2021 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Regional Award Winners

NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season were announced on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Each of the eight regions – Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast and West – honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes as well as the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches.

QUICK LINKS TO AWARDS

Men Women
Track Athletes of the Year Track Athletes of the Year
Field Athletes of the Year Field Athletes of the Year
Head Coaches of the Year Head Coaches of the Year
Assistant Coaches of the Year Assistant Coaches of the Year
USTFCCCA REGIONAL AWARD HISTORY
Athletes of the Year | Coaches of the Year | Assistant Coaches of the Year

 

Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.

Many of these honored athletes and coaches are headed to the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships next week in Birmingham, Alabama.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Julian Griffin – Wheeling

Griffin, a freshman from Lebanon, Ohio, is ranked first regionally in the 60H at 8.28.

CENTRAL REGION – Ryan Riddle – Missouri Southern

Riddle, a sophomore from Webb City, Missouri, is ranked third nationally in the mile at 4:01.07. He is also ranked 20th nationally in the 5000 at 14:09.72. Riddle earned the MIAA High Point Award at the conference championships with victories in the mile and 3000 as well as runner-up effort in the 5000.

EAST REGION – Lee Sortore – Roberts Wesleyan

Sortore, a junior from Allentown, New Jersey, is ranked third regionally in the 3000 at 8:44.21c (8:50.30f).

MIDWEST REGION – Trevor Bassitt– Ashland

Bassitt, a senior from Bluffton, Ohio, rewrote the NCAA DII record book this year. He broke the divisional record in the 400 with his 45.27 at the American Track League Indoor Series, set an all-time, all-conditions best in the 200 with his 20.40 OT winner at the GLIAC Indoor Championships and notched the No. 3 all-time mark in the 60H of 7.67. Bassitt won four titles at the GLIAC Championships and will potentially contest six events at the NCAA meet.

SOUTH REGION – Christian Noble – Lee (Tenn.)

Noble, a senior from Greenfield, Indiana, rewrote the NCAA DII record book in distance events. In the span of three weeks, Noble set divisional records in both the 3000 (7:51.46) and 5000 (13:37.39), and notched the fourth-fastest mile in divisional history (4:00.60). 

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Benjamin Azamati – West Texas A&M

Azamati, a sophomore from Akim Oda, Ghana, cemented himself as one of the best sprinters in NCAA DII history this season. He ran 6.59 in the 60 at the Washburn Open and 21.04c (20.97A) at the Lone Star Indoor Championships, both of which slots him in at No. 5 in divisional history. Azamati is the only athlete in NCAA DII history to go sub-6.60 and 21.00 in the same indoor season.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Devon Moore – Carson-Newman

Moore, a senior from Baxley, Georgia, is ranked fourth nationally in the 60 at 6.74 and eighth nationally in the 200 at 21.44. He is the highest-ranked athlete in the region in any track event.

WEST REGION – James Young – Academy of Art

Young, a senior from Blyth, England, is ranked 11th nationally in the mile at 4:05.06 OT. He also ran a leg on the nation’s third-ranked DMR squad at 9:45.51 OT.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Glenn Butler – Lincoln (Pa.)

Butler, a junior from Greenburgh, New York, is ranked third nationally in the long jump at 7.58m (24-10½) and 11th nationally in the high jump at 2.08m (6-9¾). He recorded two marks this season in the long jump that were better than 7.57m (24-10). 

CENTRAL REGION – Tanner Berg – Northern State

Berg, a senior from Watertown, South Dakota, is ranked first nationally in the weight throw at 22.55m (73-11¾), a mark that has him ranked No. 3 in divisional history and No. 4 on the All-College List this year. He is also ranked 13th nationally in the shot put at 17.40m (57-1). Berg swept the throwing events at the NSIC Indoor Championships and was named NSIC Field Athlete of the Year.

EAST REGION – Demar Osbourne – Roberts Wesleyan

Osbourne, a freshman, is ranked first regionally in both the shot put (12.48m/40-11½) and weight throw (11.14m/36-6¾).

MIDWEST REGION – Tommy Ansiel – Cedarville

Ansiel, a junior from Warrenville, Illinois, is ranked first nationally in the pole vault at 5.31m (17-5). He went undefeated this season in the event and topped 17 feet in each of his five competitions.

