M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week (Oct. 17)
NEW ORLEANS – What a weekend!
Here are our M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week for October 17, 2022!
- NCAA Division I Men – Ky Robinson, Stanford
- NCAA Division I Women – Katelyn Tuohy, NC State
- NCAA Division II Men – Awet Beraki, Adams State
- NCAA Division II Women – Madison Brown, Dallas Baptist
- NCAA Division III Men – Elias Lindgren, Williams
- NCAA Division III Women – Kassie Parker, Loras
- NAIA Men – Dillon Grover, Graceland (Iowa)
- NAIA Women – Ellyse Tingelstad, College of Idaho
- NJCAA Division I Men – Adams Biwott, El Paso CC
- NJCAA Division I Women – Faith Nyathi, El Paso CC
- NJCAA Division II Men – Gilbert Olivas, Paradise Valley (Ariz.) CC
- NJCAA Division II Women – Olivia Vanderway, Lansing (Mich.) CC
- NJCAA Division III Men – Brad Ahrens, Mineral Area (Mo.)
- NJCAA Division III Women – Aja Jackson, SUNY Broome
Find out more about each of these athletes by 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 16 collegiate cross country athletes, when applicable (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions, the NAIA 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 – Ky Robinson, Stanford
Junior | Brisbane, Australia
Nico Young thought he made the decisive move.
Ky Robinson proved him wrong.
Robinson nipped Young at the finish line of the Men’s 8k Championship at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational this past weekend, 23:09.9 to 23:10.0. That winning time by Robinson is the second fastest in the 13-year history of the prestigious meet, splitting two efforts by former The Bowerman finalist Lawi Lalang from 2012 (23:03) and 2011 (23:10).
With 14 men within one second of the lead at the 6k split, it would come down to who was strongest down the homestretch. The pack whittled down to Robinson, Young and Robinson’s teammate Charles Hicks as they charged up the hill to the finish. Hicks briefly pulled ahead, but Young answered the move with Robinson a close third. Robinson surged past Young in the final 50 meters to hand the second-ranked Cardinal the ultimate low stick at a stacked meet.
Robinson’s victory, plus Hicks’ and Cole Sprout’s finishes in the top-10 sent Stanford to the team title over top-ranked BYU and third-ranked Northern Arizona. Hicks and Sprout finished third and seventh, respectively, less than nine seconds behind Robinson for a miniscule 1-3 spread. Extend that further and Devin Hart trailed that trio by 7.4 seconds to virtually seal the win.
This is the first time since 2018 that a male athlete from Stanford has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the cross country. Grant Fisher took home national honors on October 15 (Fisher was also honored the previous year on October 30).
NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Katelyn Tuohy, NC State
Junior | Stony Point, New York
Katelyn Tuohy, we meet again.
For the second meet in a row, Tuohy broke a talented field in the final vestiges of the race and cruised to victory. This time it was at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational where she torched the final 2k of the Women’s 6k Championship in 6:09.7 to win by 5.1 seconds in 19:44.3.
Tuohy’s ultimate low stick provided one of the three head-to-head victories No. 1 NC State needed to earn a tiebreaker victory over No. 2 New Mexico after both teams totaled 80 points in Madison, Wisconsin. Kelsey Chmiel also provided the Wolfpack a spark with a runner-up finish, the second year in a row that she took runner-up honors at the Nuttycombe Invitational.
There were 11 other All-Americans from the 2021 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships in the race this past weekend, including two top-10 finishers, but none could keep up with Tuohy.
Tuohy previously earned M-F National Athlete of the Week honors following her decisive victory in the Women’s Blue Division 5k at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on September 30. She split 3:00.2 over the final 1k in that race to win going away by 12.1 seconds.
NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Awet Beraki, Adams State
Senior | Colorado Springs, Colorado
Awet Beraki was unmatched this weekend.
