NCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (March 3)

NEW ORLEANS – Conference Championships Weekend had no shortage of strong performances.

Here are six athletes who stood out the most and were named National Athletes of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.

Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.

National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to eight collegiate indoor track & field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions as well as the NJCAA).

Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.

The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.

NCAA DIVISION I MEN – Edwin Kurgat, Iowa State

Senior | Distance
Eldoret, Kenya

For the first time in program history, Iowa State won a Big 12 team title in men’s indoor track & field and Edwin Kurgat is a major reason why.

The senior from Eldoret, Kenya, scored 26 points as he completed the distance double for the second year in a row and finished third in the mile.

Kurgat started things off with a victory in the 5000 on Friday and returned to the track with a third-place finish in the mile on Saturday. Then in the nightcap, Kurgat gave the Cyclones 10 needed points in the 3000 as they secured the program’s first conference title since 1994 when they were members of the Big Eight.

This is the second time this season that Kurgat has been named National Athlete of the Week. He previously earned the honor following his blistering 5000 way back on December 10.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Tonea Marshall, LSU

Senior | Hurdles
Arlington, Texas

Tonea Marshall already put her name among the all-time greats in collegiate history when it comes to the Women’s 60 Hurdles.

After her performance at the SEC Indoor Championships this past weekend, Marshall is one strong effort from distancing herself from them entirely.

Marshall won the conference title in the 60H in 7.89, which tied the most times a female athlete has gone sub-7.90 in collegiate history (Brianna Rollins, 2013). She needed every last bit of that time as Grace Stark of Florida finished runner-up in an all-time freshman best and World U20 record of 7.91 and made it the second fastest race in collegiate history.

If you’re counting at home, Marshall now has three marks in the all-time top-12: No. 3, No. 11 and No. 12. That also ties Rollins for the most in collegiate history.

This is the second time that Marshall has been named National Athlete of the Week for her efforts this indoor season. She last earned the honor on January 21.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Trevor Bassitt, Ashland

Junior | Sprints/Hurdles
Lima, Ohio

Ashland put Trevor Bassitt to work at the GLIAC Championships.

The senior from Lima, Ohio scored 30.5 points for the Eagles as he was on the podium on four separate occasions. He was victorious in the 60 Hurdles (7.93), 400 (46.84), and closed his day out by anchoring the 4×400 relay to a new automatic qualifying mark of 3:11.11. He was also the GLIAC Runner-Up in the 200 in 20.80, the third-fastest all-conditions time in DII history.

This is the third time Bassitt has been named National Athlete of the Week. He previously earned the honor January 14 and January 28.

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Ida Narbuvoll, U-Mary

Senior | Distance
Narbuvoll, Norway

Ida Narbuvoll led U-Mary to its third straight NSIC title.

The senior from Narbuvoll, Norway, scored 30 of U-Mary’s 163 points. After winning the 5000 on Saturday night, she returned to the track on Sunday to claim two more victories in the mile and 3000. She saved her best race for last, as she set a new NSIC Championship record in the 3000 in 9:31.37 and surpassing the NCAA automatic qualifying standard.

This is the first time an athlete from UMary has been named National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season.

NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Dylan Cooper, UW-Eau Claire

Senior | Combined Events
Holmen, Wisconsin

Dylan Cooper of UW-Eau Claire went ALL the way to the top.

Cooper, who already etched his name into the NCAA Division III record book earlier this season when he became the seventh best performer in the heptathlon, leapfrogged five more men and tied the all-time best score of 5441 points this past weekend at the WIAC Indoor Championships. That matched the effort that Will Daniels of Central (Iowa) turned in last year at the Wartburg Indoor Select (Daniels is now at NCAA Division I Iowa).

It was a brilliant performance from Cooper as he started the meet with a PR in the 60 of 7.27, equaled his PR in the long jump of 6.70m (21-11¾) and then closed things out in style with a one-second PR in the 1000 of 2:27.41.

This is the second time this season that Cooper has been named National Athlete of the Week. He last earned the honor on February 4 following his previous PB in the multi. 

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Favor Ezewuzie, Wheaton (Ill.)

Senior | Sprints/Hurdles/Jumps
Malden, Massachusetts

Favor Ezewuzie had no equal this past weekend.

The senior from Malden, Massachusetts, scored 40 points at the CCIW Indoor Championships thanks to commanding victories in the 60 (.25 seconds), 200 (.50 seconds), 60 Hurdles (.29 seconds) and the long jump (three inches).

It was a mark that Ezewuzie turned in during the prelims of the 60H that stood out the most. She went 8.60 for what is now the 13th fastest performance in NCAA DIII history, 0.07 seconds off her PB of 8.53 that has her ranked as the fourth fastest performer with the sixth fastest performance.

Ezewuzie is all over the top-5 of various NCAA DIII Descending Order Lists as well. She is No. 1 in the 60H at 8.60, No. 2 in the 60 at 7.57, No. 3 in the 200 at 24.95 and No. 8 in the long jump at 5.74m (18-10).

This is the first time that Ezewuzie has been named National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. It also marks the first time in award history that a female athlete from the CCIW has earned the honor indoors.