High Point Athletes From 2021 NCAA DII Outdoor T&F Championships
NEW ORLEANS – The High Point Athletes of the Meet from the 2021 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships were announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday. West Texas A&M swept the awards, with Benjamin Azamati earning the honor on the men’s side and Zada Swoopes capturing the award on the women’s side.
Azamati totaled 22 points at the meet, scoring more than any other men’s athlete at the GVSU Lacrosse/Track & Field Stadium, while Swoopes notched 23 points as the highest-scoring woman at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Azamati, a freshman from Akim Oda, Ghana, continued to turn in Benjamin Azamati-like performances. He left Allendale with two national titles and one runner-up finish as part of a relay.
Azamati’s trophy haul started on Saturday by anchoring the 4×100 relay to a second-place finish of 39.82 second. He returned to the track in the 100 and 200 to claim both NCAA titles, clocking times of 10.02 and 20.23, respectively. His 10.02 is the second-fastest performance all-time in NCAA DII behind his record breaking 9.97, while his 20.23 is the fastest all-conditions mark in divisional history over 200 meters.
Let’s quickly rewind to Thursday as Azamati’s historical weekend started there. In the preliminaries of the 100, he crossed the line at 10.04 to lead all qualifiers. That is also the fourth best time on the all-time chart, giving him ownership of the top-5 performances in NCAA DII history.
In all, Azamati’s 22 points accounted for 40 percent of West Texas A&M’s team total of 55. The Buffs finished second in the team standings.
Swoopes, the senior from Whitewright, Texas, won two individual titles and finished sixth in a third event for the Lady Buffs at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Swoopes’ busy weekend began on Thursday with a sixth-place finish in the hammer throw with a toss of 56.83m (186-5) on her second attempt of the competition. She returned on a chilly Friday afternoon to claim her first of two NCAA crowns of the weekend, starting with the discus. Her Round 5 throw of 53.49m (175-6) moved her from third to first and held on to win the title.
Swoopes saved her best for last, as she captured her second career NCAA crown in the shot put in meet record fashion. Her final throw of the competition landed at 17.59m (57-8½), surpassing the old meet record of 17.54m (57-6½) set by Adriane Blewett of Ashland in 2003. Already the second best performer in NCAA DII history behind Blewitt, her winning heave is the fourth farthest throw ever all-time in NCAA DII.
West Texas A&M finished third in the team standings, with Swoopes’ 23 points accounting for more than 46 percent of the team’s 49 points.