NCAA & NJCAA OTF National Athletes of the Week (May 10)
NEW ORLEANS — Did you see what happened this past weekend?
There wasn’t a doubt that these individuals would be honored as National Athletes of the Week in NCAA Track & Field and NJCAA Track & Field following their stellar performances.
- co-NCAA Division I Men – Kyle Garland, Georgia
- co-NCAA Division I Men – Abdihamid Nur, Northern Arizona
- NCAA Division I Women – Anna Hall, Florida
- NCAA Division II Men – Benjamin Azamati, West Texas A&M
- NCAA Division II Women – Ayana Fields, Cal Poly Pomona
- NCAA Division III Men – Eric Gregory, Gallaudet
- NCAA Division III Women – Madison Mulder, SUNY Geneseo
- NJCAA Men – Jerod Elcock, Butler (Kan.) CC
- NJCAA Women – Nia Robinson, 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.
Junior | Combined Events
Kyle Garland of Georgia was at his best for all 10 events in USATF Decathlon Championships.
That’s a rare occurrence for any decathlete, but Garland made this the event’s best ever collegiately. He scored 8720 points – a PR by 500+ points – and annihilated the former collegiate record Lindon Victor set in 2017 by 8539 points.
His score makes him No. 8 American ever, knocking none other than 1976 Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner out of the all-time top-10.
Garland was special from the start, registering a collegiate best-ever Day 1 score of 4660, 144 more than ever posted by a collegian. Day 2 saw Garland back at his best, PRing in the 110 hurdles, pole vault and a signature 1500 en route to a decathlon to be remembered.
In all, Garland posted PRs in six events. In the other four he was very close.
Garland also earned a berth to the upcoming World Championships in July.
This is the second time this season that a male athlete from Georgia has been named National Athlete of the Week (Matthew Boling on April 26). Garland is the Bulldogs’ fifth decathlete to earn national honors since 2015, joining Maicel Uibo (2015), U.S. champion Garrett Scantling (2015), Devon Williams (2017) and Karel Tilga (2021).
Sophomore | Distance
Phoenix, Arizona | Mogadishu, Somalia
Move over, Henry Rono.
Abdihamid Nur is the undisputed king of in-season, 5000-meter running in collegiate history.
Nur, competing at the Sound Running Track Meet on Friday night, shattered Henry Rono’s 44-year-old collegiate record in the Men’s 5000 Meters with his 13:06.32 effort in San Juan Capistrano, California. That shaved a little more than two seconds off Rono’s in-season collegiate best of 13:08.4h that had stood since 1978, when Rono set four world records in 81 days.
With a strong field to work with and gorgeous weather in which to run, the Northern Arizona star put himself in contention early, knowing that meet directors planned for it to be paced at 13:10. All Nur had to ride the train – or even lead the train for a bit – and the record would be in reach.
Needless to say, Nur was locked in from the start.
Look at his splits from the race: 30.38, 63.80, 63.83, 63.29, 63.48, 63.47, 62.62, 63.27, 64.72, 64.22, 63.33, 61.31, 58.65. Nur was a machine.
This is the first time in program history that a male athlete from Northern Arizona has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Sophomore | Combined Events
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Anna Hall of Florida won the USATF Heptathlon Championships with a score of 6458 – the best-ever by a collegian with the current javelin and the best by any collegian since 1995.
Hall also scored better than the World Championships qualifying standard of 6420, a mark she just missed with her former best of 6412.
As she has done twice already this year, Hall finished with an effort no other American female multi-event has achieved. This time her 800 was a jaw-dropping 2:03.11, good enough for the fourth-fastest time ever recorded in a heptathlon and No. 8 on the NCAA DI Descending Order List. She set the previous heptathlon best of 2:04.61 at the Texas Relays, just a month after she did the same in the SEC pentathlon with a 2:05.33 for the indoor standard.
Hall is in select company as USATF champion – the only other collegians to win this event were Kendell Williams of Georgia in 2017 and Jackie Joyner of UCLA in 1982.
This is the third time in program history that a female athlete from Florida has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season. Hall joins Yanis David (2019) and Shayla Sanders (2016) in that regard.
Sophomore | Sprints
Akim Oda, Ghana
Benjamin Azamati is turning up the heat during championship season.
It was at the Lone Star Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships where Azamati scorched the track to the tune of 9.96 (+1.7) in the prelims of the Men’s 100 Meters to set a new meet record. That is the second-fastest time in NCAA DII history behind his own divisional record of 9.90 (+2.0) he ran earlier this year at the Texas Relays, in which he became the fourth-best performer in collegiate history.
