NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season were announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) swept all eight regional awards as the GLIAC continues to exert itself as the best track and field conference in the nation.
Each of the regions, which are the same as those used during the Division II cross country season, honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes and the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches. Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches.
Many of the honored athletes and coaches will be in competition at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships set for next weekend, March 13-14, in Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The meet can be streamed online live at NCAA.org, and more information can be found at the USTFCCCA’s National Championships Central page.
MEN'S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Lamar Hargrove, Tiffin
Hargrove, a sophomore sprinter from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been the best sprinter in Division II this year. He’s ranked first in the 200 (20.93, national record), second at 60 meters in 6.70 and ran a leg on the No. 1 4×400 meter relay (3:10.90). He won the GLIAC title and broke the conference record in all three events.
WOMEN'S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Emily Oren, Hillsdale
Oren is a top-three national qualifier in the 3000 and distance medley relay. At the GLIAC meet, the junior from Holland, Michigan, anchored the winning DMR and won the mile in 4:49.
MEN'S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Justin Welch, Findlay
Welch, a senior from Luckey, Ohio, is ranked No. 1 among NCAA Division II in the weight throw 72-8 (22.15m) and No. 15 in the shot put 55-9¾ (17.01m), and will compete in both events at championships. He is ranked No. 10 among all collegians in the weight throw. He was named GLIAC Field Athlete of the Meet as the GLIAC Champion in the weight throw and finishing eighth in the shot put.
WOMEN'S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Jamie Sindelar, Ashland
Sindelar, a redshirt junior from Athens, Ohio, is the top-ranked shot putter in NCAA Division II. Her throw of 55-4¼ (16.87m) earned her the GLIAC Championship. Sindelar’s throw is the second-farthest indoor shot put in Division II history. She has thrown over the auto mark in five meets this year.
MEN'S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Jeremy Croy, Tiffin
Croy’s Dragons set all-time GLIAC records in the 60 (6.70), 200 (20.93), 4×400 (3:10.90) and heptathlon (5300 points) this season in route to a runner-up finish at the GLIAC meet. With 20 provisional or auto marks this indoor season, Tiffin will be represented in 10 events at the NCAA Championship meet including top 200m qualifier Lamar Hargrove and the No. 1 ranked 4x400m relay. The team set school records in 60m (6.70), 200 (20.93), 4×400 (3:10.90), heptathlon (5300), pole vault (5.10m), long jump (7.35m), and triple jump (15.06m) this season. Now in his 15th season at Tiffin, Croy’s team heads into nationals ranked No. 2 in the Region and No. 5 nationally.
WOMEN'S HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Jerry Baltes, Grand Valley State
Now in his 16th year, Baltes led his Grand Valley State Lakers to a 49½ point margin of victory at the GLIAC championship meet. GVSU was ranked first in the final regional rankings and third nationally. Fourteen women will be representing GVSU at the NCAA Championships in 15 individual events and a relay. Baltes personally coaches the Distance group where the Lakers have six women in seven individual spots and a relay qualified to compete at nationals.
MEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Derrick Vicars, Findlay
Vicars, in his second year coaching throws at Findlay, guided Justin Welch and Taylor Miller, the NCAA Division II leaders in the weight throw and shot put, respectively. In total, he will have five athletes at the NCAA II championships in the shot put (ranked No. 1, No. 4, No. 5, No. 15 and No. 16). His weight throwers are ranked No. 1, No. 20, No. 26, and No. 31 on the final national performance list. His athletes scored 35 points at the GLIAC Champs, going 1-2-3-8 in the shot put and Justin Welch winning the weight throw.
WOMEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR (MIDWEST REGION) – Joe Lynn, Hillsdale
Lynn, in his first season coaching middle-distance and distance athletes, coached two NCAA qualifiers at 800 Meters, three in the mile, two at 3000 meters, three at 5000 meters and the DMR. Additionally, three athletes or relays with which he works with have posted top-three times in their events- including the DMR, which posted one of the top times in Division II history at 11:27