2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Awards
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Member coaches voted on these honors following the conclusion of the 2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships two weeks ago in Pittsburg, Kansas, but considered performances at the meet and throughout the regular season when voting on these honors.
National Men's Track Athlete of the Year
Trevor Bassitt was named the National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. Bassitt, who hails from Bluffton, Ohio, had a dominant indoor season and capped it off by scoring 22.5 points at the 2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. He won the 400 (45.36), 60H (7.73) and anchored Ashland’s title-winning 4×400 relay. Both of those individual marks topped the divisional chart this season and that 45.36 is rated No. 2 on the all-dates, all-conditions NCAA DII list.
National Women's Track Athlete of the Year
Berenice Cleyete-Merle was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year. Cleyet-Merle, who hails from Saint-Sulpice-Des-Rivoires, France, had a record-breaking season capped with a 14-point effort at the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships where she won the mile, placed seventh in the 3000 meters and helped UIndy to a runner-up finish in the distance medley relay with a 4:39 anchor. During the regular season, Cleyet-Merle shattered the NCAA DII record in the mile with her 4:31.99 effort at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational and became the second-fastest performer in division history in the 800 meters with her 2:03.89 clocking at the Indiana Relays back in January.
National Men's Field Athlete of the Year
Johnathon Harper was named the National Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. Harper, who hails from Lorena, Texas, won the NCAA DII heptathlon title, scoring 5751 points, a performance that ranks him third in NCAA DII history. His previous personal best of 5451 points was set earlier this season at the Boo Rogers Combined Events. During his championship performance, Harper set a new personal best in the pole vault, clearing 4.95m (16-2¾). Harper competed in two field events at the Lone Star Championships (as well as several track events) and placed third in the pole vault and sixth in the long jump.
National Women's Field Athlete of the Year
Cheyenne Williams was named the National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. Williamson, who hails from Essexville, Michigan, broke the NCAA DII record in the pentathlon in winning the multi at the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships. She totaled 4929 points in Pittsburg, Kansas, which shattered the previous all-time best set by Lindsay Lettow back in 2012 by nearly 100 points. Williamson also finished fourth in the long jump with a mark of 6.10m (20-0¼). She scored 26 points in field events at the GLIAC Indoor Championships behind victories in both of those events, as well as a third-place effort in the high jump.
National Men's Coach of the Year
Jerry Baltes was named the National Men’s Coach of the Year. Baltes, in his 23rd year at Grand Valley State, guided the Lakers to the program’s first indoor title at the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships. Grand Valley State recorded 66 points behind a gender-high 15 First-Team All-American athletes, which included a national champion in the 200 meters (Brandon Miller) and a 2-3 finish in the 3000 meters (Isaac Harding and Tanner Chada), among other sterling efforts. Earlier in the season, Grand Valley State also captured the team title at the GLIAC Championships with 257 points behind 12 event crowns to win by 141 points.
National Women's Coach of the Year
Mike Turgeon was named the National Women’s Coach of the Year. Turgeon, in his fifth year at Minnesota State, guided the Mavericks to their first team title at the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships. Under Turgeon’s direction, the Mavericks had three national champions (60, 60H, long jump) and 15 All-America honors in Pittsburg, Kansas. During the regular season, Minnesota State won the team title at the NSIC Indoor Championships with a conference-record 243 points and had seven event champions. In the Pre-Championships edition of the #EventSquad Rankings, the Mavericks had 11 event groups ranked in the top-6 nationally, including four No. 1 squads in the 60, 200, long jump and weight throw.
National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year
Nick Aguila was named the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Aguila, in his first year as assistant coach at American International, coached the Yellow Jackets’ distance crew to a fantastic year on the track. Athletes coached by Aguila scored 23 of AIC’s 25 points at the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships with a national title in the mile, a runner-up effort in the 800 and a fourth-place finish in the distance medley relay. Callum Elson, Aguila’s prized pupil who won the NCAA title in the mile, is ranked seventh on the NCAA DII all-time chart in that event with his 3:59.71 from earlier in the season.
National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year
Chris Parno was named the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Parno, in his 10th year as associate head coach at Minnesota State, coached the Mavericks’ sprint/hurdle crew to a pair of titles and the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships – Makayla Jackson in the 60 and Denisha Cartwright in the 60-meter hurdles – and a total of 24 points. During the regular season, Parno’s charges combined for a plethora of plaudits, including top-3 national #EventSquad Rankings in four event areas: No. 1 in the 60 and 200; No. 3 in the 400 and 60H.