as National Athlete of the Week on April 23.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Maddie Bobinski – Harper (Ill.)

Bobinski, a sophomore from Maine West, Illinois, is ranked first nationally in the javelin at 34.93m (114-7). She is also ranked fourth nationally in the discus at 33.62m (110-4) and fifth nationally in the shot put at 11.08m (36-4¼).

EAST REGION – Elisia Lancaster – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Lancaster, a sophomore from Glassboro, New Jersey, is ranked first nationally in both the hammer (55.52m/182-2) and discus (38.52m/126-5). She is also ranked second nationally in the shot put at 12.91m (42-4¼). Lancaster was honored as National Athlete of the Week on March 26.

NORTHEAST REGION – Jenna Vairo – Sullivan County (N.Y.) CC

Vairo, a freshman from Fallsburg, New York, is ranked second nationally in the high jump at 1.50m (4-11) and seventh nationally in the long jump at 4.55m (14-11¼). She broke school records in each of those events this season.

Women’s Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Jim Macnider – Harper (Ill.)

Macnider, is his eighth year at the head of the Harper program, coached his athletes to top-five national marks in the 800, 1500 (x2), 5000 (x2), 10000 (x2), 400H (x2), 4×100, 4×400, 4×800, pole vault, shot put, discus and javelin. The group led the region all season long and is currently ranked as the No. 2 team in the nation.

EAST REGION – Ryan Hughes – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Hughes, in his 15th year with the storied Rowan-Gloucester program, had his team ranked at the top of the region and third in the nation all season long. His athletes are ranked No. 1 in the East across seven events and led the nation in three overall. The team has 11 qualified athletes in 21 positions for nationals. The group is also undefeated in scored meets this season against regional competitors.

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

French, is his eighth year as a head coach with the Suffolk program, had his team ranked No. 1 in the Northeast Region all season long. The Sharks are also ranked No. 1 in the national rankings heading into nationals. His unit also has top-five national marks across 14 different events.

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

CENTRAL REGION – Renee Zellner – Harper (Ill.)

A familiar name captured this award as renee Zellner, a retired head coach, came back as an assistant with Harper where he is in charge of mentoring the new assistant coaches along with the women’s jumpers and throwers. His athletes ranked top-10 in the national rankings across four events including having the No. 1 javelin thrower in the nation.

EAST REGION – Joseph Kalnas – Rowan-Gloucester (N.J.) CC

Kalnas, is his 13th as an assistant, led his Rowan-Gloucester throwing unit to new heights in 2019. His athletes have the No. 1, 2 and 6 marks in the shot put, No. 1, 3 and 13 in the discus, No. 1, 2 and 10 in the hammer and No. 3, 4 and 6 in the javelin. He also coached the only JUCO individual female thrower to compete at the Penn Relays.

NORTHEAST REGION – Jim Bowles – Hudson Valley (N.Y.) CC

Bowles coached standout Mercedes Planavsky to the No. 1 time in the country in the 10000 and steeple as well as the No. 2 mark in the 5000, No. 3 in the 15000 and No. 4 in the 800. Another athlete, Anna Clarke, also ranked 13th nationally in the 15000 meters. He has Planavsky in a position at nationals to score more than the majority of teams in attendance by herself.