National Athletes of the Week Include Final Regular-Season DI & DIII Honorees
NEW ORLEANS—The six collegiate National Athletes of the Week, announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), came from six different meets.
Two of the athletes earning honors are in their first year competing in the United States—Division I women’s winner Brianna Ilarda of Providence and Division II men’s winner Silas Too of Shorter—while a third, Division III woman Cassia Hameline of St. Lawrence, is a senior in her first-ever cross country season.
Two more—DII woman Emily Oren of Hillsdale and DIII man Dawson Miller of UW-Whitewater—are nationally accomplished steeplechasers, while the sixth, DI man Sorone Batiste of Prairie View A&M, won a conference championship on Monday morning.
See what each of them did this weekend by clicking their names above or by continuing to read on below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to six collegiate cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions).
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.
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 | Humble, Texas
The first men’s cross country conference champion of 2014: Sorone Batiste of Prairie View, who won the SWAC title in 26:34 on Monday morning. (The Panthers also won the team title with just eight men on their roster) Batiste is from Humble, Texas, but his track accomplishments are pretty immodest: he’s a 1:49 800 man. He and his teammates have nearly three weeks off before the South Central regional meet on Friday, November 14.
Freshman | Perth, Australia
The first-year from Oz won by seven seconds over the unconventional 3k distance at Central Connecticut State’s Mini Meet on Friday. Ilarda and the Friars, who are ranked third in the Northeast, return to competition this weekend at the Big East championships. The defending national champions will look to defend their conference titles against national No. 24 Villanova.
Freshman | Eldoret, Kenya
All fall, the first-year has been dominating meets, but been slightly eclipsed each week by a more nationally prominent performance. So you’ll have to forgive the pun we’ve been saving for weeks: the Division II Athlete of the Week won by “Too” minutes on Saturday. He hasn’t lost to an NCAA athlete all fall; Too’s average margin of victory in his four wins has been 77.2 seconds. The only collegian to come within five seconds of Too in a race this fall is Division I All-American Malachy Schrobilgen, who lost to Too by two seconds at Louisville.
(RS) Sophomore | Holland, Michigan
Facing the best Division II field on the weekend at the Midwest Regional Preview, Hillsdale’s Emily Oren won convincingly. The Charger ran a blazing 20:43 6k to beat several national qualifiers and DII All-Americans on Saturday. Oren’s résumé isn’t exactly lacking, as she was fifth in both the NCAA indoor mile and outdoor national steeplechase. Oren and the Chargers are idle this weekend before racing at the GLIAC championship next Satuday.
Senior | Whitewater, Wisconsin
The Warhawks’ Dawson Miller is our DIII Athlete of the Week after ripping a 15-second win at Oskhosh this weekend. Miller is a four-time All-American on the track, but has never qualified for cross country nationals. His 26:05 clocking at Lake Breeze is the fastest time on that course in his career; he and the ‘Hawks next race at WIACs (hosted by UW-La Crosse) on Saturday.
Senior | New Hartford, New York
Though Division III Athlete of the Week Cassia Hameline is a senior, this is actually her first year of cross country. Her astonishingly dominant first fall on the trails (she’s only lost to two DIII athletes this season) continued with a win at Saturday’s NYSCTC championship. Hameline spent her first two years on the Saints’ track team as a multi-event athlete, and recently settled into a long sprinter role. The Saints defend their Liberty League title on Saturday.