NCAA & NJCAA OTF National Athletes of the Week (April 26)
NEW ORLEANS – Records just keep falling among the collegiate ranks!
Here are our National Athletes of the Week in NCAA and NJCAA Track & Field for April 26, 2022.
- NCAA Division I Men – Matthew Boling, Georgia
- NCAA Division I Women – Abby Steiner, Kentucky
- NCAA Division II Men – Christian Noble, Lee (Tenn.)
- NCAA Division II Women – Mariana Shostak, Texas A&M-Commerce
- NCAA Division III Men – JP Vaught, Centre
- NCAA Division III Women – Evie Miller, Trine
- NJCAA Men – Brandon Lloyd, Barton (Kan.) CC
- NJCAA Women – Kelsie Murrell-Ross, Barton (Kan.) CC
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 eight collegiate 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.
NCAA DIVISION I MEN – Matthew Boling, Georgia
Junior | Sprints
Back-to-back meets; back-to-back PRs.
Matthew Boling is rounding into postseason form.
Boling, most recently competing at the Georgia Tech Invitational, clocked a wind-legal 19.92 (-0.9) over 200 meters to become the tenth-fastest performer in collegiate history. It was a totally dominant victory for Boling, as he won by 0.42 seconds over the next-closest competitor.
Just a few weeks earlier, Boling PR’d in the 100 meters with his 9.98 (+1.6) winner at the Tom Jones Memorial. Boling beat a talented field – which included Texas Tech teammates Terrence Jones and Courtney Lindsey, as well as Javonte’ Harding of North Carolina A&T, among others (Jones is the co-collegiate record holder in the indoor 60 meters at 6.45).
Oh, later in the meet this past weekend, Boling split 44.98 on the 4×400 relay.
This is the second year in a row that a male athlete from Georgia has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season. Karel Tilga brought honors back to Athens on April 13, 2021, following a record-setting decathlon effort at the Spec Towns Invitational.
NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Abby Steiner, Kentucky
Senior | Sprints
We knew Abby Steiner could run quickly over 200 meters.
Indoors? Collegiate record-holder and NCAA champion.
Outdoors? Now the fourth-best performer in collegiate history.
Steiner stormed to victory at the Kentucky Invitational this past weekend, stopping the clock at 22.05 seconds to settle in behind Favour Ofili (21.96), Kyra Jefferson (22.02) and Dawn Sowell (22.04) on the all-time chart. The Kentucky star won her section by more than one second.
If the season goes as expected, Steiner will have a scintillating duel against fellow record-holder Favour Ofili of LSU at the SEC Outdoor Championships next month and then another with her once again at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships in June.
This is the second time in the past three weeks that Steiner has been named National Athlete of the Week. Steiner previously earned the honor on April 12 after a sterling effort at the Joe May Invitational, where she clocked a collegiate-leading 10.92 in the 100 and ran one of the fastest 200-meter times in collegiate history into a headwind greater than 1.7 m/s.
NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Christian Noble, Lee (Tenn.)
Senior | Distance
It was a successful business trip to Eugene, Oregon for Christian Noble.
Noble shined at the Oregon Relays as he won the Men’s 1500 Invitational in 3:36.00 to smash the NCAA Division II record, shaving more than a second off the previous all-time best of 3:37.35 set by David Ribich of Western Oregon in 2018. Noble is now ranked No. 11 in collegiate history and is the No. 4 performer in the world this year.
If you thought Noble’s night was done, think again. He returned to the track about an hour later and placed fifth in the Men’s 5000 McChesney section. His time of 13:35.61 is the seventh-fastest time in DII history and gives Noble his second all-time mark – he is currently the No. 2 performer at 13:24.78 that came earlier this outdoor season.
This is the third NCAA DII record of Noble’s career. He is also the NCAA DII indoor record-holder in the mile (3:56.10) and 3000m (7:50.98), which were set within 90 minutes of each other in Boston.
This is the first time since 2018 a male athlete from Lee (Tenn.) has been named National Athlete of the Week.
NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Mariana Shostak, Texas A&M-Commerce
Freshman | Sprints
Big time performances mean big time honors for Mariana Shostak.
