Release courtesy of Tom Lewis, U.S. Track & Field and
Cross Country Coaches Association, Communications Manager
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the organization’s region athletes and coaches of the year for the 2012 NCAA Division II outdoor track & field season on Thursday. Several of the athletes and coaches will be on hand for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships set for next weekend, May 24-26, in Pueblo, Colo. NCAA.com will provide live coverage of the national championships.
MEN'S FIELD "ATHLETE OF THE YEAR"
MIDWEST REGION – Derrick Vicars – Findlay
Vicars, a junior from Genoa, Ohio, is entered in the shot put, hammer, and discus for the NCAA Championships. He is only one of three men in the meet to be entered in three individual events. He finished the season ranked in the top five nationally in all three events and was the GLIAC Champion in the shot put.
WOMEN'S TRACK "ATHLETE OF THE
MIDWEST REGION – Betsy Graney – Grand Valley State
Graney reset the NCAA Division II record books this season by running the fastest time in history in the 3000 Steeplechase at 9:53.85. She also has the second-fastest time of the 2012 season in the 5000 Meters of 15:56.85. Graney won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in the 5000 meters in meet-record time. Graney is a senior from Harper Woods, Mich.
WOMEN'S FIELD "ATHLETE OF THE
MIDWEST REGION – Cheryl Bourne – Ashland
Bourne, a senior from New Straitsville, Ohio, is entered in both the long jump and heptathlon for the NCAA meet. In the heptathlon, Bourne enters at the No. 3 seed, having achieved a season best and GLIAC record of 5,335 at the conference championships. She was named the GLIAC Field Athlete of the Year as she made provisional marks in five different events.
MEN'S AND WOMEN'S "COACH OF THE YEAR"
MIDWEST REGION – Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State University
The Lakers men won the GLIAC Championships by more than 50 points and are currently ranked 14th in the nation. In his 13th year, Baltes had 28 athletes hit NCAA qualifying marks with nine entries accepted. The GVSU women's team won the GLIAC Title and is currently ranked No. 1 nationally. The Lakers have five athletes ranked No. 1 and three additional athletes ranked No. 2 for a total of 20 entries, tops among both genders in Division II.
WOMEN'S "ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR"
MIDWEST REGION – Lou Andreadis – Grand Valley State
Indoors, the ninth-year coach placed four on the NCAA provisional list and had two All-Americans to help GVSU to the Indoor National title. Outdoors, all five vaulters earned qualifying marks, with one athlete clearing the second highest vault in Division II history. The Lakers enter the weekend ranked first in the nation.