Division II XC Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year Announced for 2014 Season

Division II XC Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year Announced for 2014 Season

NEW ORLEANS – Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2014 NCAA Division II Cross Country season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as voted on by the Division’s coaches.

More information on each of the winners can be found below.

QUICK LINKS
MEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year
WOMEN: Region Athletes of the Year | Region Coaches of the Year

Award History: Athlete | Coach

The NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be contested December 6 at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the Division II Fall Sports Festival hosted by Bellarmine and the Louisville Sports Commission. The meet will be broadcast live online on NCAA.com.

Men’s Athletes of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Aaron Dinzeo, California (Pa.)

Year
Past Winner
2013
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2012
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2011
Alex Monroe, Lock Haven
2010
Nathan Zondlo, Lock Haven
2009
Ben Hahn, Edinboro

Dinzeo won his fifth race in six attempts in 2014, after taking blowout wins at Fordham, Slippery Rock, and Lock Haven invitationals plus the PSAC championship.  The senior from Sidney, Ohio, has only lost to Mike Biwott at Paul Short.  He beat Shippensburg’s Brayden Burleigh by four tenths of a second for the regional title, his closest race of the year.

CENTRAL REGION – Harald Karbo, Augustana (S.D.)

Year
Past Winner
2013 Paul Yak, Augustana (S.D.)
2012
Travis Beniak, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Gabriel Proctor, Western State
2010
Ben Zywicki, Colorado Mines
2009
Reuben Mwei, Adams State

Karbo is the third straight Augustana runner to take home a cross country regional title. Karbo, a junior from Stord, Norway, beat Missouri Southern’s Eric Schott by seven seconds for the win.

 

EAST REGION – Mike Biwott, American International

Year
Past Winner
2013 Mike Biwott, American International
2012
Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell 
2011
Glarius Rop, American International
2010
Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell
2009
Glarius Rop, American International

Biwott hasn’t lost a cross country race since taking fourth at the NCAA Championships last year.  He defended his regional title with a 44-second margin of victory.  That’s pretty typical for the junior from Kapsowar, Kenya: his four prior wins this fall were by 81, 7, 23, and 95 seconds.

MIDWEST REGION – Tyler Pence, Southern Indiana

Year
Past Winner
2013 Johnnie Guy, Southern Indiana
2012
Matt Brooker, Cedarville
2011
Anthony Witt, Grand Valley State
2010
Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State
2009
Tyler Emmorey, Grand Valley State

For only the second time in the last two years, Pence beat his Southern Indiana teammate and defending regional champ Johnnie Guy. The first was a month ago on their same home course, when Pence beat Guy for the win at the Midwest Regional Preview. A senior from Springfield, Ill., Pence beat Grand Valley State’s Alan Peterson by 4.1 seconds for the victory.

SOUTH REGION – Dessie Demlew, Benedict

Year
Past Winner
2013 Valentine Lenz, Saint Leo
2012
Blaise Binns, Alabama-Huntsville
2011
Moses Kirui, Florida Tech
2010
Daniel Kirwa, Harding
2009
Daniel Kirwa, Harding

Demlew dominated the South, as no one finished within 35 seconds of the sophomore’s 31:35.  Earlier this fall, Demlew won the SIAC title and invitationals at Winthrop and South Carolina.  He’s from Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

 

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Tabor Stevens, Adams State

Year
Past Winner
2013 Vegard Olstad, Western State
2012
Kevin Batt, Adams State
2011
Laban Sialo, Central Missouri
2010
Amos Sang, Abilene Christian
2009
Amos Sang, Abilene Christian

Stevens, the defending national champion, took second officially to his teammate Kevin Batt at the regional by a slight margin as the duo crossed the tape five seconds clear of the field in leading the Grizzlies to the region team title. Stevens, a senior and native of Canon City, Colo., won the RMAC title earlier in the fall.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Ahmad Nesbitt, North Greenville

Year
Past Winner
2013 Dylan Lafond, Mount Olive
2012
Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
2011
Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
2010
Meshack Koyiaki, Columbus State
2009
Oscar Ogwaro, Queens (N.C.)

Nesbitt easily defeated Clayton State’s Job Kemboi by ten seconds on Saturday. It was his third straight win this fall, on the heels of victories at the Wingate Bulldog Stampede and the Conference Carolinas meet. Nesbitt is a junior from Spartanburg, S.C.

