2022 NAIA Cross Country National Awards
NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Cross Country season were announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) following the conclusion of the national championship meet.
Awards were voted on by member coaches based on results from both the 2022 NAIA Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida, and during the regular season.
National Men's Athlete of the Year
Abraham Chelangam rocketed to an early lead and maintained it for a 22.0-second victory at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida. Chelangam, who hails from Kampala, Uganda, won the men’s individual title over 8k in 23:41.9, giving Oklahoma City five of the last six individual champions. Earlier this season, he won the NAIA Mid-States Classic in 24:30.1 and was runner-up in the Sooner Conference Cross Country Championships.
National Women's Athlete of the Year
Lina May found a new home and a national title as a graduate transfer in becoming the first women’s individual winner from William Carey (Miss.) at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country Championships. May, who hails from Vancleave, Mississippi, captured the 5k crown in 16:50.9, winning by 8.0 seconds. The Mississippi native transferred from Southern Miss to William Carey – two universities that are less than four miles apart in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Earlier this season, May won individual titles at the SSAC Cross Country Championships in 16:48.8 and NAIA Appalachian Challenge in 17:08.3.
National Men's Coach of the Year
Nate Wolf, in his eighth year as head coach at Dordt (Iowa), coached the Defenders to the men’s team title at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country Championships with 97 points to win by 18 points. Dordt was led by 13th-place finisher Joe Anderson and three other top-25 finishers. The Defenders also won the team title at the GPAC Cross Country Championships with 17 points, Lancer Invite with 28 points and Defender Holiday Inn Classic with 27 points.
National Women's Coach of the Year
Quinn White, in his 13th year as head coach at Taylor (Ind.), coached the Trojans to the women’s team title at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country Championships with 50 points to win by 127 points. Taylor was led by fourth-place finisher Abbey Brenan and placed all five of their scorers in the top-20. The Trojans were undefeated in also winning team titles at the Crossroads League Cross Country Championships with 24 points, NAIA Great Lakes Challenge with 46 points, Live in Lou Classic with 67 points, Ray Bullock Invitational with 15 points and Indiana Wesleyan Twilight Invitational with 32 points.