SOUTH REGION – Da’Shaun Morgan – Montevallo

Morgan, a junior from Biloxi, Mississippi, is ranked sixth nationally in the long jump at 7.43m (24-4½). He is also ranked second regionally in the triple jump at 14.17m (46-6). Morgan scored 24 points across three field events at the GSC Indoor Championships, winning the long jump, finishing runner-up in the triple jump and then a third-place showing in the high jump.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Ushan Perera – Texas A&M-Commerce

Perera, a freshman from Mahabage, Sri Lanka, is ranked first nationally in the high jump at 2.25m (7-4½), a mark that puts him No. 6 in divisional history and tied for third on the All-College List this season. He hasn’t missed a bar yet, clearing the first 14 heights of his collegiate career.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Joseph Oreva-Edafiadhe – Carson-Newman

Oreva-Edafiadhe, a freshman from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is ranked first nationally in the long jump at 7.84m (25-8¾). He is undefeated this season and won every competition by at least 30 cm (1 foot).

WEST REGION – Colton Burr – Northwest Nazarene

Burr, a junior from Weiser, Idaho, is ranked first regionally in the weight throw at 16.50m (54-1¾) and second regionally in the shot put at 14.00m (45-11¼).

Men’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Patrick Staton – Wheeling

Staton, in his fifth year at Wheeling, has his team ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region. The Cardinals have 20 performances that rank in the top-5 regionally, including six event leaders.

CENTRAL REGION – Russ Jewett – Pittsburg State

Jewett, in his 34th year at Pittsburg State, has his team ranked No. 8 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 1 in the Central Region. The Gorillas  won the team title at the MIAA Championships with 122 points and had three event champions. His athletes have combined for one automatic qualifying mark and 19 provisional marks, with his group achieving 12 of the qualifying marks and have six top-10 nationally ranked performances.

EAST REGION – Andrew Dorr – Roberts Wesleyan

Dorr, in his third year at Roberts Wesleyan, has his team ranked No. 1 in the East Region.

MIDWEST REGION – Jud Logan – Ashland

Logan, in his 16th year at Ashland, has his team ranked No. 2 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 2 in the Midwest Region. The Eagles finished second at the GLIAC Championships and claimed eight event crowns. Logan’s team accumulated six automatic marks, 19 provisional marks, and two NCAA DII records. Ashland will have 13 entries for the NCAA Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Matthew Reneker – Mississippi College

Reneker, in his first year at Mississippi College, has his team ranked No. 4 in the South Region. The Choctaws claimed the team title at the Gulf South Conference Championships. Mississippi College had six event championships, 22 All-GSC honors and set two meet records, including three GSC Championship award honorees. His athletes have 19 top-5 regionally ranked marks.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Matt Stewart – West Texas A&M

Stewart, in his fourth year at West Texas A&M, has his team ranked No. 4 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 3 in the South Central Region. The Buffalos claimed its third team title at the Lone Star Conference Championships as they had eight event champions. Stewart’s team has eight athletes ranked in the top-15 nationally, including two national leaders.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Earl Graves – Mount Olive

Graves, in his fourth year at Mount Olive, has his team ranked No. 3 in the Southeast Region. The Trojans won the team’s fifth consecutive title at the Conference Carolinas Championships with 167.5 points as they claimed seven event crowns and 13 top-3 finishes. His athletes boast the No. 4 triple jump and No. 10 long jump groups in the #EventSquad rankings.

WEST REGION – Kevin LaSure – Academy of Art

LaSure, in his sixth year at Academy of Art, has his team ranked No. 3 in the West Region. The Urban Knights had 16 All-Region performers and the most qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in the region. Academy of Art has three top-15 national rankings, including the No. 3 DMR.

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Jack Fitch – Wheeling

Fitch, in his second year at Wheeling, guided the region’s top squads in four events – the 60, 200, 400 and 60 hurdles. The Cardinals had top individuals in three of those events with three different athletes and were most dominant in the 60 hurdles, topping the region with a 1-2-3 set of rankings.

CENTRAL REGION – Greg Binstock – Augustana (S.D.)

