M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week (Nov. 7)
NEW ORLEANS — The cross country season is winding down.
Here are our M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week for November 7, 2022!
- NCAA Division II Men – Dillon Powell, Colorado School of Mines
- NCAA Division II Women – Natalie Graber, Grand Valley State
- NAIA Men – Eli Fullerton, Indiana Wesleyan
- NAIA Women – Addy Wiley, Huntington (Ind.)
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 14 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 II MEN – Dillon Powell, Colorado School of Mines
Junior | Colorado Springs, Colorado
Dillon Powell set the tone.
His Colorado School of Mines teammates followed suit.
Powell ran away with the individual title at the RMAC Championships this past weekend, covering the 8k tract in 24:05.6, 14.2 seconds faster than runner-up Afewerki Zeru of UC-Colorado Springs. The Oredigger standout led by nearly 10 seconds at 5k and poured it on.
No. 1 Colorado School of Mines romped to victory behind Powell’s low stick. The Orediggers went 1-3-5-7-9 for 26 points as they beat No. 2 Adams State by 20 points. Colorado School of Mines had its entire scoring lineup (top-5 runners) in before the Grizzlies netted three.
This is the second time this season that Powell has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. He previously took home national honors after winning the individual title at the NCAA DII Pre-Nationals.
NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Natalie Graber, Grand Valley State
Junior | Loogootee, Indiana
There have been three instances of perfect scores by a women’s team champion at the GLIAC Championships in meet history: Grand Valley State now has two of those in back-to-back years.
Natalie Graber led a dominating performance by the Lakers this past weekend, as she traversed the 6k tract at the Willow Metropark in 21:04.8, 20.6 seconds ahead of teammate Lauren Kiley. Graber and Kiley were joined in the top-5 teammates by Klaudia O’Malley (third, 21:27.2), Abby VanderKooi (21:39.7) and Taryn Chapko (fifth, 21:44.5).
GVSU won its 21st consecutive GLIAC title, but none were more impressive than the past two years. After all, how many times does a team post an unblemished, 15-point total to win a conference title?
This is the first time this season that a female athlete from GVSU has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. The Lakers aren’t strangers to the award, though, having earned it three times since 2018 (Sarah Berger, 2018; Allie Ludge, 2019; Klaudia O’Malley, 2021).
NAIA MEN – Eli Fullerton, Indiana Wesleyan
Sophomore | Belpre, Ohio
Eli Fullerton won his first race of the year – and it was a big one.
Fullerton raced to the individual title at the Crossroads League Championships, as he covered the 8k course in 25:12.6 to win by 10.4 seconds.
That low stick proved beneficial for No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan, as the top-ranked team in the conference beat five other ranked squads for the team title – its first since 2019. The Wildcats amassed 40 points with their 1-5-6-8-20 finish to beat Huntington (Ind.) by 14 points.
Fullerton is the first athlete from Indiana Wesleyan to be named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in cross country.
NAIA WOMEN – Addy Wiley, Huntington (Ind.)
Freshman | Huntington, Indiana
Addy Wiley continued an undefeated cross country season, winning the individual title at the Crossroads League Championships that featured four ranked teams, including No. 1 Taylor (Ind.).
This was her largest victory margin of the year as her time of 17:26.3 for the 5k course was 22.3 seconds clear of her nearest pursuer.
This is Wiley’s second time this season being honored as M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week, having also been so named on October 3rd.