NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches.
Great Lakes RegionTrack Athlete of the Year
Matt Molinaro, Ohio Northern
Molinaro, a junior from Sterling Heights, Michigan, is ranked 1st nationally at 800 meters with a time of 1:48.92. He ran that time on the back end of an impressive double where he ran two sub-1:50s over the span of two days. Molinaro is also ranked in the top-20 of the 1500.
Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year
Emily Richards, Ohio Northern
Richards, a junior from Delaware, Ohio, set the NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor record in the 800 meters at 2:02.34. Her top time in the 1500 meters on the season (4:21.19) also ranks her 6th in NCAA Division III collegiate outdoor history. She won conference championships in both events in addition to leading the Polar Bears to a title in the 4×400 relay.
Great Lakes Men's Coach of the Year
Kevin Lucas, Mount Union
Lucas, in his eighth year leading the Raiders, led his crew to the OAC crown with a championships record 272 points and 11 event titles. His OAC Staff of the Year will go to the NCAA meet ranked in the nation’s top ten with 12 championship entries.
Great Lakes Women's Coach of the Year
Jason Maus, Ohio Northern
Maus’ Polar Bears claimed the OAC title for the first time in eight years this spring. With 14 event titles, his crew also set four OAC records during the season. They enter the national met with four highly-seeded entries and rank ninth nationally. Maus is in his eighth year with the program.
Great Lakes Men's Assistant Coach of the Year
Nate Heddleston, Mount Union
Heddleston, in his 2nd year with the program, led his hurdlers to 1st (14.43), 2nd (14.46), and 5th (15.21) places in the 110 hurdles and 1st (53.50) and 6th place in the 400 hurdles to help the team clinch the OAC Championship. Both 1st-place marks were facility records, and the 110 hurdle race set the conference and school records.