NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) following the national championship meets in Evansville, Indiana this past weekend.
James Ngandu of Tiffin and Carolina Kurgat of Alaska Anchorage were honored with the Doug Watts Award (Men's Athlete of the Year) and the Doris Brown Heritage Award (Women's Athlete of the Year) respectively. The duo won their respective races at the Angel Mounds this past Saturday.
DOUG WATTS AWARD
James Ngandu, Tiffin
James Ngandu absolutely dominated a strong field at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.
The product out of Nairobi, Kenya, posted a time of 30:18.8 to defeat his nearest competitor by a whopping 34 seconds while leading the entire race.
The win in Indiana capped an undefeated season for the senior, as he won all six meets in which he competed in 2017, including the GLIAC Championship and the Midwest Regional.
After finishing in third at the 2016 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships a year ago, Ngandu did what he needed to do this year to fill the last spot in his trophy case.
Ngandu is the first runner from Tiffin to win this honor, while also becoming the first Dragon to ever win a national postseason honor from the USTFCCCA for their work on the cross country circuit.