Award History

Eight Added to USTFCCCA NCAA DII Athlete Hall of Fame

NEW ORLEANS — Eight former NCAA Division II standouts will be enshrined into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022.

SEE MOREUSTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday that Samantha Elliott (Johnson C. Smith University), Nick Jones (Abilene Christian), Katelin (Rains) Ladd (Minnesota State), Lindsay Lettow (Central Missouri), Carly Muscaro (Merrimack), Katie Nageotte (Ashland), Edwin Roberts (North Carolina Central) and Salcia Slack (New Mexico Highlands) were tabbed to join the prestigious ranks.

This is the 26th class to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class 26 years ago in 1996.

Samantha Elliott

Samantha Elliott was fast at just about everything – including graduating.

In three-straight All-Academic years at Johnson C. Smith, Elliott not only earned 17 NCAA Division II All-America awards, but also a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.

On the track, Elliott was a versatile performer on Golden Bulls teams that finished runner-up three times at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships: indoors and outdoors in 2013; outdoors in 2014.

Elliott ran sprints and relays, but her specialty was the hurdles – she was top-3 in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles all three years at the DII Outdoor, winning the 400H twice (2013 and 2014) and 100H once (2014, with a lifetime best of 13.04). Her 2013 winning time of 56.38 in the 400 hurdles was a meet record and still rates No. 3 all-time among DII athletes.

On relays, Elliott was a national champion two more times, including anchoring the 2013 JCSU 4×100 unit that set the still-standing meet record of 44.05. Her collegiate career included two Penn Relays titles in the 400H and five individual CIAA titles (three in the 100H and two in the 400H).

Elliott is the fourth athlete from Johnson C. Smith to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Nick Jones

Line up everybody who has ever won a discus title at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, regardless of division. Now, ask any of those men who won four to step forward. Nick Jones would be the only individual front and center.

In other words, Jones truly stood out.

Jones dominated the NCAA DII ranks from 2008 to 2012, winning every single national title when he stepped inside the discus ring. The only year that Jones didn’t top the podium was in 2010, when he redshirted. Otherwise, Jones had no peer with the platter in his right hand.

His last two years in an Abilene Christian uniform were beyond remarkable.

Jones captured three NCAA titles during that span and wrote his name all over the record book. He stood tall in back-to-back years in the discus – which included a still meet-record heave of 60.75m (199-3) in 2011 – and captured his first national shot put crown indoors that same year. Then, in 2012, Jones whirled the disc 61.95m (203-3) at the UTEP Invitational for what was – and still is – the third-farthest mark in NCAA DII history and the farthest effort since 1996.

In addition to five career NCAA titles, Jones earned 10 All-America honors and won a treasure chest of conference crowns in the Lone Star Conference. Jones was named the USTFCCCA’s NCAA DII Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year twice – once in 2011, then again in 2012.

Jones is the 12th athlete from Abilene Christian inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Lindsay Lettow

One can talk about combining events, and Lindsay Lettow has accomplishments there among the very best.

It’s when you include other areas of a student-athlete’s world where Lettow is among a select few.

Lettow won four NCAA Division II titles in combined events – sweeping the 2011 and 2012 indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon – in amassing 16 All-American honors in her athletic career at Central Missouri. Her indoor titles both came with meet records – still the only athlete to win those events with that distinction – while her 2012 outdoor score of 5748 remains the second-highest winning score in meet history.

Her awards include being named USTFCCCA National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year four times, combining indoor and outdoor, along with countless Academic All-America honors. In 2012, she entered MIAA rarified air, becoming just the third female in conference history to win the Ken B. Jones Award two times as the conference’s top female student-athlete.

Add to that in 2013 earning an NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award, which recognizes former athletes for successes on the field, in the classroom and in the community. She was one just two NCAA DII student-athletes with that honor in 2013.

She finished her athletic career with nine school records and won the Dr. Peggy Martin Award as Central Missouri’s top female senior student-athlete. She made the Dean’s List at UCM every semester and graduated with a 3.84 GPA in psychology and was awarded a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, one of only 29 female student-athletes in the country to be awarded the scholarship from the 2011-12 winter season.

Lettow is the fourth athlete from Central Missouri to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Carly Muscaro

Carly Muscaro took the Express Lane into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame. Muscaro got the call right after the five-year, post-graduation moratorium ended.

Did you expect anything different from the six-time NCAA champion and the divisional record-holder over 400 meters indoors, among other incredible accolades? Well, probably not.

Muscaro crammed her legendary career into her final two years on Merrimack’s campus.

From 2016 to 2017, Muscaro was unmatched at 400 meters. It didn’t matter if it was two laps (indoors) or one lap (outdoors): Muscaro won. Muscaro completed back-to-back sweeps of the national indoor and outdoor 400-meter crowns in those years and added a pair of 200-meter national titles to her haul during the 2017 academic year, too.

Quick times aren’t a prerequisite, but Muscaro had them in spades.

Muscaro owns five of the ten-fastest marks in NCAA DII history in the indoor two-lapper, including the 51.78 record that she used to win the NCAA title in 2017 (Muscaro holds both indoor meet records, oversized and regular-sized). Outdoors, Muscaro is No. 3 on the all-time, 400-meter chart at 51.17 with the fastest clocking since 1997 (Muscaro won the outdoor title in 2016 at 51.32, which was just 0.03 seconds from the meet record of 51.29 set ten years earlier).