Beraki captured the individual crown at the Highlander Invitational, breaking the tape in 23:23.6 for an 8k PR. Beraki jumped out to an early lead at the 4k mark in 11:06.2 and held on to win by 21.4 seconds over Arizona’s Ian Sanchez Lopez. Adams State put together a dominating performance to capture the team title over Azusa Pacific, 24-103, as Beraki led the Grizzlies’ scoring runners to top-10 finishes.
This is the fourth time in program history, and first since 2018, that a male athlete from Adams State has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the cross country.
NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Madison Brown, Dallas Baptist
Senior | Round Rock, Texas
Winning is fun.
It’s even more fun when it’s at your home course,
Madison Brown was the ultimate low stick that propelled Dallas Baptist to the team title at the DBU Old Glory Gallup. Brown completed the 5k course in 17:18.5 for an 8.6 second victory over teammate Marissa Insinna. That paved the way to a 1-2-3 finish for the Patriots.
This is the second time in program history a female athlete from Dallas Baptist has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season. Kelsey Bruce was the first to do so on September 21, 2015.
NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Elias Lindgren, Williams
Senior | Merion Station, Pennsylvania
Elias Lindgren continued his undefeated season in a big way.
Lindgren captured the individual title at the Connecticut College Invitational in 23:43.3, which set a course record on the 8k tract at Harkness Memorial State Park. Whose record did Lindgren break? None other than his former teammate Aidan Ryan, who ran 23:52.9 last year.
It was a stacked field at the Connecticut College Invitational with at least six All-Americans from the 2022 cross country season in attendance, including Lindgren. Tyler Morris of Colby, last year’s individual champion at the East Region Championships, took runner-up honors here.
This is the second year in a row that Lindgren has been named M-F National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season. He previously earned national honors on September 27, 2021, following an eye-opening victory at the Purple Valley Classic that led Williams to the title.
NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Kassie Parker, Loras
Senior | Guttenberg, Iowa
Kassie Parker is synonymous with historically fast.
Parker made quick work of the 6k tract spread across the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois, this past weekend. How quick? Try 20:00.1 to win the individual title at the Augustana Interregional Invitational. Parker came within two-tenths of a second of going sub-20 minutes on a 6k course, a mark that very few – if any – women have matched in NCAA DIII history.
The Loras standout ended up winning by 48.3 seconds over a talented field. Aubrie Fisher of Wartburg finished runner-up with Anastasia Tucker of Hope in third place – both of whom were among the top-11 individuals at the 2021 NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships. Parker led by eight seconds at the 1 mile split before pouring it on the rest of the way.
This is the second time this season that Parker has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. Parker previously earned national honors on September 19.
NAIA MEN – Dillon Grover, Graceland (Iowa)
Junior | Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Dillon Grover left no doubt this past weekend.
Grover stormed to the individual title at the Indian Hills XC Invitational, traversing the 8k course in 24:24.7 – nearly 50 seconds faster than runner-up Brady Millikin of Indian Hills CC.
It has been a strong season for Grover thus far. Grover posted his second win of the season, matching his total from last year and giving him five victories on the grass circuit in his career.
NAIA WOMEN – Ellyse Tingelstad, College of Idaho
Junior | Joseph, Oregon
Ellyse Tingelstad is nothing short of steady.
Tingelstad took top collegiate honors at the Lewis & Clark Invitational this past weekend, covering the 6k tract in 21:36.6 for a runner-up finish. That marked the fourth meet in a row that Tingelstad finished among the top-5 individuals, including three consecutive top-3s.
When it comes to the team standings, Tingelstad’s low stick propelled College of Idaho to a second-place showing behind meet champion Eastern Oregon. The Yotes actually beat NCAA DI Oregon State in a tiebreaker with Tingelstad’s effort providing one of the three head-to-head victories needed to settle the result.
