NCAA & NJCAA OTF National Athletes of the Week (May 4)
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes of the Week for May 4 were announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Here are those individuals who earned national honors from the USTFCCCA for their efforts during the continuing outdoor track & field season.
- NCAA Division I Men – Turner Washington, Arizona State
- NCAA Division I Women – Tara Davis, Texas
- NCAA Division II Men – Isaac Harding, Grand Valley State
- NCAA Division II Women – Chelsea Walker, Christian Bros.
- NCAA Division III Men – Jayden Sloan, McMurry
- NCAA Division III Women – Emily Pomainville, SUNY Geneseo
- NJCAA Division I Men – Shakwon Coke, Barton County CC
- NJCAA Division I Women – Nia Robinson, Barton County CC
- NJCAA Division III Men – Kennith Washington, Union County CC
- NJCAA Division III Women – Olivia Kalata, College of DuPage
Find out more about each of these athletes by clicking their names or scrolling below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 10 collegiate indoor track & field athletes, when applicable (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and the NJCAA).
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. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.
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.
RS Junior | Throws
Stop us if you heard this before: Turner Washington is really good at throwing things.
Competing at the Desert Heat Classic, Washington recorded five of the top-7 weekly marks in the shot put and six of the top-7 weekly marks in the discus, including each of the top-5. Washington hit a best of 20.80m (68-3) in the shot put, an effort that would top the NCAA DI Descending Order List, if he wasn’t already there. In the discus, Washington went for 66.02m (216-7), a heave that also would top the Descending Order List, if he wasn’t already there.
This is the third time this season that Washington has been named National Athlete of the Week. He also earned the honor on March 23 and April 20.
Junior | Hurdles/Jumps
Agoura Hills, California
Whenever Tara Davis jumps, expect all-time marks.
There is no other way to put it.
Competing at the Texas Invitational this past weekend, Davis notched three more all-time top-15 marks in the long jump. Davis matched her second-best effort of the outdoor season at 6.97m (22-10½) – which also happens to be the third-best measurement in collegiate history. She also added the ninth-best mark (6.92m/22-8½) and the 14th-best mark (6.85m/22-5¾).
If you’re counting at home, which we are, Davis now has five all-time top-15 marks this season.
This is the second time this season that Davis has been named National Athlete of the Week.
Senior | Distance
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Isaac Harding ran to the top of the leaderboard.
The senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, took over the NCAA DII national lead in the 5000 with his 13:43.97 at the GVSU Extra Weekend Meet. He was the top NCAA DII finisher in the field and led six other men to top-10 billings on the Descending Order List.
This is the second time that a male athlete from Grand Valley State has been National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season since at least 2015. Zach Panning was the first Laker to earn the honor back on April 23, 2019.
Senior | Sprints/Hurdles
Have a day, Chelsea Walker!
The senior from York, England, made history at the Gulf South Conference Championships, becoming the first athlete to win four individual titles at the meet. Walker won conference titles in the 100H (13.92w), 100 (11.77), 400H (1:00.21) and 200 (24.29). Her 40 points was more than half of the team’s 77 points as the Bucs finished fifth in the team standings.
Walker was named the Most Outstanding Track Performer and Most Outstanding Overall Performer of the Meet for her efforts.
Following the conference championships, Walker now has four top-20 nationally ranked performances on the Descending Order List: No. 3 in the 400H (59.26), No. 5 in the 100H (13.79), No. 16 in the 200 (24.15) and No. 20 in the 100 (11.77).
This is the first time in program history an athlete has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Sophomore | Sprints/Jumps
Jayden Sloan ran McMurry to the team title at the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Sloan took over the national lead in the 400 with his 47.20 winner and gave the War Hawks 10 points, added eight more with a runner-up finish in the 400H at 54.21 and then toted the baton third on the first-place 4×400 relay squad. All told, that accounted for 20½ points as McMurry won by 41 points over Hardin-Simmons in Jackson, Mississippi.
This is the first time since at least 2015 that an athlete from McMurry has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Senior | Mid-Distance
Malone, New York
Are you a fan of range?
Look no further than Emily Pomainville.
Competing at the It’s Gonna Be May Meet, Pomainville anchored SUNY Geneseo to an NCAA Division III-leading 3:44.83 in the 4×400 relay with her 55.91 carry and then doubled back – Yes, doubled back – to notch the No. 2 mark nationally in the 5000 at 16:29.80. The fast section of the Women’s 4×400 Relay was the fifth event on the track.
Pomainville is now ranked among the top-10 performers this season in five different events: No. 1 in the 1500 (4:22.47), No. 1 in the 4×400 relay (3:44.83), No. 2 in the 800 (2:11.51), No. 2 in the 5000 (16:29.80) and No. 10 in the 400 (56.85).
This is the first time since 2017 that a female athlete from SUNY Geneseo has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Sophomore | Jumps
Shakwon Coke wasn’t just the best horizontal jumper at the NJCAA Region VI Outdoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend. Coke was one of the best horizontal jumpers in the entire nation, based on his marks.
In sweeping the long jump and triple jump, Coke hit measurements that put him at – or near – the top of the weekly All-College Descending Order List. Coke went a wind-aided 16.70m (54-9½) in the triple jump for nation’s best effort, regardless of conditions, and soared a wind-legal 8.05m (26-5) in the long jump that has him ranked second on the chart.
This is the second time this season that Coke has been named National Athlete of the Week.
Freshman | Jumps
A stiff headwind didn’t bother Nia Robinson this past weekend.
Robinson powered right through it on her way to an all-time NJCAA mark.
Competing at the NJCAA Region VI Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Robinson soared 6.56m (21-6¼) into a 1.7 m/s breeze and became the third-best performer in NJCAA history.
This is the second week in a row that a female athlete from Barton County CC has been named National Athlete of the Week.
Sophomore | Jumps
Kennith Washington soared to the top of the NJCAA Division III Descending Order List in a pair of events this past weekend.
Competing at the Wolverines Last Chance Meet, Washington went 6.66m (21-10¼) in the long jump and 13.08m (42-11) in the triple jump for chart-toppers in each event.
This is the first time since 2015 that a male athlete from Union County CC has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Freshman | Pole Vault
La Grange, Illinois
Olivia Kalata vaulted to an NJCAA Division III seasonal best this past weekend.
Competing at the ONU Invitational, Kalata cleared 3.40m (11-1¾) to take over the NJCAA DIII best by more than one foot. Kalata placed fourth at the meet based on previous attempts.
Kalata is the fourth female athlete from College of DuPage named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.