NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday the winners of USTFCCCA Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year honors for the 2012 cross country season in Division II as voted by the division’s coaches.
Grand Valley State Univeristy junior Allyson Winchester (Wayland, Mich./Middleville) was named the Midwest Region Female "Athlete of the Year" after winning the Midwest Regional cross country meet.
Grand Valley State University Head Cross Country Coach Jerry Baltes won the women's Midwest Region "Coach of the Year" award and Head Coach Steve Picucci of Ferris State University won the men's Midwest Region "Coach of the Year" honors.
Winchester, a junior from Wayland, Mich., led the Lakers to their 12th-straight Midwest title with a 14-second victory in the region’s 6k race. She also won the GLIAC title this season as GVSU won the league for the 12th-straight time.
Baltes, in his 12th year coaching the women has also lead his team to victory in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the 12th year in a row. The third-ranked Lakers had five athletes finish among the top 13 to win their 12th straight regional crown.
Picucci, in his fifth year at Ferris State, led the Ferris State men to a third-place region finish, resulting in their first NCAA DII Championships appearance since 1985. The Bulldog’s enter the championships ranked 13th by the USTFCCCA.
The NCAA DII Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Missouri Southern on Saturday, November 17, in Joplin, Mo. NCAA.com will broadcast the meet online.