2019 NJCAA DI Cross Country Postseason Awards

NEW ORLEANS – Postseason awards for the 2019 NJCAA Division I Cross Country season were released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), following the conclusion of the 2019 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which were held this past weekend at the University of New Mexico Golf Course in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SEE MORE: National Awards | All-Americans | Regional Awards

Scroll below to find out who earned some hardware from the USTFCCCA in 2019!

National Awards

These awards are voted on by member coaches following the NJCAA DI Championships.

USTFCCCA National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Wesley Banguria, Colby (Kan.) CC

Banguria, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, won the individual title at the NJCAA Division I Championships with his most dominant performance of the year, clocking 22:55 for the 8K tract to win by more than a minute. His winning time made him just the fourth runner in NJCAA DI history to go sub-23 minutes at the national championships. Banguria won all five races he started this year, including the Region VI Championships, Fort Hays State Tiger Open, Emporia State Invitational and Colorado College Invitational.

WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Faith Linga Chepengat, Iowa Western CC

Chepengat, a freshman from Nairobi, Kenya, won the individual title at the NJCAA Division I Championships by 13 seconds with a 22:55 time for the 5K distance. That marked the second fastest time by an individual champion in meet history. The victory also avenged her only loss to a fellow JUCO runner this year when she was runner-up at the Region XI Championships. Chepengat also won individual titles at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open, Briar Cliff Invitational and Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational this season.

MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

Drew Mahin, Cloud County (Kan.) CC

Mahin, in his seventh season as head coach, led the T-Birds to its first-ever national cross country title at the NJCAA Division I Championships, capping a season-long position at the top of the national rankings. Cloud County won the strong Region VI Championships with 35 points over seven nationally ranked teams – four in the top-10. The team also won the Ollie Isom Invitational (perfect 15 score) and the early-season Terry Masterson Twilight Classic, along with being the top JUCO squad in the Chile Pepper Festival top race, Emporia State Invitational, Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational, and Augustana Twilight Meet.

WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR

Dee Brown, Iowa Central CC

Brown, in his 16th year coaching the Tritons, led his team to its third-consecutive NJCAA Division I title. The victory gave the program its eighth DI crown, the most by any program in history. Iowa Central – a unanimous No. 1 in the national poll all season – also won its 16th-straight Region XI Championships title and the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational and early-season Mustang Gallop. The Tritons were the top-finishing JUCO team against NCAA Division schools at the Chile Pepper Festival (seventh), Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational (second), and Hawkeye Invitational (third).

USTFCCCA All-Americans

Here is a list of those athletes who were named All-Americans by the USTFCCCA.

For an athlete to earn All-America status, they must have finished among the top-15 athletes at the NJCAA DI Championships and belong to a USTFCCCA member program.

2019 NJCAA DI Cross Country – USTFCCCA All-Americans

Men’s All-Americans
Women’s All-Americans
Name
Program
Name
Program
Saba Khvichava
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Abigael Kemboi
Colby (Kan.) CC
Dais Malebana
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Francisca Jebor
El Paso CC
Kwanele Sandile
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Everlyn Kemboi
El Paso CC
Wesley Banguria
Colby (Kan.) CC
Lilian Busienei
Iowa Central CC
Dennis Kiptoo
El Paso CC
Winrose Chesang
Iowa Central CC
Bradley Makuvire
El Paso CC
Eleonora Curtabbi
Iowa Central CC
Sylvestre Kibarar
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
Florance Uwajeneza
Iowa Central CC
Andrew Kibet
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
Faith Chepengat
Iowa Western CC
Awet Yohannes
Iowa Central CC
Sharon Chumo
Monroe-New Rochelle (N.Y.)
Kassim Kibet
Iowa Western CC
Flomena Asekol
New Mexico JC
Shawn Kiptoo
Iowa Western CC
Montserret Rios
New Mexico JC
Flyn Fuhrmann
Mesa (Ariz.) CC
Dorcus Ewoi
South Plains (Texas)
Zouhair Talbi
Northwest Kansas Tech
Gladys Jemaiyo
South Plains (Texas)
Felix Kemei
Trinidad State (Colo.) JC
Sheilah Cheruiyot
Trinidad State (Colo.) JC
Devin Paredes
Trinidad State (Colo.) JC

Regional Awards

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

USTFCCCA Regional Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

Men’s Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Geoffrey Bwalley — Monroe-New Rochelle (N.Y.)

