Weekly College Awards — Men

This week I’m splitting the weekly awards into two posts. The men’s awards will be named today, and the women’s awards will be named tomorrow.

As a bonus, I’ve compiled each event’s top eight marks of the weekend into a single .pdf file. Athletes on the Bowerman Watch List are in red, and seasonal collegiate leaders are in yellow.

Let’s get to it!

Athlete of the Week

Lawi Lalang, Arizona

At the Razorback Team Invitational, Lalang won the 3000 meters in the time of 7:42.79. That’s fast. How fast? It’s the third-fastest ever run indoors by a collegian, and the fourth-fastest ever run by a collegian, period. Only Rudy Chapa, Alistair Cragg, and the great Henry Rono have ever run faster. And it was his first race of the season.

Honorable mention: Cas Loxsom, Penn State
Loxsom won the 600 meters at the Penn State National Invitational in 1:15.79, a time that would have been an American Record until just a few hours prior (as Duane Solomon ran a record-breaking 1:15.70 earlier in the day in Scotland). It projects to round about 1:46 or so for Loxsom’ specialty event, the 800 meters.

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Honorable Mention #2: Kevin Lazas, Arkansas
Lazas won the heptathlon at the Razorback Team Invitational with a score of 6042, which puts him #6 on the all-time collegiate list.

D-II Athlete of the Week: Johnny Carter, Academy of Art
Carter beat D-I talent at Boise State’s Jackson’s Invitational, winning the long jump in 24′ 7″ (7.49m) and the triple jump in 51′ 3″ (15.62m). Both rated in the top eight of the weekend for all divisions combined, and is #11 on the 2013 all-division collegiate list in the triple jump.

D-III Athlete of the Week: Nick Baatz, UW-Oshkosh
Baatz won the shot put on Saturday at his Titans’ open meet with a distance of 61′ 2¼” (18.65m), which puts him at #11 on the 2013 all-division collegiate list. More notably, it makes him #3 on the all-time Division III indoor list. He’s far from a shoo-in to win the D-III national title, though, as Bates’ David Pless threw 61′ ¼” (18.60m) at the BU Terrier Classic on Saturday, putting him #4 on the all-time D-III list. This should be a great battle at the national championships in Naperville, Illinois.

NAIA Athlete of the Week: Darien Moore, Valley City State
Moore won the weight throw at the Cobber Open in Moorhead, Minnesota, with a big throw of 67′ 6¼” (20.58m). That’s good for seventh on the 2013 all-division collegiate list, and leads the NAIA by over two feet.

Team of the Week

Arkansas Razorbacks
The #1-ranked Razorbacks (according to the USTFCCCA) came off a loss last week to Texas A&M. This week they won their own Razorback Team Invitational by a convincing margin over Florida and nine other quality teams, gapping the Gators by the total of 124-79½. This kind of dominating performance cements their status as favorites to win the NCAA Championships on home turf.

Team Player: Tom Bechert, Manhattan
At the Metropolitan Championships, Bechert scored 33 points to lead his Jaspers to the team title, over Rutgers by a narrow 2½ points. He won the long jump (22′ 7¾” / 6.90m) and pole vault (16′ 1¾” / 4.90m), took second in the 60 meter hurdles (8.17 seconds) and placed fourth in the high jump (6′ 5½” / 1.97m). The win broke a four-year Manhattan dry spell at the Mets.

High Jump Watch

The men’s high jump is the event of the collegiate season. Two Olympic medalists return–something that hasn’t happened in this event since 1937–and you cannot ignore the depth of the competition. Going into the season, there were seventeen different jumpers with PRs of 7′ 4¼” (2.24m) or better.

Right now, there haven’t been many matchups between the major players, but they have put up some good jumps. There is a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard between the Olympians Erik Kynard (Kansas State) and Derek Drouin (Indiana) plus perennial NCAA runner-up Ricky Robertson (Ole Miss), all at 7′ 6¼” (2.29m).

Entering the 2.24m club this season is Cornell’s Montez Blair (7′ 5¼” / 2.27m) and Virginia Tech’s Ronnie Black (7′ 4¼” / 2.24m). The count is up to nineteen collegians who have jumped 7′ 4¼” at some point in their life … which means that at least three of them will not make it to the NCAA indoor championships.

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