NEW ORLEANS — Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the eight regions honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes, and the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches.
MIDWEST REGION MEN'S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – James Ngandu – Tiffin
Ngandu, a senior from Nakuru, Kenya, was the GLIAC Champion in the 5000 and 10,000 this season. His regular-season time of 28:45.96 in the 10,000 meters led NCAA Division II this year, while his season-best 5000 time of 13:47.92 ranked second nationally.
MIDWEST REGION MEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR – Ernie Clark – Ashland
Clark, in his third year coaching sprints, hurdles and relays at Ashland, tutored Myles Pringle, Trevor Bassitt and a top-6 ranked 4×400 relay team. Pringle is the division’s top 400-meter sprinter and sits No. 10 in the 200, while Bassitt is 12th in the 110 hurdles. Clark’s athletes combined for 57 points at the GLIAC Championships.
MIDWEST REGION WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR – Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State
Baltes, in his 19th year at Grand Valley State, led the Lakers to the GLIAC Championships and the top ranking in the Midwest Region. Grand Valley State also ranks 6th nationally, and their 17 national qualifiers lead all Division II programs.
MIDWEST REGION WOMEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR – Alan Dunson – Grand Valley State
Dunson, a sprints and hurdles coach in his third year at Grand Valley State, has the top-ranked 400 Hurdles squad in the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings, the second-ranked squads in both the 100 Hurdles and 400 Meters, and top-five squads in the 100 Meters and 200 Meters. Five of Grand Valley State’s championships entries are coached by Dunson.