Shostak won the 400 meters at the ASU Twilight in a NCAA DII-leading time of 52.40 seconds, moving her to the top of the Descending Order List by nearly a full second. The freshman finds herself at No. 14 on the NCAA DII all-time chart after clocking the fastest time during the regular season since 2017 (Carly Muscaro ran 52.06).
That wasn’t all Shostak did. She toted the baton on the Lions’ victorious 4×400 relay that clocked 3:38.36, which is a new national leader and No. 14 all-time, and the 4×100 relay that ran 45.94 to move to No. 8 on the Descending Order List.
Shostak’s teammate, Minna Sveard, also shined for the Lions in Tempe, Arizona. Sveard won the 400H in 57.47 to better her national lead in the event and move to No. 16 on the NCAA DII all-time chart. She also placed second in the pole vault and teamed up with Shostak on both relays.
This is the first time in program history a female athlete from Texas A&M-Commerce has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
NCAA DIVISION III MEN – JP Vaught, Centre College
Sophomore | Sprints
JP Vaught just keeps getting faster.
How fast? Try record-setting speed.
Vaught, competing at the Kentucky Invitational this past weekend, shattered the divisional 200-meter record with his wind-legal 20.66 (+0.5) and finished fourth in the top heat. That took 0.14 seconds off the previous all-time standard of 20.80 set by Sean Bernstein nearly 10 years ago.
It was a great opportunity for Vaught to test his might against a strong field, as he was entered in a section packed with flash: 2017 The Bowerman winner Christian Coleman won in 19.92; Kentucky’s Lance Lang (2nd, 20.30), Dwight St. Hillaire (3rd, 20.38) and Kennedy Lightner (5th, 20.91) bracketed Vaught.
This is the second time this season that Vaught has been named National Athlete of the Week. He previously earned the honor on March 22 following a performance at the Rhodes College Track & Field Invitational where he went 10.58 in the 100, a wind-aided 21.08 in the 200 and helped the Colonels win the 4×100 relay.
NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Evie Miller, Trine
Senior | Distance
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Evie Miller had only competed in the steeplechase once before this past weekend.
That being said, Miller appeared to be quite comfortable at the Indiana Invitational.
Miller crossed the finish line in 10:06.26 to become the second-fastest performer in NCAA DIII history. Now, Miller only trails record-holder Annie Rodenfels’ mark of 9:58.83 from 2019.
Since earning a pair of All-America honors indoors, Miller has PR’d three of the four distances in which she raced this season: 16:26.99 in the 5000 meters at the Raleigh Relays; 4:27.69 in the 1500 meters at the Indiana DIII Track & Field Championships; and then this masterclass effort.
This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Trine has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
NJCAA MEN – Brandon Lloyd, Barton (Kan.) CC
Freshman | Throws
It’s hard to miss Brandon Lloyd, who stands 7 feet, 1 inch tall.
It’s really hard to miss him in the discus ring. With three consecutive meets over 56.70m (186-0), Lloyd was sitting at No. 10 on the NJCAA all-time list.
That all changed this past weekend, when he launched a throw that measured 58.61m (192-3) to win the John Jacobs Invitational, moving him up to No. 7 all-time.
The Barton (Kan.) CC standout also rates well in the shot put with an indoor best of 17.27m (56-8) achieved prior to placing third in that event at the NJCAA Indoor Championships.
Lloyd is the sixth male athlete from Barton CC to be named National Athlete of the Week in outdoor track & field.
NJCAA WOMEN – Kelsie Murrell-Ross, Barton (Kan.) CC
Freshman | Throws
Saint David’s, Grenada
Leading the NJCAA shot put lists all season long – indoors and outdoors – has been Kelsie Murrell-Ross.
The NJCAA Indoor champion just reached her best-ever levels, putting 16.00m (52-6) at the John Jacobs Invitational to move up to No. 9 on the all-time NJCAA list. After celebrating her achievement on Friday, she came back the next day for another PR, whirling the discus 44.45m (145-10) as she ranks sixth on this year’s NJCAA descending-order list.
Murrell-Ross is the fourth female athlete from Barton (Kan.) CC to earn this honor in outdoor track & field.