NCAA ITF National Athletes of the Week (March 2)
NEW ORLEANS – Conference Championships Weekend lived up to the hype!
We saw some incredible all-time performances across the nation.
Here are the six athletes who stood out from their peers and were named National Athletes of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
- NCAA Division I Men – Shea Foster, Southeastern Louisiana
- NCAA Division I Women – Athing Mu, Texas A&M
- NCAA Division II Men – Trevor Bassitt, Ashland
- NCAA Division II Women – Cheyenne Williamson, Saginaw Valley State
- NCAA Division III Men – Taylor Rooney, Gustavus Adolphus
- NCAA Division III Women – Megan Wallace, UW-Eau Claire
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, when applicable (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and 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.
Senior | Distance
Nobody could beat Shea Foster last week.
It started with 45-second win at the Southland Conference Cross Country Championships in Hammond, Louisiana (We know this is about track & field, but still…)
It ended with Foster winning three individual titles at the Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, setting two meet records in those events and punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships in the 5000 with a gutsy solo effort on what was the penultimate day of qualifying for the meet.
If Foster wanted to earn his way to Fayetteville, Arkansas, next weekend, he had to run 13:44.70 or better in Sunday’s 5000-meter final. Well, Foster locked in early and the next thing he knew, he crossed the finish line in 13:40.36, 40 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Foster, who later won the mile (4:03.57 PR) and 3000 (8:00.79 PR) on Monday, is currently ranked 12th on the Descending Order List in the 5000.
This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Southeastern Louisiana has been named National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season.
Freshman | Mid-Distance
Trenton, New Jersey
Athing Mu went out at record pace and stayed there until the job was done.
Mu destroyed the world U20 record and the collegiate indoor record in the 800 on Saturday at the SEC Indoor Championships, turning in an otherworldly 1:58.40 that shaved more than two seconds off the previous all-time collegiate best set by Jazmine Fray back in 2017.
Mu got out quickly, hitting 200 meters in 28.65 and 400 meters at 57.96. When she made her third lap in 29.64 to put her overall time at 1:27.60, the waiting game was on. Those inside the Randal Tyson Track Center didn’t have to wait long, as she closed in 30.81 for the record.
This was also the first time that a female collegian had gone sub-1:59.00 over 800 meters in a collegiate season, indoors or outdoors. Raevyn Rogers held the previous “absolute” collegiate record at 1:59.10 from 2017.
Mu has been named National Athlete of the Week three times as an individual this indoor season and once more as part of the Texas A&M 4×400 relay team back on February 16.
Senior | Sprints/Hurdles
If the GLIAC Championships showed us anything, it’s that Trevor Bassitt isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
The senior from Bluffton, Ohio not only won four GLIAC titles, he did so while tearing through the NCAA Division II record book.
After equaling his best of 7.68 in the 60H prelims, Bassitt won the finals with a new PR and GLIAC meet record of 7.67. Already the No. 2 performer all-time in divisional history, his winning time also matches the third fastest mark in NCAA DII history.
Bassitt later returned to the track and shattered the GLIAC meet record in the 200 in 20.40. It is also the NCAA DII all-conditions best, demolishing the 20.67 set by Mobolade Ajomale in 2018.
And that’s not all. Bassitt was part of the 4×400 that clocked 3:08.23 for the second fastest all-conditions time in divisional history – just 0.02 off of the all-time NCAA DII record of 3:08.21 set by St. Augustine’s in 1995.
Bassitt also won the 60 crown with a PR of 6.72 seconds – a time that ranks No. 2 on the Descending Order List.
This is the third time this season Bassitt has been named National Athlete of the Week, bringing his total to six career honors during the indoor season.
Sophomore | Sprints/Jumps
Cheyenne Williamson was put to the test at the GLIAC Championships.
It’s safe to say she passed with flying colors.
The sophomore from Essexville, Michigan, competed in six events for the Cardinals over the two day championship meet. Breaking away from the five events in the pentathlon, she walked away with four GLIAC crowns and two runner-up finishes across six events, scoring 42.5 points.
Williamson won the 60H in 8.46 after clocking 8.44 in the prelims of the event. Her 8.44 seconds ranks her No. 2 on the Descending Order List. Two events later, she placed second in the 60 in 7.60. In the prelims, Williamson notched a PR of 7.54 – a time that ranks No. 6 nationally.
She was also part of the winning DMR that ran 11:35.88 and the second place 4×400 relay that ran 3:50.97. The Cardinals have the fourth-ranked DMR and ninth-ranked 4×400.
In the field events, Williamson won the high jump and the long jump. Her winning distance in the long jump of 5.99m (19-8) is No. 6 on the Descending Order List, while her top clearance in the high jump of 1.69m (5-6½) is No. 20.
Williamson’s is nationally ranked in five individual events and two relays – she also has the No. 2 score in the pentathlon with 3906 points.
This is the second time Williamson has been named National Athlete of the Week this indoor season.
Junior | Hurdles
Taylor Rooney added two more all-time marks to the record book in the 60H.
Competing this past weekend in a dual meet against St. Thomas (Minn.), Rooney went 7.90 in the prelims for the No. 8 performance in NCAA DIII history and followed that up with 7.93 effort in the final for the victory and the No. 11 performance on the all-time chart.
Rooney remains the fifth-best performer in NCAA DIII history and is only one of two men with multiple all-time marks in the top-15, joining record-holder Luke Campbell of Salisbury.
This is the second time that Rooney has been named National Athlete of the Week during the current indoor season.
Senior | Combined Events
Megan Wallace made the most of one of her only shots at the pentathlon.
Wallace amassed 3754 points at the UW-La Crosse vs UW-Stevens Point Dual/Multi this past weekend, which makes her the fourth best performer in NCAA DIII history with the fifth best performance. It was the second best score in the division since 2014, sitting behind only Laura Darcey, who put up 3794 points last year for the No. 4 effort on the all-time chart.
This is only the second time in program history that a female athlete from UW-Eau Claire has been named National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season (Erica Oawster, 2019).