NAIA National Award Winners For 2020 Indoor Season

NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season were announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

These awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances at both the 2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Brookings, South Dakota, and throughout the season leading up to that point.

NAIA National Award History

Information on each of the winners can be found below.

USTFCCCA National Awards are presented by Pro Form Sports.

National Athletes of the Year

Men’s Track – Wesley Meyer, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)

Meyer, a senior from Rochester, Indiana, spun gold at the NAIA Indoor Championships this past weekend. He scored 20½ points to help Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) to a runner-up finish in the team standings. Meyer won the mile in 4:06.09, placed second in the 3000 at 8:28.73 and anchored the title-winning DMR team. Earlier in the season, Meyer won the 1000, mile and 3000 at the Chicagoland Conference Indoor Championships with a pair of meet records. 

Women’s Track – Aspen Dirr, Huntington (Ind.)

Dirr, a senior from Hudson, Indiana, stockpiled points at the NAIA Indoor Championships like they were going out of style. She totaled 33 points behind individual victories in the 1000 (2:50.10) and mile (4:53.72), being part of two winning relays (DMR, 4×800) and finishing runner-up in the 5000 (17:12.59). Should we mention that apart from the 4×800, which took place on Friday, Dirr did all of her damage within the span of four hours on Saturday? Yeah. That happened.

Men’s Field – Ineh Emmanuel, William Carey (Miss.)

Emmanuel, a freshman from Warri, Nigeria, scored 18 points at the NAIA Indoor Championships thanks to a victory in the long jump at 7.58m (24-10½) and a runner-up finish in the triple jump at 15.86m (52-0½). His winning mark in the triple jump was the best at the meet in the past 33 years. During the regular season, Emmanuel ranked second in both horizontal jumps.

Women’s Field – Brittany Jones, William Carey (Miss.)

Jones, a junior from Soso, Mississippi, showed her strength throughout the regular season and at the NAIA Indoor Championships this past weekend. She defended her top billing in the long jump coming into the meet with an event title in 6.26m (20-6½) and improved upon her standing in the triple jump with a runner-up finish at 12.19m (40-0). All told, that was 18 points for Jones, who accounted for 25 percent of the Crusaders’ total in South Dakota.

National Coaches of the Year

Men’s Coach – Blake Hegstrom, William Carey (Miss.)

Hegstrom, in his eighth year as head coach at William Carey (Miss.), led the Crusaders to their first indoor national title in program history this past weekend at the NAIA Indoor Championships. WCU scored 82 points across nine events, which included a 1-2 sweep in both the 60 and the triple jump in addition to several other event titles. During the regular season, his athletes set program records in eight events and had 13 top-5 national marks.

Men’s Assistant Coach – Malcolm Dias, William Carey (Miss.)

Dias, in his fourth year as sprints and relays coach at William Carey (Miss.), helped guide the Crusaders to their first indoor national title this past weekend at the NAIA Indoor Championships. His athletes scored 47 of WCU’s 82 points, which included a 1-2 sweep in the 60, another victory in the 200, a first-place 4×400 relay and high placement in both the 400 and 600.

Women’s Coach – Joel Childs, Huntington (Ind.)

Childs, in his third year as head coach of the men’s and women’s track & field programs, led the Foresters to their first indoor national title in program history this past weekend at the NAIA Indoor Championships. Huntington (Ind.) scored 77 points with just 11 entries – so if you break that down further, that’s an average of seven points per entry! The Foresters received substantial contributions from Aspen Dirr and Hannah Stoffel, who combined to score 62 of their team’s points. During the regular season, Huntington (Ind.) finished fourth at the Crossroads League Indoor Championships. 

Women’s Assistant Coach – Tracy Blocker, Huntington (Ind.)

Blocker, in his fourth year in charge of the mid-distance athletes at Huntington (Ind.), helped guide the Foresters to their first indoor national title in program history this past weekend at the NAIA Indoor Championships. His athletes combined to score 69 of the Forester’s 77 points in Brookings, South Dakota! Huntington (Ind.) posted event titles in the 800, 1000, mile (1-2-4), 4×800 and DMR. Blocker coached athletes to a total of 18 “A” standards during the season.