NJCAA DIVISION I MEN – Adams Biwott, El Paso (Texas) CC
Sophomore | Eldoret, Kenya
In a battle of NJCAA powers, Adams Biwott came away victorious at the New Mexico JC Invitational II, turning back the host’s previously unbeaten German Vega, twice named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week this year.
Biwott won for the second time this year, clocking 23:49.9 for the 8k course to best Vega a shade over six seconds. Biwott – 8th in last year’s NJCAA Division I National Cross Country Championships – has only lost once this year. That came in September at the super-charged Cowboy Jamboree, where he was 125th among mostly NCAA DI programs.
This is Biwott’s second time to be honored as M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in cross country, having earned the honor once last year. He is the only male athlete from El Paso CC to earn this award in cross country.
NJCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Faith Nyathi, El Paso (Texas) CC
Sophomore | Plumtree, Zimbabwe
Faith Nyathi responded impressively in her biggest head-to-head matchup of the year at the New Mexico JC Invitational II.
Nyathi – the reigning NJCAA Division I National Cross Country Champion – ran away from none other than NMJC’s Damaris Chewon, a two-time winner of the M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week this fall.
Nyathi finished as the meet’s top JUCO runner, covering 5k in 18:05.6 to outdistance Chewon by 25 seconds in earning runner-up honors overall. Winner Eleonora Curtabbi of West Texas A&M was also a previous winner of this award in 2020, when she was at Iowa Central CC.
NJCAA DIVISION II MEN – Gilbert Olivas, Paradise Valley (Ariz.) CC
Sophomore | Glendale, Arizona
Gilbert Olivas and Paradise Valley CC made a big road trip, trekking from Arizona to Wisconsin for the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational.
Led by Olivas, the Pumas acquitted themselves quite well, finishing fifth overall as a team. Olivas placed third overall with a time of 24:35.4 for 8K, some nine seconds behind winner Aspel Kiprob of Iowa Central CC (the reigning NJCAA DI runner-up).
Olivas is the first male or female athlete from Paradise Valley to earn M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week honors in cross country.
NJCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Olivia Vanderway, Lansing (Mich.) CC
Freshman | Macon, Michigan
Olivia Vanderway finished ahead of at least three notable runners at the Muskegon Jayhawk Invitational.
Vanderway was the top JUCO athlete as individual runner-up with a time of 18:33.7 for the 5K course, just 0.4 seconds ahead of teammate Haley Ellis. Ellis led the Stars to the NJCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships team title and was a two-time honoree last year as M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week.
Also in the field were 2022 NAOW winners Amy Rowan of Oakland (Mich.) CC and another Lansing Star, Barbara DeGood, who finished eighth and 13th, respectively.
Vanderway is the third female athlete from Lansing to be named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in cross country.
NJCAA DIVISION III MEN – Brad Ahrens, Mineral Area (Mo.) CC
Freshman | Imperial, Missouri
Brad Ahrens once again led the way as Mineral Area (Mo.) attempts to regain the NJCAA Division III national team title it won in 2019 and 2020.
Ahrens was the leading JUCO runner in the Greenville Invitational, earning runner-up honors with a time of 26:12.5 for 8k. He was the first of five Cardinals to finish ahead of a pair of NJCAA Division III rivals, No. 3 Joliet (Ill.) JC and No. 4 St. Charles (Mo.). Joliet won the national team crown last year.
Ahrens joins two other Mineral Area male athletes to be named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week twice in the same year, joining Kyle Vinyard (2021) and Donovan Denslow (2020).
NJCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Aja Jackson, SUNY Broome CC
Freshman | Endwell, New York
Aja Jackson used a strong finishing surge to win the Mid-State Conference Championship title, coming from 10 seconds down in the last half mile to overtake defending champ Leah Lloyd of Finger Lakes (N.Y.) CC.
Jackson ended up winning by four seconds with her time of 20:21.2. Her victory led the Hornets to the team title with a perfect score of 15 points.
This is the first time a male or female athlete from SUNY Broome has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week for cross country.