Weekly College Awards — Men

This was a busy weekend in college track and field, with several high-profile meets. Under the new NCAA Championships qualifying format, this was almost “first chance” weekend for distance races.

Down at the bottom, I have a compilation of the best marks of the weekend in each event. Don’t miss it!

There were so many big performances, I couldn’t give out just one Athlete of the Week award in Division I. I went with three.

Let’s get to it!

Athletes of the Week

Sprints: David Verburg, George Mason
Verburg won the 400 meters on Saturday at the Spire D-1 Invitational in 45.83 seconds, a world-leading time, defeating 2012 NCAA indoor runner-up Brycen Spratling in the process. A few hours later he led off his 4×400 relay team with a split of 46.2 and his teammates brought it home in 3:07.29, the #5 time in the NCAA this year.

Distance: Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech
Kithuka won the 5000 meters on Friday at the Tyson Invitational in 13:26.65, a world-leading time and tenth-best in collegiate history. He got no help at all in this, winning by over a minute—he nearly lapped the entire field twice. The next day he anchored the winning distance medley relay in 4:00.

Field: Jeremy Taiwo, Washington
Taiwo won the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge with a score of 6156 points, third-best in collegiate history and 7th-best in US history. It also stood as the world’s leading score, if only for a few hours. Taiwo cleared 7′ 4½” (2.25m) during the competition, the best high jump mark ever made in a heptathlon.

Division II: Enock Rono, Northwood
Rono took second in the 800 meters on Saturday at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet in 1:49.09. This makes him the fifth-fastest indoor runner in D-II history.

Division III: Dan Sullivan, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Sullivan won the 800 meters in a triangular against Wis-Whitewater and Wis-Oshkosh in 1:52.29, the year’s D-III leading time by nearly a full second.

NAIA: Pierre Banks, Wayland Baptist
Banks took second in the 60 meter hurdles at New Mexico’s Don Kirby Elite meet in a time of 7.78 seconds. Among the D-I athletes he defeated was Cal’s Ray Stewart, an NCAA outdoor championships qualifier last year in the 110 hurdles.

CIS: Andrew Nixon, Guelph
Nixon won the 3000 meters at the Spire NCAA D-I Invitational in a time of 8:01.75, which makes him the fastest Canadian collegian of the year.

Team of the Week

Arkansas Razorbacks
Competing at their own Tyson Invitational, the Hogs put together this week’s best series of marks. They got notable marks out of the 400 meters, 800 meters, 60 hurdles 4×400 relay, high jump, pole vault and triple jump.

Honorable mention goes to the Florida Gators, who did well in the sprints, hurdles and jumps at Virginia Tech’s Elite Invitational.

Team Player: John Darmody, St. Ambrose
Darmody led his Fighting Bees to the Midwest Collegiate Conference championship with a busy weekend: he won the 800 meters, mile and 3000 meters, took third in the 600 meters, and anchored the winning 4×800 relay—all in a single day.


High jump madness
With Jeremy Taiwo’s clearance of 7′ 4½” / 2.25m (see above), there are now twenty NCAA D-I jumpers competing this year whose PRs are at 7′ 4¼” (2.24m) or better. That’s just nuts.

The two who own Olympic medals are continuing their at-a-distance rivalry, as they will not meet head-to-head until the NCAA Indoor Championships. Competing at Indiana’s Hoosier Hills Invitational, Canadian Olympian Derek Drouin cleared 7′ 7¼” (2.32 meters), just 1 centimeter below his lifetime best. Competing at the Don Kirby Elite meet in New Mexico, U.S. Olympian Erik Kynard had a more modest (for him) clearance of 7′ 5¾” (2.28 meters).

Pole vault heating up
The early season leader in the pole vault was Akron freshman Shawn Barber, who remains undefeated in five meets, but defending NCAA outdoor champion Jack Whitt of Oral Roberts was also doing well. But top marks came in droves this weekend. UCLA’s Michael Woepse tied Barber for the yearly lead with a PR of 18′ 4½” (5.60m). BYU’s Victor Weirich set a PR with 18′ 2″ (5.54m), as did Cale Simmons of Air Force, and the two are now tied for third on the yearly collegiate list. Tennessee freshman Jake Blankenship also set a PR of 18′ 1″ (5.51m). The path to the NCAA title suddenly got more crowded.