National honors flooded Muscaro’s trophy case, in addition to All-America laurels and NE10 conference titles. Muscaro was a two-time USTFCCCA NCAA DII National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year in 2017, a two-time USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track Scholar Athlete of the Year and the recipient of the Honda National Division II Athlete of the Year.

Katie Nageotte

Katie Nageotte will always be remembered as an Olympic gold medalist after winning in Tokyo, but her pole vaulting career really got off the ground when she landed at Ashland as a transfer from NCAA Division I Dayton.

Her ascension to national-class vaulter seemed to happen overnight when her career went higher than ever in a senior year to remember. Nageotte started early in December, equaling her best-ever, then 4.00m (13-1½). She improved her PR in five more meets, completing an undefeated indoor season with a best of 4.33m (14-2½) as well as her first NCAA DII title in 2013.

Then came the outdoor portion of her final collegiate campaign, when she raised her absolute best even higher, all the while clearing 4.00m (13-1½) with relative ease. She won a showdown with rival Kayla Caldwell at the GLIAC Championships, clearing a DII outdoor record of 4.44m (14-6¾), before winning the NCAA DII title with the meet’s first 14-footer at 4.40m (14-5¼).

She finished her collegiate career owning two of the top three outdoor vaults in NCAA DII history and remains No. 2 all-time at 4.44m (14-6¾).

Nageotte is the fourth athlete from Ashland University inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Katelin Rains

Katelin Rains raised the bar for NCAA Division II pole vaulters.

Before Rains bolted down the Reggie Lewis Center runway in 2007 for her third attempt at 4.27m (14-0) during the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships, no female athlete had topped that height in divisional history. Under the bright lights on the division’s biggest stage, Rains wouldn’t be denied history, as she cleared the beam and soared into unchartered territory.

Fast forward two years and Rains added three more 14-footers to her ledger: one the following year to improve her indoor meet record to 4.31m (14-1¾); and then two in 2009, none grander than her current all-time divisional indoor best of 4.40m (14-5¼) at the Parents Day Open.

Rains’ final year in a Minnesota State uniform – 2009, to be exact – proved to be memorable. After becoming the only female athlete in NCAA DII history to win three consecutive indoor pole vault titles, Rains finally broke through outdoors and ascended that podium as well. Not only was it Rains’ first outdoor crown, but she also set a meet record of 4.14m (13-7) in the process.

Prior to 2009, the Mavericks had never won the team title at the North Central Conference (NCC) Indoor Championships. That changed when Rains scored 20 points to help MSU to the crown: ten points came from a fourth consecutive pole vault title; ten more in the long jump.

Rains, the second Minnesota State athletes inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame, was a two-time USTFCCCA NCAA DII National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, among other accolades.

Edwin Roberts

Edwin Roberts was more than just present when the NCAA Division II had its origin, even though the meet had not yet gained its current name. It was called the NCAA College Division Championships, and Roberts swept the 100- and 220-yard dashes at the first edition in 1963 as freshman.

That was the beginning of a great career as North Carolina Central (known then as North Carolina College) was building a powerhouse. And Roberts, likewise, got better – he earned a pair of bronze medals at the 1964 Olympics before winning two more NCAA DII 220 titles to become the first – and still only – man with three titles in the event.

Roberts helped the Eagles soar to some of their highest moments in the sport.

NCCU’s third-place finish in the 1963 DII team standings remains its highest ever, and in 1964 NCCU won its first-ever team crown in the CIAA – a conference dating back to 1921. NCCU’s first wins at the Penn Relays – 1964 (4×100) and 1965 (4×200) – both included Roberts, with the latter being inducted into the Relays’ Wall of Fame in 2015.

Roberts is already a member of several Halls of Fame, including the NAIA, a meet in which he also won three 220-yard titles.

Salcia Slack

Teams would be elated to score more than 30 points in any given year at the NCAA Track & Field Championships. That would most likely mean a top-5 finish – maybe even a podium trip.

To Salcia Slack, though, that was just another weekend.

Slack left her mark in a big way at the 2015 NCAA DII Outdoor Championships. Over the span of three days in Allendale, Michigan, Slack won the heptathlon for the second year in a row, took runner-up honors in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, finished sixth in the open long jump and helped New Mexico Highlands take fourth in the 4×400 relay.

Count it up: 30.25 points.

If Slack competed alone, she would have finished seventh in the team standings. That wasn’t the case, though: Slack led the Cowgirls to their first top-4 finish at the Outdoor Championships in program history (NMHU also took third indoors thanks to another sterling effort by Slack).

In addition to 16 total All-America honors, multitudes of conference titles and multiple National and Regional Athlete of the Year laurels from the USTFCCCA, Slack’s name dots the NCAA DII record book: Slack stands alone at the top of the heptathlon all-time chart as the only athlete to amass more than 6000 points (6141, to be exact) and also holds the third-best total (5833); she is the No. 3 performer in the pentathlon at 4181 points – barely missing the NCAA DII record of 4193 points – and owns the No. 4 (4193), No. 5 (4172) and No. 6 (4149) all-time performances.

Slack is the first athlete from New Mexico Highlands inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.