Bwalley, a freshman from Kapsabet, Kenya, was undefeated against JUCO competition. He won the individual title at the Region XV Championships in 25:48.7, winning by more than two minutes. He also won the Louisville Classic Blue race and Queensborough Invitational and was the top JUCO finisher at both the Ted Owen Invitational (second) and Stony Brook Wolfie Invitational (second).

CENTRAL REGION — Wesley Banguria — Colby (Kan.) CC

Banguria, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, was undefeated in four races and earned National Athlete of the Week honors with each effort. None of his victories were close as he won individual titles at the Region VI Championships title and Emporia State Invitational by more than 30 seconds and crossed the finish line first at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open and Colorado College Invitational by more than one minute ahead of the next closest competitor.

GREAT LAKES REGION — Dillan Haviland — Lansing (Mich.) CC

Haviland, a sophomore from St. John’s, Michigan, won the individual title at the Region XII Championships by more than 30 seconds in 25:48.0. He was also the top JUCO runner in the Lansing Invitational (second), Knight-Raider Invitational (fifth), and Michigan State Spartan Invitational (fifth).

MIDWEST REGION — Awet Yohannes — Iowa Central CC

Yohannes, a sophomore from Gothenburg, Sweden, won the individual title at the Region XI Championships in 24:16.2. He also won the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational to earn National Athlete of the Week honors on October 21. Yohannes won the early-season Mustang Gallop and was the top JUCO runner in the Hawkeye Invitational (third). He was the third JUCO runner in the Chile Pepper Festival (50th) and Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational (sixth).

WEST REGION — Gideon Cheplak — El Paso CC

Cheplak, a sophomore from Ainabkoi, Kenya, was undefeated against JUCO competition and only lost one time – a season-opening second to an NCAA Division I runner. He won the individual title at the Region V Championships by 27 seconds in 25:29.9, as well as the Vanguard Invitational (14 seconds), South Plains Open (8 seconds), and Saints Invitational (4 seconds) – each time leading a 1-2-3-4 finish of El Paso runners.

Men’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Shirvon Greene — Monroe-New Rochelle (N.Y.)

Greene, in his 10th year as head coach, led the Mustangs to its fifth-straight Region XV Championships title with 18 points. Monroe, which is ranked No. 19 in the country, also won the Queensborough Invitational and was the the top JUCO team in the Louisville Classic Blue race, Ted Owen Invitational, and Stony Brook Wolfie Invitational.

CENTRAL REGION — Drew Mahin — Cloud County (Kan.) CC

Mahin, in his seventh season as head coach, led the T-Birds to a season-long position at the top of the national rankings. Cloud County won the strong Region VI Championships with 35 points over seven nationally ranked teams – four in the top-10. The team also won the Ollie Isom Invitational (perfect 15 score) and the early-season Terry Masterson Twilight Classic, along with being the top JUCO squad in the Chile Pepper Festival top race, Emporia State Invitational, Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational, and Augustana Twilight Meet.

GREAT LAKES REGION — Jim Robinson — Lansing (Mich.) CC

Robinson, in his 12th year as head coach, led the Stars to its second-straight Region XII Championships with 20 points. Lansing, ranked No. 11 in the nation, had its full squad finish as the top JUCO team at the Lansing Invitational (second), Knight-Raider Invitational (eighth), and Michigan State Spartan Invitational (17th).

MIDWEST REGION — Dee Brown — Iowa Central CC

Brown, in his 16th year as head coach, led the Tritons to its seventh-straight Region XI Championships title with 23 points over five other nationally ranked teams. Iowa Central – No. 2 in the national poll – won the Mustang Gallop and was the top JUCO squad at the Hawkeye Invitational (third) and Jim Derws/Tori Neubauer Invitational (third). Iowa Central’s only JUCO losses were to No. 1-ranked Cloud County at the Chile Pepper Festival and Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational.

WEST REGION — Felix Hinojosa — El Paso CC

Hinojosa led the Tejanos to the Region V Championships title with 20 points over three other nationally ranked teams. El Paso, currently No. 3 in the nation, swept the top-four spots in each of its four victories this year as they also won the Vanguard Invitational (35 points), South Plains Open (21 points), and Saints Invitational (17 points). Their only loss was by three points to NCAA Division I UTEP at the early-season Lori Fitzgerald Memorial.

