M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week (Feb. 7)

NEW ORLEANS — We still can’t believe what happened this past weekend!

Here are the M-F Athletic National Athletes of the Week for January 31.

  • NCAA Division I Men – Arkansas 4×400 Relay
  • co-NCAA Division I Women – Julien Alfred, Texas
  • co-NCAA Division I Women – Washington DMR
  • NCAA Division II Men – Cordell Tinch, Pittsburg State
  • NCAA Division II Women – Hannah Miller, Colorado School of Mines
  • co-NCAA Division III Men – Sam Blaskowski, UW-La Crosse
  • co-NCAA Division III Men – Joseph White, Carthage
  • NCAA Division III Women – Kennady Gibbins, Mount Union
  • NAIA Men – Grace (Ind.) DMR
  • NAIA Women – Addy Wiley, Huntington (Ind.)
  • NJCAA Men – Kelsey Daniel, New Mexico JC
  • NJCAA Women – Leila Barmore, Glendale (Ariz.) 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 – Arkansas 4×400 Relay

No collegiate record is sacred this year.

Not even one that is an all-time world best.

Arkansas nearly took down Southern California’s otherworldly 3:00.77 marker in the Men’s 4×400 Relay this past weekend at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. The Razorback quartet of Connor Washington, James Benson II, 2022 The Bowerman finalist Ayden Owens-Delerme and 400-meter collegiate-leader Christopher Bailey got the baton around in 3:01.09.

All toted the stick in blazing fashion, but both Bailey and Benson went sub-45. Bailey anchored in 44.32, which is the fourth fastest split in world history, while Benson carried second in 44.82.

This is the fourth time that a men’s relay team has been named M-F National Athlete(s) of the Week during the indoor season. Arkansas joins the DMR quartets of Washington (2022), Oregon (2020) and Notre Dame (2019) in that regard.

co-NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Julien Alfred, Texas

Grad Student | Sprints
Castries, St. Lucia

Julien Alfred and the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Name a better duo.

Julien Alfred and the collegiate record book.

Fine. You did it.

Alfred, competing in New Mexico for the second time this season, shattered her own collegiate record for the second time this season. The Texas star scorched the straightaway to the tune of 7.00 to take 0.02 seconds off her previous all-time collegiate best set back on January 21. That came after Alfred posted the quickest time in the prelims of 7.05.

Get this: Alfred now holds five of the six fastest marks in collegiate history – No. 1 (7.00), No. 2 (7.02), No. 3 (7.04), t-No. 4 (7.05) x2. Four of those marks came this year alone, all in – you guessed it – New Mexico.

This is the second time this season that Alfred has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. Alfred previously earned national honors following her first record-breaking effort.


3:16.24. 54.21. 2:01.93. 4:34.26.

Add those together – 10:46.62.

That’s a collegiate record.

Washington took down Oregon’s six-year-old all-time collegiate best in the Women’s Distance Medley Relay on Friday night at the Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational. The Huskies won the race by more than 13 seconds and were up by four seconds at the first exchange.

Sophie O’Sullivan (1200), Marlena Preigh (400), Carley Thomas (800) and Anna Gibson (1600) were all members of Washington’s record-setting squad.

This is the first time in program history that female athletes from Washington have been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Cordell Tinch, Pittsburg State

Sophomore | Hurdles/Jumps
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Two events. Two NCAA DII all-time marks.

Cordell Tinch had himself a weekend.

The Coffeyville Community College transfer put on his show in his season debut for the Gorillas at the Washburn Open. Tinch first won the 60 Meter Hurdles in 7.66 to become the second-best performer in NCAA DII history. That was after he opened up the meet with a 7.74 in the prelims.

Tinch then took his speed to the long jump runway. He recorded a massive leap of 7.94m (26-¾) in Round 4 to seal the win, moving him to No. 6 on the all-time chart.

This is the third time in program history a male athlete from Pittsburg State has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season. Glaywulu joins Mason Strader (2022) and Garrett Appier (2016).

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN – Hannah Miller, Colorado School of Mines

Senior | Pole Vault
Cypress, Texas

Hannah Miller soared to new heights this past weekend.

Try the all-time top-10 list, for starters.

It was at the Mines Winter Classic & Multi that Miller cleared 4.16m (13-7¾) to win the pole vault. Miller captured the win on her second attempt of the competition over teammate Avery Herbold, who missed on all three attempts at the height. That vaulted Miller to No. 10 on the NCAA DII all-time list and gives her the national lead in the event this year.

This is the first time in program history a female athlete from Colorado School of Mines has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week during the indoor season.

co-NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Sam Blaskowski, UW-La Crosse

Sophomore | Sprints/Jumps
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

It was only a matter of time.

Sam Blaskowki ran so fast in the prelims of the 60 meters at the Mark Guthrie Legacy Invitational that he couldn’t wait to tell the world. Blaskowski immediately took to Twitter.

6.68 in the prelims. OTTNO.

On to the next one, indeed – meaning, next record.