Azamati only got faster in the finals, winning the Men’s 100 Meters in a windy 9.86 (+3.0). That is the fastest all-conditions mark in NCAA DII history.
He is the only collegiate male athlete who has gone sub-10 in the 100 multiple times this season, regardless of conditions.
Azamati’s second event title of the weekend came in the Men’s 200 Meters as he clocked 20.52 (+0.9) to score another 10 points for West Texas A&M. The Buffs went on to win their second-straight LSC crown.
This is the third time this outdoor season that Azamati has been named National Athlete of the Week.
Sophomore | Sprints
Los Angeles, California
Cal Poly Pomona captured its first CCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship since 1998.
Leading the way was Ayana Fields.
Fields scored 35 points for the Broncos by winning three individual sprint titles and helping out on a pair of first-place relays. The most notable victory for Fields came in the 400 meters, where she clocked an outdoor personal best of 54.18 to win by more than a second. That slots her at No. 8 on the NCAA DII Descending Order List. Fields was the runner-up in that event at the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships.
She also won the 100 meters in 11.91 (-0.8) and 200 meters in 24.00 (+1.0), in addition to anchoring the victorious 4×100 relay (46.48) and 4×400 relay (3:47.46). For her efforts, she was named the CCAA Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet and earned the High Point Award.
This is the first time in program history a female athlete from Cal Poly Pomona has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Sophomore | Sprints
Eric Gregory ran right into the record books this past weekend.
Yes. That’s multiple record books.
Gregory, competing at the CSAC Outdoor Championships, scored 33½ points at the meet, but none were bigger than his first-place showing in the 200 meters. That’s because Gregory went 20.62 (+1.4) to shatter both the NCAA DIII record and set a World Deaf Record in the process.
If you’re curious about how Gregory scored the rest of his points: 100 (1st, 10.42w), 400 (1st, 51.28), 4×400 relay (2nd, 3:32.14), 4×100 relay (3rd, 44.17).
This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Gallaudet has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season.
Senior | Sprints
Smithtown, New York
SUNY Geneseo’s women scored 379 points to win the SUNYAC Outdoor Championships.
You’re not reading that wrong: 379 points, nearly double the runner-up score (179).
Madison Mulder contributed 22¼ of those points with individual victories in the 200 meters, 400 meters, as well as helping the title-winning 4×100 relay. Mulder set a pair of PRs in the process thanks to a nation-leading 54.90 in the 400 prelims and a 24.69 effort to win the 200. Later, in the finals of the 400, Mulder went 55.14 to win by nearly three seconds.
Dominance all around in Brockport, New York.
This is the third time in program history that a female athlete from SUNY Geneseo has been named National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season. Mulder joins Emily Pomainville (2021) and Alexa Wandy (2017) in that regard.
Freshman | Sprints
Caroni, Trinidad and Tobago
High winds stirred up some fast times at the Region VI Championships.
But no one was faster in the 100 meters than Jerod Elcock, who clocked a 9.92 to register the fastest ever recorded by an NJCAA athlete as he won by 0.11 seconds over teammate Caleb Jackson. The wind reading was 6.2 mps.
Later Elcock ran a wind-aided 20.17 (+6.1) for second in the 200, finishing with the same time as teammate Joe Williams as both are tied for No. 5 all-time among NJCAA athletes in the event under any conditions.
Elcock also ran the third leg on the Grizzlies’ 4×100 team, combining with Shawn Brown, Jackson, and Williams to run 39.55, fastest in the NJCAA this year.
Elcock has proven fast without wind assistance, owning the fastest wind-legal 100 this year at 10.15. Earlier this year he won the NJCAA Indoor 60 and was a finalist in the World Indoor Championships.
This is Elcock’s second time being named National Athlete of the Week in outdoor track & field.
Sophomore | Jumps
Nia Robinson was at her best in the Region VI Championships – winning three events, each with a seasonal best.
Friday’s long jump came first, and Robinson took only one attempt, soaring a wind-aided 6.40m (21-0) for the longest effort in the NJCAA this year and tying for the No. 10 performance all-time under any conditions.
Saturday started with the high jump – in which she cleared 1.80m (5-10¾) to move into a tie for 13th all-time – and finished with the triple jump, nailing the year’s farthest effort at 12.87m (42-2¾). The TJ was wind-aided, but she owns the year’s outdoor legal best at 12.77m (41-10¾).
This is Robinson’s second career time being named National Athlete of the Week in outdoor track & field, having earned the honor after last year’s Region VI Championships. She is one of five women – and second career two-time winner – from Barton with this distinction.