WEST REGION – Henry Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage

Year
Past Winner
2013 Isaac Chavez, Chico State
2012
Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2011
Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Marko Cheseto, Alaska Anchorage

Henry Cheseto has only lost once all year, a 15-second defeat to his teammate Dylan Anthony in early October. The first-year Seawolf won Saturday’s race by 14 seconds over another teammate, Dominik Notz.  Cheseto hails from Kapenguria, Kenya.

 

Men’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Aaron Russell, Lock Haven

Year
Past Winner
2013
Aaron Russell, Lock Haven
2012
Doug Watts, Edinboro
2011
Doug Watts, Edinboro
2010
Aaron Russell, Lock Haven
2009
Steve Spence, Shippensburg

Led by Aaron Russell in his 17th year at the helm, Lock Haven won its second-straight region title, scoring 36 points to runner-up Shippensburg’s 63. It was also the team’s fourth Atlantic win in six years as the top five Lock Haven runners finished in the race’s top 12. Earlier in the fall, his squad won the PSAC title over the same Shippensburg team, 38-58.

CENTRAL REGION – Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)

Year
Past Winner
2013
Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2012
Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Damon Martin, Adams State
2010
Damon Martin, Adams State
2009
Damon Martin, Adams State

Guided by Tracy Hellman in his 14th year, his team won the region for the third-straight year. Led by junior Harald Karbo, the team took places 1-3-5-9-10-11-14 to dominate the field with a 28-82 win over nearest challenger Sioux Falls. The team also took six-of-the-top-eight places, scoring just 22 points, to win the NSIC crown earlier in the fall.

EAST REGION – Leo Mayo, American International

Year
Past Winner
2013
Karen Boen, Stonehill
2012
Kevin Curtin, Bentley
2011
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2010
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell
2009
Gary Gardner, UMass Lowell

Leo Mayo in his ninth year at American International led the school to the region crown for the second time in three years. Improving from a fourth-place showing a year ago, the team won, 33-90, over nearest-challenger Stonehill for the East as junior Mike Biwott was the individual winner. The squad impressed with only 19 points to win the Northeast-10 title and Biwott won the individual crown at the open New England Championships this fall.

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

Year
Past Winner
2013
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2012
Steve Picucci, Ferris State 
2011
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2010
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009
Jenny Bellsky, Saginaw Valley State

Led by Jerry Baltes in his 16th year led the Lakers to its 13th-straight region title with a 43-91 victory over runner-up Malone. The GVSU top five placed in the region race’s top 12. The team also won the GLIAC crown with 33 points to Malone’s 67.

SOUTH REGION – Ben Martucci, Florida Southern

Year
Past Winner
2013 Ben Martucci, Florida Southern
2012
Bryan Hagopian, Nova Southeastern
2011
David Cain, Alabama-Huntsville
2010
Steve Guymon, Harding
2009
Steve Guymon, Harding

Led by second-year coach Ben Martucci, the Mocs won the region for the second-straight year with a 74-105 triumph over nearest challenger Saint Leo. With the region win, the squad avenged an earlier runner-up showing to Saint Leo at the Sunshine State Conference Championships.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Damon Martin, Adams State

Year
Past Winner
2013
Damon Martin, Adams State
2012
Damon Martin, Adams State
2011
Mike Harney, Eastern New Mexico
2010
Kirk Pedersen, Central Missouri
2009
Tom Rutledge, Missouri Southern

The No. 1 Grizzlies, led by Damon Martin in his 20th year, won a regional for the seventh-straight year as they edged Colorado Mines, 38-41. Led by junior Kevin Batt, ASU scored a 1-2-7-8 showing among its top four runners. Adams State was also challenged by Colorado Mines for the RMAC title but was again victorious, 33-38.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Mike Owens, Mars Hill

Year
Past Winner
2013 Matt Van Lierop, Mount Olive
2012
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State 
2011
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2010
Mike Owens, Mars Hill
2009
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)

Mike Owens, in his 21st year at the helm, led the Lions to the region crown. Improving from a fourth-place showing in the region a year ago, the team will make its first appearance at the NCAA Championships since 2010. The same squad won the South Atlantic Conference title with only 27 points, capturing individual finishes of 2-3-5-7-10.

WEST REGION – Gary Towne, Chico State

Year
Past Winner
2013 Gary Towne, Chico State
2012
Gary Towne, Chico State
2011
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Gary Towne, Chico State

Gary Towne in his 19th year led Chico State to its third-straight crown. Sweeping places 4-5-6-7-8, the team managed to score just 30 points to runner-up Alaska Anchorage’s 53. With just 29 points and a 1-4-7-8-9 finish, the Wildcats won the CCAA league crown, 29-46, ahead of Cal Poly Pomona.