Weekend’s Top Marks

Key to symbols:
# = track size conversion applied
@ = altitude conversion applied

60 meters
Marvin Bracy, Florida State 6.54 Tyson Inv
Dentarius Locke, Florida State 6.56 Tyson Inv
Bryce Robinson, Tulsa 6.62 Tyson Inv
Clayton Vaughn, Texas-Arlington 6.63 Tyson Inv
Marqesh Woodson, Missouri 6.63 Tyson Inv
Brent Lee, Jackson State 6.65 Tiger Paw
Hugh Graham, Jr, Florida 6.65 VT Elite
Broderick Snoddy, Georgia Tech 6.67 Samford Inv
200 meters
Trey Hadnot, Louisiana Tech 20.81 Tyson Inv
Everett Walker, Baylor 20.99 Tyson Inv
Ameer Webb, Texas A&M 21.00 Texas A&M Inv
Timothy Faust, Ohio State 21.03 @ Kirby Elite
Michael Bryan, Texas A&M 21.06 Texas A&M Inv
Brandon Stryganek, Illinois 21.08 SPIRE Inv
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, LSU 21.08 Tyson Inv
Carlos Rodriguez, Kansas State 21.08 @ Kirby Open
Dedric Dukes, Florida 21.08 VT Elite
400 meters
David Verburg, George Mason 45.83 SPIRE Inv
Brycen Spratling, Pittsburgh 46.30 SPIRE Inv
Carvin Nkanata, Pittsburgh 46.31 SPIRE Inv
Mike Berry, Oregon 46.48 Tyson Inv
Stephon Pamilton, Illinois 46.51 SPIRE Inv
Bralon Taplin, Texas A&M 46.85 Texas A&M Inv
Kyle Clemons, Kansas 46.85 Tyson Inv
Anton Kokorin, Arkansas 46.88 Tyson Inv
800 meters
Declan Murray, Loyola (Ill.) 1:47.59 Big Meet
Patrick Rono, Arkansas 1:47.66 Tyson Inv
Austin Mudd, Wisconsin 1:48.24 Husky Classic
Chris O’Hare, Tulsa 1:48.28 Tyson Inv
Elijah Greer, Oregon 1:48.42 Tyson Inv
Ryan Waite, BYU 1:48.49 Husky Classic
Anthony Lieghio, Arkansas 1:48.56 Tyson Inv
Enock Rono, Northwood 1:49.09 Big Meet
Robby Creese, Penn State 3:57.11 Husky Classic
Raul Botezan, Oklahoma State 3:57.79 Husky Classic
Brett Johnson, Oregon 3:58.62 Husky Classic
Christopher Fallon, Ohio State 3:59.37 Tyson Inv
Chad Noelle, Oregon 3:59.57 Husky Classic
Frezer Legesse, Oklahoma 3:59.83 Tyson Inv
Nick Wade, Cornell 4:00.00 SPIRE Inv
Jordan Williamsz, Villanova 4:00.12 Husky Classic
3000 meters
Ryan Hill, North Carolina St. 7:49.20 Husky Classic
Diego Estrada, Northern Arizona 7:50.44 Husky Classic
Eric Jenkins, Northeastern 7:50.44 Husky Classic
Kirubel Erassa, Oklahoma State 7:50.92 Husky Classic
Zachary Mayhew, Indiana 7:51.61 Hoosier Hills
Andrew Bayer, Indiana 7:51.75 Hoosier Hills
Thomas Farrell, Oklahoma State 7:51.77 Husky Classic
Nick Happe, Arizona State 7:52.18 Husky Classic
5000 meters
Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech 13:26.65 Tyson Inv
Shadrack Kipchirchir, Oklahoma State 13:38.57 Husky Classic
Kevin Williams, Oklahoma 13:38.57 Husky Classic
Anthony Rotich, UTEP 13:38.58 Husky Classic
Maverick Darling, Wisconsin 13:38.71 Husky Classic
Jeramy Elkaim, Oregon 13:39.35 Husky Classic
Luke Caldwell, New Mexico 13:40.39 Husky Classic
Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin 13:40.43 Husky Classic
60m Hurdles
Caleb Cross, Arkansas 7.65 Tyson Inv
Keiron Stewart, Texas 7.66 Tyson Inv
Eddie Lovett, Florida 7.66 VT Elite
Greggmar Swift, Indiana State 7.68 Tyson Inv
Jordan Mullen, Iowa 7.73 Tyson Inv
Demoye Bogle, Ohio State 7.73 @ Kirby Elite
Milan Ristic, UNC-Asheville 7.75 Tiger Paw
Johnathan Cabral, Oregon 7.75 Husky Classic
4x400m Relay
Arkansas 3:07.20 Tyson Inv
George Mason 3:07.29 SPIRE Inv
Texas A&M 3:07.77 Texas A&M Inv
Pittsburgh 3:08.54 SPIRE Inv
Illinois 3:08.55 SPIRE Inv
Oregon 3:09.25 Tyson Inv
Kansas 3:09.98 Tyson Inv
Clemson 3:10.33 # Tiger Paw
Distance Medley
Indiana 9:33.42 Hoosier Hills
