M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week (Dec. 13)

NEW ORLEANS – The indoor season is rolling along!

Here are our M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week for December 13, 2022!

  • NCAA Division I Men — Anthony Smith, Washington
  • NCAA Division I Women — Shelby Frank, Minnesota
  • NCAA Division II Men — Gunner Rigsby, Colorado Mesa
  • NCAA Division II Women — Ahshareah Enoe, New Mexico Highlands
  • NCAA Division III Men — Joseph White, Carthage
  • NCAA Division III Women — Birgen Nelson, Gustavus Adolphus
  • NAIA Men — Mason Schleis, Mount Marty (S.D.)
  • NAIA Women — Destiny Copeland, Huntington (Ind.)
  • NJCAA Men — Rivaldo Marshall, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC
  • NJCAA Women — Haleigh Hadley, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC

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 I MEN – Anthony Smith, Washington

Sophomore | Sprints
Snoqualmie, Washington

Anthony Smith is already faster than he was last indoor season.

We don’t mean this early in the season – the entire thing.

Smith, competing at the Spokane Invitational, clocked an NCAA DI-leading 21.28 over 200 meters and anchored the nation’s top 4×400 relay in 47.19 as well. That mark in the indoor one-lapper lowered his indoor PR from 21.43, which he set last year at the WSU Invitational.

This is the second year in a row that the Washington men’s program has been honored with a M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week plaudit during the indoor season. The Huskies took one back to Seattle last year when they became the third faster program in collegiate history in the DMR.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Shelby Frank, Minnesota

Sophomore | Throws
Grand Forks, North Dakota

One meet; one PR.

Shelby Frank is off to a great start.

Frank, competing at the Ice Breaker Open & Multi, launched the weight 22.21m (72-10½) to destroy her old PR by nearly three feet. She also won the event title by more than 12 feet.

If Frank continues her rise through the ranks indoors, she might be able to pair an All-America honor she earned in the discus this past outdoor season with a similar version in the weight.

This is the second time in the past three years that a female athlete from Minnesota has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. Frank joins Bethany Hasz, who brought national honors back to the Twin Cities on January 12, 2021.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Gunner Rigsby, Colorado Mesa

Senior | Jumps
Grand Junction, Colorado

Gunner Rigsby picked up where he left off, nine months ago.

Rigsby, who finished third in the triple jump at the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships, soared into the divisional lead with a 16.17m (53-0¾) effort this past weekend at the Mountaineer Open & Multi. That also set an RMAC record and moved him up to No. 10 in NCAA DII history with the second farthest jump since 2018.

This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Colorado Mesa has been named M-F National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. 

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Ahshareah Enoe, New Mexico Highlands

Freshman | Jumps
Petite Martinique, Bahamas

Ahshareah Enoe soared in legendary company.

Enoe, competing at the Mountaineer Open & Multi, cleared 1.85m (6-0¾) in the high jump to move up to No. 6 in NCAA DII history with the best jump since 2015. She now isn’t too far away from the highest bar ever cleared by a freshman in the divisional annals of 1.90m (6-2¾).

This is the first time since 2016 that an athlete from New Mexico Highlands has been named M-F National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season (Salcia Slack on March 1, 2016). 

NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Joseph White, Carthage

Junior | Throws
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Joseph White hopes his throws are worth their weight in gold.

If White keeps throwing like he did this past weekend at the UW-Oshkosh ‘Early Bird’ Invitational, he could end up eventually topping the podium at the 2023 NCAA DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. That’s because White launched the weight 20.77m (68-1¾) to move up to No. 7 in NCAA DIII history and smash his previous PR, too.

White also took over the NCAA DIII lead in the shot put at 17.20m (56-5¼).

This is the first time in program history that an athlete from Carthage has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. 

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Birgen Nelson, Gustavus Adolphus

Junior | Hurdles
Edina, Minnesota

Birgen Nelson didn’t wait to etch her name into the record book.

Nelson broke the NCAA DIII record in the 60-meter hurdles this past weekend at the Ice Breaker Open & Multi. She traversed the distance and cleared five barriers in 8.38 to shatter a near seven-year-old divisional best previously held by Arianna Wright of Lehman since 2015.

This is the first time in program history that a female athlete from Gustavus Adolphus has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. Nelson isn’t the first hurdler to be honored, as Taylor Rooney has been lauded four times in the past two years.

NAIA Men – Mason Schleis, Mount Marty (S.D.)

Senior | Combined Events
Shelby, Nebraska

One year made a big difference for Mason Schleis.

How big? Schleis improved his heptathlon best by 166 points to win the Concordia Bulldog Early Bird meet with a school record score of 5019 points. It was the second-straight win for Schleis at this meet, which was also the site of his previous PR of 4853.

Schleis set three individual PRs during his heptathlon – 7.15 in the 60 meters, 9.90m (32-5¾) in the shot put and 8.66 in the 60-meter hurdles.

This is the first M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week honor for Mount Marty in indoor track & field.

NAIA Women – Destiny Copeland, Huntington (Ind.)

Grad Student | Jumps
Chesapeake, Virginia

New school, same Destiny Copeland.

Actually, not exactly the same as Copeland has a new indoor PR after winning the Turnstone: Strive for Greatness Indoor meet with jump of 12.43m (40-9½) at her former school of Indiana Tech.

That mark is also longer than the 12.19m (40-0) she jumped as part of a triple jump/long jump sweep at the NAIA Indoor Championships last year – giving her five total NAIA crowns.

At the Strive for Greatness meet, Copeland also finished second in the 200 meters (25.85) and third in the long jump (5.66m/18-7).

This is the first M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week honor for Huntington in indoor track & field.

NJCAA Men – Rivaldo Marshall, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC

Sophomore | Mid-Distance
Kingston, Jamaica

Cooling off is not on Rivaldo Marshall’s agenda.

A week after PRing in the 1000 meters, Marshall stepped down to his specialty – the 800 meters – with the fastest race of his career.

The reigning NJCAA Outdoor champion in the 800 clocked 1:48.46 for fourth place in the Iowa State Holiday Invitational, becoming the fastest NJCAA 800-meter runner indoors regardless of conditions. His mark took down the 1:48.53 set by Derek Holdsworth of Trinidad State (Colo.) in 2018.

Marshall wasn’t the only Warrior running fast in the 800 meters – teammate Tyrice Taylor won a separate section in 1:49.80, moving to No. 5 all-time on the NJCAA indoor all-conditions list.

This is Marshall’s second-straight week being honored as the M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. He is the fourth male athlete from Indian Hills to earn the award in indoor track & field.

NJCAA Women – Haleigh Hadley, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC

Sophomore | Jumps
Gilbert, Iowa

Haleigh Hadley had the floor to herself at the Iowa State Holiday Invitational – literally.

Hadley was the only entrant in the high jump and broke her own indoor school record at 1.67m (5-5¾). But Hadley wasn’t done as she cleared 1.70m (5-7), which improved on her absolute best of 1.68m (5-6) set outdoors last year.

In the fall, Hadley competed on the Warriors’ volleyball team as an opposite/outside hitter. Indian Hills finished fourth in NJCAA national championship tournament in November.

Hadley is the fifth female athlete from Indian Hills to be honored as M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in indoor track & field.