Binstock, in his ninth year at Augustana, mentored four groups to top-5 #EventSquad regional rankings – the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, triple jump and heptathlon. His leading athlete was Tyl Woelber, the high-point scorer in the NSIC Championships.

EAST REGION – Roy Hawkins – Roberts Wesleyan

Hawkins, in his second year as an assistant coach with Roberts Wesleyan, has built the throwing group noticeably. Demar Osbourne is one of three Redhawk freshmen dominating the shot put and weight throw in the region.

MIDWEST REGION – Ernie Clark – Ashland

Clark, in his third year at Ashland, has multiple duties as associate head coach and that includes the guidance of Trevor Bassitt, one of the nation’s top athletes. Bassitt’s domination of the sprints and hurdles nationally also leads an Eagle crew with four other athletes ranked among the region’s top-6. The squad has the nation’s fastest 4×400 relay and contributes to the nation’s No. 2 distance medley team as well.

SOUTH REGION – Austin Billings – Montevallo

Billings, in his third year at Montevallo, led seven athletes to top-5 regional rankings in the jumps and combined events. Nowhere was the Falcons’ dominance more evident than in the heptathlon, owning a sweep of the top-3 positions. Most prominent for the Falcons was Dashaun Morgan, a three-eventer with the highest national ranking of the group at No. 6 in the long jump.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Rock Light – Texas A&M-Commerce

Light, in his third year at Texas A&M-Commerce, coached the region’s top two high jumpers. Ushan Perera leads the nation with the sixth-best mark in NCAA Division II history at 2.25m (7-4½), while Micky Ferdinand gives the Lions a unique combination of events – he’s tied for No. 2 in the high jump regionally and checks in at No. 5 in the pole vault.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Tyler Stepp – Carson-Newman

Stepp, in his seventh year at Carson-Newman, guided four jumpers in three events to be among the region’s best, led by Joseph Oreva in the long jump and Josh Whitaker in the pole vault. Oreva isn’t just the best in the region: he’s No. 1 in the nation.

WEST REGION – Stephen Fuelling – Academy of Art

Fuelling, in his third year at Academy of Art, oversaw a dominant distance group as the Urban Knights landed three entries into the national top-15. Two runners – Eliot Slade (800) and James Young (mile) – were tops in their event regionally and contributed legs to the leading distance medley relay team, which also ranks third nationally.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Emmarie Foote – Wheeling

Foote, a senior from Twinsburg, Ohio, is ranked first regionally in both the 60 (7.91) and 200 (25.37c/25.76f). She finished no worse than second in each race at 200 meters, including two wins.

CENTRAL REGION – Denisha Cartwright – Minnesota State

Cartwright, a redshirt sophomore from Nassau, Bahamas, is ranked top-5 nationally in three different individual events: 60H (No. 1, 8.41), 200 (No. 3, 24.10c/24.47f), 60 (No. 4, 7.52). She was named NSIC Track Athlete of the Year after scoring 28 points at the conference championships with victories in the 60H and 200, to go along with a runner-up effort in the 60.

EAST REGION – Bailey Gostomski – Roberts Wesleyan

Gostomski, a junior from Cattaraugus, New York, is ranked first regionally in the mile at 5:28.09c (5:31.33f) and second regionally in the 3000 at 10:25.73c (10:31.09f).

MIDWEST REGION – Nicole Sreenan – Grand Valley State

Sreenan, a senior from Elburn, Illinois, is currently the national leader in three different individual events – 60 (7.41), 200 (23.70 OT) and 400 (53.35) – and is a member of two national-leading relays – 4×400 (3:44.76) and DMR (11:21.12). She won the 200 and ran a leg of the title-winning 4×400 relay at the GLIAC Indoor Championships.

SOUTH REGION – Celine Ritter – Lee (Tenn.)

Ritter, a senior from Roesrath, Germany, broke a 36-year-old divisional record in the 3000 when she ran 9:11.41f (9:06.73c) at the Camel City Invitational. She is also ranked first nationally in the mile at 4:44.95.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Florance Uwajeneza – West Texas A&M

Uwajeneza, a junior from St. Paul, Minnesota, is ranked second nationally in the 5000 at 16:29.00c (16:42.18A) and 11th nationally in the 3000 at 9:36.75c (9:43.79A). She cleaned up at the Lone Star Indoor Championships, winning event titles in the mile, 3000 and 5000, while setting a meet record in that third event.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Jharna Alston – Emmanuel (Ga.)