Indiana ‘B” 9:40.43 Hoosier Hills
Texas Tech 9:40.71 Tyson Inv
Purdue 9:51.91 SPIRE Inv
Miss State 9:52.00 Tyson Inv
Duke 9:54.55 VT Elite
Wake Forest 9:54.87 VT Elite
Tulsa 9:57.00 Tyson Inv
High Jump
Derek Drouin, Indiana 7′ 7¼” / 2.32m Hoosier Hills
Erik Kynard, Kansas State 7′ 5¾” / 2.28m Kirby Elite
Jeremy Taiwo, Washington 7′ 4½” / 2.25m Boise State Chall
Anthony May, Arkansas 7′ 3¾” / 2.23m Tyson Inv
Deante Kemper, Northern Arizona 7′ 3¼” / 2.22m Kirby Elite
Bryan McBride, Arizona State 7′ 3¼” / 2.22m Kirby Elite
Jules Sharpe, Stanford 7′ 3¼” / 2.22m Kirby Elite
James White, Nebraska 7′ 3″ / 2.21m Colligan Mem
Pole Vault
Michael Woepse, UCLA 18′ 4½” / 5.60m Kirby Elite
Victor Weirich, BYU 18′ 2″ / 5.54m Air Force Chall
Cale Simmons, Air Force 18′ 2″ / 5.54m Air Force Chall
Jake Blankenship, Tennessee 18′ 1″ / 5.51m Samford Inv
Shawn Barber, Akron 18′ 1″ / 5.51m VT Elite
Jack Whitt, Oral Roberts 18′ 1″ / 5.51m Tyson Inv
Sam Kendricks, Mississippi 18′ ½” / 5.50m Kirby Open
Kyal Meyers, Texas Tech 17′ 9″ / 5.41m Tyson Inv
Andrew Irwin, Arkansas 17′ 9″ / 5.41m Tyson Inv
Kevin Lazas, Arkansas 17′ 9″ / 5.41m Tyson Inv
Dustin Gehrke, Oral Roberts 17′ 9″ / 5.41m Tyson Inv
Long Jump
Marquis Dendy, Florida 26′ 2¾” / 7.99m VT Elite
Damar Forbes, LSU 26′ ¾” / 7.94m Tyson Inv
Stefan Brits, Florida State 25′ 4″ / 7.72m Tyson Inv
Kamal Fuller, Alabama 25′ 0″ / 7.62m Colligan Mem
Willie Alexander, Long Beach St. 24′ 11¼” / 7.60m Air Force Chall
Stephan Scott-Ellis, Washington St. 24′ 11¼” / 7.60m Kirby Elite
Patrick Raedler, Nebraska 24′ 11″ / 7.59m Colligan Mem
Johnny Carter, Academy of Art 24′ 10″ / 7.57m Kirby Elite
Triple Jump
Tarik Batchelor, Arkansas 53′ 9″ / 16.38m Tyson Inv
Omar Craddock, Florida 53′ 9″ / 16.38m VT Elite
Bryce Lamb, Texas Tech 53′ 4¼” / 16.26m Tyson Inv
Marquis Dendy, Florida 52′ 10″ / 16.10m VT Elite
Chris Benard, Arizona State 52′ 6¾” / 16.02m Kirby Elite
Felix Obi, Baylor 52′ 5½” / 15.99m Tyson Inv
Ricky Robertson, Mississippi 52′ 2¾” / 15.92m Kirby Elite
Phillip Young, Florida State 52′ 1¾” / 15.89m Tyson Inv
Shot Put
Jordan Clarke, Arizona State 66′ 3¾” / 20.21m Kirby Elite
Mason Finley, Wyoming 65′ 1½” / 19.85m Kirby Elite
Stephen Saenz, Auburn 62′ 10½” / 19.16m Samford Inv
Nick Vena, Georgia 62′ 10″ / 19.15m VT Elite
Travis Smith, UC Riverside 61′ 11″ / 18.87m Husky Classic
Stephen Mozia, Cornell 61′ 6¾” / 18.76m SPIRE Inv
Hayden Baillio, Texas 61′ 0″ / 18.59m Tyson Inv
Caleb Whitener, Georgia 60′ 8¾” / 18.51m VT Elite
Weight Throw
Alexander Ziegler, Virginia Tech 71′ 7½” / 21.83m VT Elite
Jon Lehman, Minnesota 70′ 5″ / 21.46m SPIRE Inv
Brandon Pounds, Indiana State 69′ 3½” / 21.12m Tyson Inv
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Purdue 68′ 11¾” / 21.02m SPIRE Inv
Antonio James, Michigan State 68′ 7¾” / 20.92m Big Meet
Lonnie Pugh, Michigan State 68′ 5″ / 20.85m Big Meet
Will Barr, Penn State 67′ 11¾” / 20.72m SPIRE Inv
Jeremy Postin, Florida 67′ 8¾” / 20.64m VT Elite
Jeremy Taiwo, Washington 6156 Boise State Chall
Bilal Abdullah, Kennesaw State 4980 Samford Inv
Roderick Townsend, Boise State 4904 Boise State Chall
Kaarel Mangusson, Kennesaw State 4633 Samford Inv
Hendrik Themas, Kennesaw State 4598 Samford Inv
Michael Hurd, College of Idaho 4590 Boise State Chall
Joshua Mulder, Kennesaw State 4583 Samford Inv
Andre Dorsey, Kennesaw State 4470 Samford Inv
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.