Women’s Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Sharon Chumo — Monroe-New Rochelle (N.Y.)

Chumo, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, won the individual title at the Region XV Championships in 17:59.3, winning by more than 30 seconds. She also won the Queensborough Invitational and was the top JUCO finisher in the Louisville Classic Blue race (seventh), Ted Owen Invitational (second), and Stony Brook Wolfie Invitational (second).

CENTRAL REGION — Abigael Kemboi — Colby (Kan.) CC

Kemboi, a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won the individual title at the Region VI Championships in 23:30.6. She also ran well at the Emporia State Invitational (second, top JUCO runner), Fort Hays State Tiger Open (third) and Colorado College Invitational (second JUCO runner).

GREAT LAKES REGION — Meagan Moreno — Vincennes (Ind.)

Moreno, a freshman from Morton, Illinois, won the individual title at the Region XXIV Championships by 45 seconds in 18:48.9. She was the top JUCO runner in the Walt Crawford Open (8th), Evansville Invitational (13th), and John McNichols Invitational (113th), 3rd JUCO runner in the Louisville Classic Blue race (41st).

MIDWEST REGION — Winrose Chesang — Iowa Central CC

Chesang, a sophomore from Kenya, started the year as her team’s No. 3 runner but finished with consecutive National Athlete of the Week honors. She won the individual title at the Region XI Championships by 11 seconds in 16:41.2, a week after winning the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational 6K by 30 seconds in 21:02.6. After taking third behind two teammates in the early-season Mustang Gallop, Chesang was the top JUCO runner at the Hawkeye Invitational (second) and Chile Pepper Festival (16th). She was the second JUCO finisher at the Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational (third).

WEST REGION — Flomena Asekol — New Mexico JC

Asekol, a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, was undefeated in five races, most recently winning the individual title at the Region V Championships by more than 30 seconds in 18:11.3. She also posted impressive winning margins at the South Plains Invitational (12 seconds), New Mexico JC Invitational (14 seconds), Texas Tech Open (22 seconds), and Western Texas Open (44 seconds).

Women’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION — Shirvon Greene — Monroe-New Rochelle (N.Y.)

Greene, in his 10th season as head coach, led the Mustangs to its fifth-straight Region XV Championships title with 20 points. Monroe – nationally ranked No. 4 – also won the Queensborough Invitational and was the top JUCO team in the Louisville Classic Blue race (fifth), Ted Owen Invitational (third), and Stony Brook Wolfie Invitational (fifth).

CENTRAL REGION — Cameron Rieth — Cowley (Kan.)

Rieth, in his first year as head coach, led the Tigers to its second-straight Region VI Championships with 42 points over four other nationally ranked teams. Cowley also won the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic and was the top finishing JUCO team at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open (seventh), Missouri Southern Stampede (second), and JK Gold Classic (fifth). In the Chile Pepper Festival’s top race, the Tigers were the second-best JUCO team.

GREAT LAKES REGION — Don Cox — Cuyahoga (Ohio) CC

Cox, in his 29th year as head coach, led the Tri-C’s to Region XII Championships title with 35 points, ahead of then-higher-ranked Lansing (Mich.) CC. Cuyahoga, now No. 11 in the nation, won the Daniel Walker Invitational and was the top JUCO squad at the Disney Classic (sixth), Race in the Park (fifth), All-Ohio Championships (26th), Behrend Invitational (third), and Tommy Evans Invitational (eighth).

MIDWEST REGION — Dee Brown — Iowa Central CC

Brown, in his 16th year as head coach, led the Tritons to its 16th-straight Region XI Championships title. Iowa Central – a unanimous No. 1 in the national poll all season – also won the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational and early-season Mustang Gallop. The Tritons were top-finishing JUCO team against NCAA Division schools at the Chile Pepper Festival (seventh), Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational (second), and Hawkeye Invitational (third).

WEST REGION — Frank Barker — South Plains (Texas)

Barker led the Texans to victories in four of five meets, twice over two other top-10 teams. South Plains – ranked No. 3 nationally, won the Region V Championships (35 points), Angelo State Blue & Gold (17 points), South Plains Invitational (39 points), and New Mexico JC Invitational (26 points). Its only loss was a second-place finish to NCAA Division I Texas Tech in the season-opening Texas Tech Open.