Alston, a senior from Atlanta, Georgia, is ranked fourth nationally in the 200 at 24.26. She is also ranked 14th nationally in the 60 at 7.60. Alston was named Conference Carolina Female Track Athlete of the Year after winning both of those events at the conference championships.

WEST REGION – Paige Johnson – Concordia (Calif.)

Johnson, a redshirt sophomore from Sherman Oaks, California, is ranked 13th nationally in the 60H at 8.74 and 23rd nationally in the 60 at 7.64. She hasn’t finished worse than third in any 60H final.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Elizabeth Fleming – Wheeling

Fleming, a senior from Washington, Pennsylvania, is ranked 17th nationally in the weight throw at 18.38m (60-3¾). She leads the region in that event as well as in the shot put at 12.69m (41-7¾). 

CENTRAL REGION – McKenzie Scheil – Wayne State (Neb.)

Scheil, a redshirt junior from Fairmont, Nebraska, is ranked first nationally in the weight throw at 20.67m (67-9¾) and leads the nation by more than two feet. She has three of the division’s top-5 marks in that event this season.

EAST REGION – Anna Ahlquist – Roberts Wesleyan

Ahlquist, a senior from Henrietta, New York, is ranked first regionally in the pole vault at 3.40m (11-1¾).

MIDWEST REGION – Cheyenne Williamson – Saginaw Valley State

WIlliamson, a sophomore from Essexville, Michigan, is ranked second nationally in the pentathlon at 3906 points and sixth nationally in the long jump at 5.99m (19-8). She scored 20 points in field events at the GLIAC Indoor Championships, winning both the high jump and long jump.

SOUTH REGION – Tytavia Hardy – Mississippi College

Hardy, a sophomore from Pensacola, Florida, is ranked 11th nationally in the triple jump at 12.07m (39-7¼) and first regionally in both the long jump at 5.58m (18-3¾) and high jump at 1.66m (5-5¼). She doubled up on horizontal jump titles at the GSC Indoor Championships and set meet records in each of those events as well.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Hannah Meek – UC-Colorado Springs

Meek, a senior from Pueblo, Colorado, is ranked first nationally in the long jump at 6.17m (20-3) and fourth nationally in the triple jump at 12.46m (40-10½). She doubled up on horizontal jump titles at the RMAC Indoor Championships. 

SOUTHEAST REGION – Elise Ulseth – Queens (N.C.)

Ulseth, a junior from Kristiansund, Norway, is ranked top-5 nationally in both the long jump (No. 3, 6.09m/19-11¾) and pentathlon (No. 5, 3828). She is also ranked 15th nationally in the high jump at 1.71m (5-7¼).

WEST REGION – Marie-Jeanne Ourega – Academy of Art

Ourega, a freshman from L’Haÿ-les-Roses, France, is ranked fifth nationally in the long jump at 6.05m (19-10¼) and seventh nationally in the triple jump at 12.28m (40-3½).

Women’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Patrick Stanton – Wheeling

Stanton, in his second year at Wheeling, has his team ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region. The Cardinals are ranked No. 1 in the region across 11 events. His athletes collected 20 All-Region honors this year.

CENTRAL REGION – Mike Turgeon – Minnesota State

Turgeon, in his fourth year at Minnesota State, has his team ranked No. 2 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 1 in the Central Region. The Mavericks won the team title at the NSIC Championships with three event champions. In the #EventSquad rankings, Minnesota State is No. 1 60, 200, 400 and weight throw and has the No. 3 group in the 60H and No. 5 in the pentathlon. The Mavericks had 17 athletes earn All-Region honors and will have 19 entries for the NCAA Championships.

EAST REGION – Mark McCown – Roberts Wesleyan

McCown, in his third year at Roberts Wesleyan, has his team ranked No. 1 in the East Region.

