Inaugural NJCAA Regional Awards Announced for 2015 Indoor Track & Field
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NJCAA ITF Regional Awards

Inaugural NJCAA Regional Awards Announced for 2015 Indoor Track & Field

NEW ORLEANS – The inaugural class of Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2015 NJCAA indoor track & field season were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as voted on by the NJCAA’s coaches.

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

The NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be contested March 6-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meet will be streamed live on Flotrack Pro.

Men’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Ronaldo Ball – Monroe

Ball, a sophomore from Brooklyn, N.Y., enters the NJCAA Championships with a divisional-leading time in the 1000 meters, 2:27.16. He also finished the regular season sixth nationally in the 800 meters (1:53.30).

CENTRAL REGION – Sampson Laari – Barton County CC

Laari, a sophomore from Accra, Ghana, scored 38 pts in winning the 800 meters, 1000 meters and Mile races as well as finishing second in the 5000 meters at the Region VI Championships. Laari’s point total was nearly one-third of the squad’s 120-point winning. Laari battled back from an injury early in the season.

MIDWEST REGION – Robert Murphy – Vincennes

Murphy, a sophomore from Warsaw, Ind., is currently second on the NJCAA season list in the mile (4:09.39), second at 3000 meters (8:21.61), fifth at 800 meters (1:53.22), seventh at 1000 meters (2:31.13) and on the seventh-ranked DMR (10:23.14). He holds school records in every event 800 through 3000 meters.

WEST REGION – Harry Mulenga – Central Arizona

A freshman from Chililabombwe, Zambia, Mulenga holds the division’s No. 1 qualifying-mark in the Mile, a converted 4:04.47 (originally 4:09.91 at altitude) and ranks sixth nationally in the 5000 meters.

 

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Keimon Barrow – SUNY Delhi

A sophomore from New Rochelle, N.Y., Barrow cleared the second-best height in the division, high jumping 7-1 (2.16m) this season.

CENTRAL REGION – Johnnie Jackson – Coffeyville CC

A sophomore from Cherry Hill, N.J., Jackson broke the NJCAA weight throw record this season with a throw of 20.35/66-9¼, besting the previous record by over a meter. He was also the Region VI champ with the weight.

MIDWEST REGION – Isaiah Thomas – Vincennes

Thomas, a sophomore from Wanatah, Ind., Thomas sits second on the NJCAA season list in the long jump with a season best of 25-2½ (7.68m). He has broken the Vincennes University school record three times this season in the event.

WEST REGION – Eldred Henry – Central Arizona

Henry, a sophomore from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, eclipsed the NJCAA shot put record by throwing 65-7½ (20.00m) this season. He is only 45 centimeters short of qualifying for the IAAF World Championships in the shot.

 

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Stephanie Boucher – Mohawk Valley CC

A sophomore from New Hartford, N.Y., Boucher has qualified for the NJCAA Championships in five individual events and the DMR, an event in which she is the anchor. She notched a school record of 1:17.16 in the 500 meters and added additional all-time program bests of 2:17.94 at 800 meters, 2:59.64 at 1000 meters, 5:12.18 in the mile, and 10:59.65 in the 3000 meters.

CENTRAL REGION – Lydia Mato – Barton County CC

Mato, a sophomore from Accra, Ghana, scored 48 points at the Region VI Championships with wins at 1000 meters, the Mile, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters. In addition, she placed second at 800 meters in the league meet. She currently owns the division’s fastest times in the mile, 3000 and 5000 meters. She’s entered in the 1000, Mile, 3000, and 5000 meters for this weekend’s NJCAA Championships.

MIDWEST REGION – Destiny Carter – Iowa Central CC

A sophomore from Danville, Ill., Carter enters the NJCAA meet ranked fourth in the 60 meters and eighth in the 200 meters. She notched a Region XI meet record with a 7.52 clocking at 60 meters.

WEST REGION – Chrisann Gordon – South Plains

A sophomore from Cave Valley, Jamaica, Gordon blazed an all-time NJCAA record 52.41 at 400 meters at the Tyson Invitational, finishing fifth overall in a stacked field full of top-billing NCAA Division I athletes. She enters the NJCAA meet as the top-ranked athlete in the 400 meters and 600 meters, is on the division’s top-seeded 4×400, and also top-five ranked in the 200 meters and 800 meters.

 

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Breaisha Morton – ASA College

A freshman from Brooklyn, N.Y., Morton enters the NJCAA meet ranked seventh nationally in both the high jump and triple jump. The top-ranked marks in the region of 5-7 (1.70m) and 37-5¾ (11.42m), respectively, both were achieved at the Ramapo’s Roadrunner Tune-Up at the New York Armory.

CENTRAL REGION – Tayla Greene – Coffeyville CC

Greene, a sophomore from Rockledge, Fla., enters the NJCAA Championships ranked No. 2 nationally in the weight throw with a season’s best of 17.72m/58-1¾.