 

Women’s Athletes of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Kasey Jones, Edinboro

Year
Past Winner
2013 Vicki Davis, Bloomsburg
2012
Katie Spratford, Shippensburg
2011
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2010
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
2009
Neely Spence, Shippensburg

Jones took a surprising Atlantic title after finishing third against functionally the same field at the PSAC Championships a week ago. She beat Bloomsburg’s Lauren Lehman by a sizeable 31 seconds for the region crown.   The junior hails from Holland, N.Y.

CENTRAL REGION – Samantha Rivard, Minnesota Duluth

Year
Past Winner
2013 Jennifer Agnew, U-Mary
2012
Runa Falch, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Lauren Kleppin, Western State
2010
Kristen McGlynn, Adams State
2009
Morgan Place, Minnesota Duluth

Rivard, the top returner from last year’s Central Region meet, beat her conference rivals Leah Seivert and Sasha Hovind by 8 and 14 seconds for the victory.  Last year as a freshman, the Bulldog took fourth at regionals before finishing eighth at nationals.  As a sophomore, she’s won races at Roy Griak, St. Olaf, and the Bob Waxlax Invite.  Rivard is originally from Oak Grove, Minn., and transferred to UMD from Bemidji State.

EAST REGION – Rachel Prutsman, Roberts Wesleyan

Year
Past Winner
2013 Tara Dooley, Bentley
2012
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2011
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2010
Jeptui Cherutich, American International
2009
Erin Carmone, Stonehill

After losing to Talya Williams of LIU Post by ten seconds at East Coast Confernce meet, Prutsman won regionals by 5.3 seconds over Williams.  The senior won the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) meet the week prior to winning the regional crown.  Prutsman is from Arcade, N.Y.

MIDWEST REGION – Emily Oren, Hillsdale

Year
Past Winner
2013 Samantha Johnson, Ferris State
2012
Allyson Winchester, Grand Valley State
2011
Amanda Putt, Hillsdale
2010
Christina Muir, Ferris State
2009
Christina Muir, Ferris State

Like Pence, Oren won the Midwest Region after losing her conference meet.  Four Grand Valley runners beat Oren two weeks ago, but they were no match for her on Saturday.  Oren beat Bellarmine’s Emily Frith by eight seconds; the champ is a junior from Holland, Mich.

SOUTH REGION – Kelley Bahn, West Florida

Year
Past Winner
2013 Vicky Winslow, Alabama-Huntsville
2012
Kelly Hagan, Tampa
2011
Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2010
Heather Nicolosi, Tampa
2009
Sara Trane, Florida Tech

Bahn, a senior from Tallahassee, beat Saint Leo’s Colett Rampf by six and a half seconds to win the South Region.  The Argonaut hasn’t lost a race since early October.  She’s also the Gulf South Conference champion.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Lauren Martin, Adams State

Year
Past Winner
2013 Lauren Martin, Adams State
2012
Alicia Nelson, Adams State
2011
Chloe Susset, Abilene Christian
2010
Anais Belledant, Abilene Christian
2009
Kimi Shank, Missouri Southern

Martin, a senior from Alamosa, Colo., finished third in the regional as part of a 1-2-3 Adams State sweep. Earlier in the month, she won the RMAC title by nearly three seconds, again as part of an ASU 1-2-3 triumph. Lauren is the daughter of Adams State head coach Damon Martin.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Catie Byrd, Queens (N.C.)

Year
Past Winner
2013 Hannah Witt, King
2012
Kaley Glover, Montevallo
2011
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2010
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
2009
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne

Catie Byrd beat her Queens teammate Megan Wright by 21 seconds and the rest of the field by 37 seconds to win the Southeast Region.  This was her first win of the season after taking second at the Montevallo Falcon Classic and the South Atlantic Conference meet. The junior from Ziconia, N.C., is a transfer from Spartanburg Methodist.

WEST REGION – Katelyn Steen, Western Washington

Year
Past Winner
2013 Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage
2012
Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage
2011
Ruth Keino, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Sarah Porter, Western Washington
2009
Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific

Steen lined up as the top returner in the West Region, and finished as the champion. She beat Cal Baptist’s Caroline Barkechir by five seconds for the win.  The senior is from Sammamish, Wash.