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State

Baltes, in his 22nd year at Grand Valley State, has his team ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 1 in the Midwest Region. The Lakers claimed their 22nd consecutive title at the GLIAC Championships with 255.22 points, winning 10 events and posting top-3 sweeps in the 200 and 5000. Grand Valley State leads the #EventSquad rankings in the mile, 3000, 5000, pole vault, and shot put. The Lakers have been the top-ranked team since the 2020 preseason National TFRI.

SOUTH REGION – Caleb Morgan – Lee (Tenn.)

Morgan, in his ninth year at Lee (Tenn.), has his team ranked No. 15 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 1 in the South Region. The Flames won the team title at the Gulf South Conference Championships and claimed six events. Morgan coached Celine Ritter to a NCAA Division II record in the 3000. The Flames have three qualifiers for the national championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Ross Fellows – UC-Colorado Springs

Fellows, in his fifth year at UC-Colorado Springs, has his team ranked No. 5 in the USTFCCCA National Rating Index and No. 1 in the South Central Region. UC-Colorado Springs scored 216 points to claim the team at the RMAC Championships for the second straight year, winning by 116 points. The Mountain Lions had five event championships and notched 17 podium finishes at the conference meet. Fellows’ has six athletes ranked in the top-10 nationally and boast top-5 #EventSquad groups across eight different events.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Peter Ormsby – UNC Pembroke

Ormsby, in his seventh year at UNC Pembroke, has his team ranked No. 2 in the Southeast Region. The Braves claimed their second straight team title at the Conference Carolinas Championships, winning one event and having 12 top-3 finishes. UNC Pembroke will be represented by Quanterra Harrison at the NCAA Championships.

WEST REGION – Kevin LaSure – Academy of Art

LaSure, in his sixth year at Academy of Art, has his team ranked No. 3 in the West Region. The Urban Knights notched 20 All-Region performers and the most qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in the West. LaSure’s athletes have five marks that rank in the top-35 nationally, including the No. 5 long jumper and No. 7 triple jumper.

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Alex Presley – Wheeling

Pressley, in his third year at Wheeling, coached the region’s top group in the shot put and weight throw. Led by the region’s top field-event athlete, Liz Fleming, the Cardinals claimed the region’s top-3 in the weight throw, plus a 1-3-4 in the shot put.

CENTRAL REGION – Chris Parno – Minnesota State

Parno, in his ninth year at Minnesota State, guided the region’s top-ranked squad in all three sprints and a collective six athletes in the top-10 nationally. One of those athletes, Denisha Cartwright, is also the nation’s top 60-meter hurder. Parno’s athletes accounted for 93 of the Mavericks’ 179 team points in winning the NSIC Championships.

EAST REGION – Christopher Brhel – Roberts Wesleyan

Brhel, in his seventh year at Roberts Wesleyan, coached the region’s top field-event athlete in pole vaulter Anna Ahlquist.

MIDWEST REGION – Brad Robinson – Indianapolis

Robinson, in his fifth year at Indianapolis, guided two Greyhounds to No. 1 national rankings – Berenice Cletet-Merle in the 800 and Lauren Bailey in the 5000. Bailey also rates No. 3 nationally in the 3000.

SOUTH REGION – Colton Coleman – Alabama-Huntsville

Coleman, in his third year at Alabama-Huntsville, helped the Charges attain their first top-25 ranking in the National TFRI. His top athlete, Serenity Andrus, leads the region in the 400 and 800.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Ryan Gibson – West Texas A&M

Gibson, in his third year at West Texas A&M, mentors the nation’s top-2 triple jumpers and three in the top-10. Two of his athletes split the long jump and triple jump titles at the Lone Star Conference Championships.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Vincent Schneider – Queens (N.C.)

Schneider, in his third year at Queens, directs the region’s top-ranked #EventSquad in the high jump, long jump and pentathlon. His leading athlete, Elise Ulseth, leads the region in all three events and is ranked third nationally in the long jump and fifth nationally in the pentathlon.

WEST REGION – Nkosinza Balumbu – Academy of Art

Balumbu, in his second year at Academy of Art, coaches the region’s top-ranked long and triple jumper in Marie-Jeanne Ourega. Ourega is rated among the nation’s top-10 in both events.