NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) landed seven of the eight possible awards from the midwest region.
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.
MEN'S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: James Ngandu – Tiffin
Ngandu, a junior from Eldoret, Kenya, is ranked 2nd nationally at both 5000 and 10000 meters. His time in the 5000 is 13:46.63, while his time in the longer race is 28:50.75. Both of those times fall right outside the All-Time NCAA DII list.
MEN'S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Coy Blair - Tiffin
Blair, a senior from Logan, Ohio, is ranked 1st nationally in the shot put with a heave of 19.90m (65-3½). That throw also has Blair on the NCAA DII all-time chart in 5th place. Blair is also ranked in the top-25 in the hammer throw and broke a school record in the event.
WOMEN'S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Tynelle Gumbs – Findlay
Gumbs, a junior from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, is ranked in the top-10 nationally in both the discus throw and hammer throw. Her mark in the discus throw stands at 51.43m (168-9) and has her 7th nationally, while her heave in the hammer throw (59.30m/194-6) left her 8th nationally.
MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Jud Logan – Ashland
Logan, in his 12th year with the program, guided Ashland to the top billing in NCAA Division II during the outdoor season, as well as a GLIAC Championship. Logan's athletes own the top-3 marks on the Descending Order List in the hammer throw, the top 400 meter mark and the 3rd-best high jump and shot put marks.
WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Jerry Baltes – Grand Valley State
Baltes, in his 18th year with the program, guided the Lakers to the top ranking in the Midwest Region. His women captured their 18th-straight GLIAC title recently, and 17 of his women are qualified in 19 events for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships.
MEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Ernie Clark – Ashland
Clark, in his 2nd year with the program, helped coach the Eagles to a GLIAC Championship where his sprinters and hurdlers tallied 63 points, including event titles in the 4×100 and x400 relays. Clark coached Myles Pringle to the top of the NCAA Division II Descending Order list in the 400 meter dash.
WOMEN'S ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Blaine Maag – Findlay
Maag, in his 1st year with the program, helped guide Findlay's throwers to the top billing in the event squad rankings in the shot put, discus and hammer. His throwers totaled 60 points at the GLIAC Championships to lead the team toa runner-up finish.