Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year – Emily Richards, Ohio Northern
Richards, a junior from Delaware, Ohio, is the top-ranked woman in both the 800 and the mile in NCAA Division III. She ran a time of 2:08.83 in the 800, which ranks the 6th fastest time in NCAA Division III history. Richards also set a school record in the mile with her time of 4:50.11. She became the first woman in OAC history to win the 800, 1000 and mile in the same indoor championship meet.
Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year – Kevin Lucas, Mount Union
Lucas, in his seventh year at Mount Union, guided the Raiders to its fifth-consecutive OAC title. They also won the Division III All-Ohio crown this season and finished the year as the region’s top-ranked team. Ranked in the nation’s top-15, his crew will have six entries at the national championships.
Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year – Nate Heddleston, Mount Union
Heddleston, in his 2nd year with the program, helped the Mount Union Raiders win their fifth-consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference championship. Heddleston’s hurdlers finished 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th in the 60-meter hurdles to score 22 points, and Connor Troyer broke a 37-year-old conference record in the event. Troyer also established a new school record in the event with a time of 8.07 at the All-Ohio Championships.
To be named All-Region, an athlete must either be ranked in the top-5 of an individual event in the region according to final TFRRS data or be part of a top-3 relay team.