Blaskowski tied the nine-year-old NCAA DIII record in the 60m, now jointly held by Thurgood Dennis of UW-Eau Claire, who originally set it back at the 2014 NCAA DIII Championships. (If you’re counting at home, Blaskowski has now set or tied two NCAA DIII records this season, both of which were held by Dennis – the 200 meters and now the 60 meters).

This is the third week in a row that Blaskowski has been named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week. Only Wadeline Jonathas, formerly of UMass Boston and then South Carolina, earned more consecutive honors (four) during her incredible 2018 campaign.

co-NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Joseph White, Carthage

Junior | Throws
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Records are meant to be broken.

White made overtures at the NCAA DIII topper in the weight throw earlier in the season. He was named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week back on December 13 after moving up to No. 5 in NCAA DIII history with his previous best of 20.77m (68-1¾). 

Well, that was then. This is now.

White strung together a masterclass series this past weekend at the Tadd Metzger Invitational, putting three of his six throws in the top-10 of the NCAA DIII all-time chart, including an NCAA DIII-record heave of 21.92m (71-11) in Round 2. That came right after White originally broke the NCAA DIII record in Round 1 with his 21.89m (71-10) effort (Sean Donnelly of Mount Union held the division’s best throw since 2015 at 21.75m (71-4¼), so White left no doubt at all).

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Kennady Gibbins, Mount Union

Grad Student | Combined Events
Navarre, Ohio

When you get nominated by a teammate who was a former M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week, we take notice.

Kenadee Wayt, who earned national honors on January 24, wanted to let us know that Kennady Gibbins had a fantastic meet this past weekend at the Akron Invitational. Gibbins won the pentathlon with 3635 points over a host of NCAA DI athletes to move up to No. 3 on the seasonal chart. Within the confines of that pentathlon, Gibbins soared 5.71m (18-9) in the long jump to take over the No. 2 spot in that event among NCAA DIII athletes.

Gibbins, like Wayt, is a member of the NCAA DIII-leading 4×400 relay. Wayt has been stellar this season as well, notching four top-5 performances, including three of those in individual events.

This is the fourth year in a row that one NCAA DIII program has had multiple female athletes named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week.

NAIA MEN – Grace College DMR

Four exchanges. One all-time mark.

The Grace College DMR squad clocked an NAIA-leading 9:49.19 this past weekend on the oversized track at Notre Dame during the Meyo Invitational. When counting all-conditions (meaning oversized and record-legal tracks) the Lancers are No. 3 on the NAIA all-time chart with the best mark in the division since 2017.

Bryan Hernandez, Tanner Sallee, Logan Rufenacht and Dmitri Margaritidis were all part of Grace College’s quartet.

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

NAIA WOMEN – Addy Wiley, Huntington

Freshman | Mid-Distance/Distance
Huntington, Indiana

Addy Wiley keeps getting better!

Wiley won her fifth-straight race this indoor season, the latest in claiming the elite mile at the Camel City Invitational in 4:32.15. That performance chopped more than five seconds off the previous best-known NAIA time of 4:37.73.

Which event is Wiley’s best? She leads the NAIA lists in five individual events. Besides the mile, Wiley tops the 600 meters (1:29.77), 800 (2:09.76), 1000 (2:51.56) and 3000 (9:24.28). Her time in the 600 is also the best-known in NAIA history.

This is Wiley’s second time being honored as M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in indoor track & field, adding to the two she earned in cross country.

NJCAA MEN – Kelsey Daniel, New Mexico JC

Sophomore | Jumps
Parlatuvier, Trinidad and Tobago

Kelsey Daniel landed in the sand farther than any other NJCAA jumper yet this year – in two events.

He started on Friday, leaping 7.99m (26-2¾) in the long jump to finish second at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. That made him the year’s first – and only – NJCAA 25-footer, let alone 26-footer. He’s also now No. 4 all-time in NJCAA indoor history.

Daniel PRed again on Saturday in triple jump, bounding out to 16.04m (52-7½) in producing the NJCAA’s first 52-foot effort of the year (he had three of them, in fact). His top effort makes him No. 14 all-time NJCAA in the triple jump.

Daniel is the second male athlete from New Mexico JC to be named M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week in indoor track & field. He joins last week’s honoree, Tapiwanashe Makarawu.

NJCAA WOMEN – Leila Barmore, Glendale (Ariz.) CC

Freshman | Jumps
Surprise, Arizona

Leila Barmore competed in three events at Northern Arizona’s Ron Mann Classic, but it was her last event where she had her most success.

That would be the triple jump, in which she jumped out to 12.49m (40-11¾) in producing the farthest effort of the year among NJCAA athletes. Her first-round mark stood up to win the competition outright.

Barmore improved more than two feet on her previous best of 11.71m (38-5) set last week in winning the Paradise Valley (Ariz.) CC Invitational, which was held outdoors.

Barmore is the first athlete – male or female – from Glendale to earn M-F Athletic National Athlete of the Week honors in indoor track & field, outdoor track & field or cross country.