MIDWEST REGION – Martiesha Caines – Iowa Central CC

A sophomore from Temecula, Calif., Caines was the Region XI winner of the high jump and pentathlon with a division-leading score of 3,548 points. She also ranks in the season’s national top ten in the long jump and high jump.

WEST REGION – Morgan Hartsell – South Plains

A freshman from Lubbock, Texas, Hartsell is the division-leader in the pole vault by over a foot with a best of 12-6¼ (3.82m).

 

Men’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Michael Smart – Essex County (N.J.)

Smart, in his 29th year with the program, has nine entries into the NJCAA Championships and a squad that ranks in the national top 20. In the final regional rankings, Essex County finished third.

CENTRAL REGION – Dave Schenek – Barton County CC

Schenek, leading Barton County in his seventh year, led the program to the Region VI title this season, improving from a ninth-place finish a year ago. With the fourth-most 26 national-championship entries, the team enters the national championships ranked 12th

MIDWEST REGION – Emmett Statzer – Iowa Western CC

Statzer, in his eighth year with the program, has a crew ranked fourth nationally entering the NJCAA Championships. The team has 29 entries into the national championships.

WEST REGION – Chris Beene – South Plains

Beene, in his 11th year with the program, has the No. 1-ranked team in the nation heading to the NJCAA Championships. The team has a meet-leading 40 entries into the national championships.

 

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Shirvon Greene – Monroe

Greene, a middle-distance coach in his eighth year at Monroe College, has  a group that appears three times among the division’s top ten this season and are entered in the national championships. In addition, the 4×400 and DMR squads he coaches are entered in the NJCAA meet.

CENTRAL REGION – Robert Wood – Coffeyville CC

Parker, in his second year as distance assistant coach at Barton, led Sampson Laari to winning three of four events and scoring 38 points at the Region VI Championships. In total, his athletes scored 55 of the 120 points that Barton needed to win the region crown.

MIDWEST REGION – Shellene Williams-Davis – Iowa Western CC

Williams-Davis, in her fourth year guiding the sprints and relays at Iowa Western has a group that won four event titles at the Region XI Championships and recorded four school records this season. The group has ten entries into the NJCAA Championships in sprint and hurdle events and two relays, the 4×400 and the 4×800.

WEST REGION – Blaine Wiley – South Plains

Wiley, in his ninth year as coach of sprints, hurdles, relays, and jumps at SPC, has a bevy of athletes qualified to the NJCAA Championships: 12 in sprints and hurdles, nine in jumps, and two relays. He has the top-ranked athletes in the 60, 200, and 400 meters, and triple jump along with the top-ranked 4×400 relay.

 

Women’s Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Michael Smart – Essex County (N.J.)

Smart, in his 29th year with the program, has sevem entries into the NJCAA Championships and a squad that ranks No. 12 nationally. In the final regional rankings, Essex County finished fourth.

CENTRAL REGION – Craig Perry – Coffeyville CC

In his eighth year at Coffeyville, his team won the Region VI championship with 173 points, 14 ahead of nearest challenger Barton County CC (159). With 26 entries into the national championships, his program ranks seventh nationally.

MIDWEST REGION – Denny Myers – Iowa Central CC

Myers, in his sixth year at Iowa Central, has the No. 1-ranked team in the nation and a meet-leading 38 entries heading into the NJCAA Championships. As coach of middle-distance events and the high jump, those athletes account for 18 of the entries, plus two relays.

WEST REGION – Chris Beene – South Plains

Team finished season ranked No. 1 in the region and ranked No. 2 in the nation as of February 25..

 

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year

ATLANTIC REGION – Shirvon Greene – Monroe

Greene, in his eighth year at Monroe, led his distance group to six national-qualifying marks this season. Two relays also are competing this weekend at the NJCAA Championships.

CENTRAL REGION – Tony Davis – Barton County CC

In his first year as assistant coach at Barton Community College, Davis led his sprints-and-hurdles group to nine entries into the NJCAA Championships. That same group accounted for 70 points at the Region XI Championships, a 52-point increase from the previous year.

MIDWEST REGION – Ryan Sanders – Iowa Central CC

Sanders, in her fifth-year coaching the short sprinters at Iowa Central, has four women qualified in the 60 meters and 200 meters for the NJCAA Championships.

WEST REGION – Blaine Wiley – South Plains

Wiley, in his ninth year as assistant at SPC, coaches Chrisann Gordon who set the all-time NJCAA record at 400 meters this season with a 52.41 run. In the sprints, hurdles, relays, and jumps in which he coaches, SPC has 20 entries in the individual events and two relays. He has the top-ranked athletes at 400 and 600 meters and the top 4×400 squad in the country.