2021 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Awards

NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes & Coaches of the Year for the 2021 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season were announced on Friday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

These awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches following the conclusion of the 2021 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Yankton, South Dakota, based off performances at that meet, as well as throughout the rest of the season.

Only athletes and coaches from member institutions are eligible to win awards.

National Men's Track Athlete of the Year

Talbi, a redshirt sophomore from Tighassoaline, Khenifra, Morocco, starred at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. First, Talbi broke a 22-year-old meet record in the 5000 with his 13:44.13 winner, a solo effort in which he won by more than 53 seconds. Then, Talbi returned to the track less than 30 minutes later to anchor Oklahoma City to a DMR crown. Talbi entered the meet ranked first nationally in the 3000 and third nationally in the 5000, the event in which he won and set the meet record.

National Women's Track Athlete of the Year

Etim, a senior from Ikot Ekphne, Nigeria, doubled up on titles at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. First, Etim captured the 60-meter crown in a season’s best 7.35 that currently ranks her 33rd on the All-College List in 2021. Then, Etim completed the sprint sweep with a victory in the 200 at 24.13. Etim entered the meet ranked first nationally in both events.

National Men's Field Athlete of the Year

Kucera, a junior from Fremont, Nebraska, compiled 18 points in throwing events at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. He won the shot put with a mark of 18.27m (59-11¼) – capping an undefeated season in the process – and finished runner-up in the weight with a heave of 19.86m (65-2). Kucera, a two-time winner at the 2021 GPAC Indoor Championships, entered the meet ranked first in both events.

National Women's Field Athlete of the Year

Correia, a graduate student from Germantown, Maryland, scored points by the bushel in field events at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. She kicked off her weekend with a dominant, 131-point victory in the pentathlon, as she scored 3743 points herself. Then, over the span of the next two days, Correia also won the high jump (1.70m/5-7), finished fourth in the long jump (5.68m/18-7¾) and sixth in the triple jump (11.70m/38-4¾).

National Men's Coach of the Year

Edgar, in his 12th year as head coach of the Warriors, led his team to the national title at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. Indiana Tech won a thrilling team battle over Dordt (Iowa), 51.5-47. The Warriors only had one event title that came in the 4×400 relay, but scored in nine total events, including multiple scorers in both the 200 and 6oH. Earlier in the season, Indiana Tech won the team title at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Indoor Championships with 215 points.

National Women's Coach of the Year

Edgar, in his 10th year as head coach of the women’s track & field program at Indiana Tech, led his team to the national title at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. It was a dominant victory for the Warriors, as they scored 111 points and won by 48 points. Indiana Tech snagged four event titles (3000 RW, 60H, HJ, pentathlon) and had multiple scorers in seven different events (four in the long jump and three in the pentathlon). Earlier in the season, the Warriors won the team title at Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Indoor Championships and broke the team scoring record with 267.33 points.

National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year

Wolf, in his sixth year as an assistant coach with the Defenders in charge of the distance, high jump, hurdles and mid-distance athletes, saw his pupils shine at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. Dordt (Iowa) athletes earned All-America honors in the mile, high jump, 4×800 and DMR and helped the squad finish second in the team standings. Earlier in the season, Wolf’s athletes scored 109 of the team’s 184 points in a winning effort at the GPAC Indoor Championships, which was the program’s first conference title indoors.

National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year

Roark, in his fifth year in charge of the combined events and jumps at Indiana Tech, saw his charges play a starring role in the Warriors’ team title at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, South Dakota. Leondra Correia, his prized pupil, won individual titles in both the pentathlon and high jump. Not only that, but his athletes went 2-4-5-7 in the long jump with Destiny Copeland leading the way and also fourth and fifth behind Correia in the pentathlon. Earlier in the season, those same athletes scored many of Indiana Tech’s record 267.33 points at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Indoor Championships.