 

Women’s Coaches of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Rick Hammer, Edinboro

Year
Past Winner
2013 Mike Rohl, Mansfield
2012
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2011
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2010
Steve Spence, Shippensburg
2009
Steve Spence, Shippensburg

Led by second-year coach Rick Hammer, Edinboro won the region for the second year in a row with a 51-60 edge over runner-up Bloomsburg. Junior Kasey Jones won the individual title as part of a 1-3 finish. The PSAC title also went to Edinboro this fall.

CENTRAL REGION – Joanna Warmington, Minnesota Duluth

Year
Past Winner
2013 Joanna Warmington, Minnesota Duluth
2012
Tracy Hellman, Augustana (S.D.)
2011
Jennifer Michel, Western State
2010
Damon Martin, Adams State
2009
Damon Martin, Adams State

Fourth-year coach Joanna Warmington led the squad to its second-straight region title with a 40-59 victory over nearest challenger Augustana (S.D.). Sophomore Samantha Rivard scored the individual crown as the team’s top three fell into the top eight of the region race. The squad took runner-up to Augustana at the NSIC meet off a 48-48 tiebreaker.

EAST REGION – Andrew Dorr and Jennifer Dorr, Roberts Wesleyan

Year
Past Winner
2013
Karen Boen, Stonehill
2012
Katie Rees, Adelphi
2011
Karen Boen, Stonehill
2010
Andrew Rickert, Saint Rose
2009
Karen Boen, Stonehill

In its first year eligible for the NCAA DII postseason, married coaching tandem Andrew and Jennifer Dorr led Roberts Wesleyan to the region crown. With a 1-5-7-8-11 finish, the team produced 31 points to top runner-up Stonehill who had won five-straight region crowns entering this season. A week prior to the regional, the squad won the NCCAA national crown ahead of Dallas Baptist, 27-95. With four finishing in the top six, the team also won the East Coast Conference title this fall.

MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

Year
Past Winner
2013 Dana Schwarting, Lewis
2012
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State 
2011
Rod Cowan, Saginaw Valley State
2010
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
2009
Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State

The Lakers, won the region for the 14th-consecutive season with a 42-76 victory over runner-up Hillsdale as the squad had a 3-4-6-10-19 showing. Baltes is in his 16th year at the school. GVSU swept the top four spots in the finish order at the GLIAC Championships for the league title, 21-61.

SOUTH REGION – Jarrett Slaven, Tampa

Year
Past Winner
2013
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2012
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2011
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2010
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa
2009
Jarrett Slaven, Tampa

Led by Jarrett Slaven in his 16th year at the school, the Spartans won its eighth-straight region title, topping the field and runner-up Saint Leo, 63-73. The team finished second at the Sunshine State Conference Championships earlier in the year.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Damon Martin, Adams State

Year
Past Winner
2013
Damon Martin, Adams State
2012
Damon Martin, Adams State
2011
Koby Styles, Midwestern State
2010
Russ Jewett, Pittsburg State
2009
Patty Vavra, Missouri Southern

Adams State won the region for the third-straight season for Damon Martin in his 27th year leading the women’s program. Sweeping the top three individual spots, ASU scored just 21 points to dominate the field, far ahead of runner-up Western State’s 99. The squad needed only 18 points to win the RMAC title with finishes 1-2-3-5-7-9.

SOUTHEAST REGION – Tommy Barksdale, Montevallo

Year
Past Winner
2013 Joe Soehnlen, Wingate
2012
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State 
2011
Tommy Barksdale, Montevallo
2010
Scott Simmons, Queens (N.C.)
2009
J.D. Evilsizer, Columbus State

Fourth-year coach Tommy Barksdale led the Falcons to the Southeast region crown, improving the squad’s finish from eighth in 2013. Montevallo won the region with a, 60-90, decision over nearest challenger North Georgia. The squad also won the Peach Belt Conference crown, placing its top four runners in the race’s top five, to score just 24 points for the league title.

WEST REGION – Brit Townsend, Simon Fraser

Year
Past Winner
2013
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2012
Gary Towne, Chico State
2011
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2010
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage
2009
Michael Friess, Alaska Anchorage

Led by Brit Townsend in her 15th year at the helm, Simon Fraser won the region, 103-112, over Chico State as runner-up. The Clan won the region for the first time since becoming full members of Division II three years ago. In a tighter battle, the team won the GNAC title 62-63-64 over runner-up Alaska Anchorage and third-place Western Washington earlier in the fall.