The Ivy League just cashed in on an unbelievable season, earning eight of the 16 regional awards in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. These awards — bestowed by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) — are voted upon by the nation’s coaches.
Ivies claimed track athlete of the year honors — both men (Columbia’s Kyle Merber) and women (Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino) — in the Northeast as well as the men’s track honor in the Mid-Atlantic (Princeton’s Donn Cabral).
Three of the four head coach of the year award always went to Heps’ mentors — Cornell’s Nathan Taylor, Princeton’s Fred Samara and Cornell’s Rich Bowman. In addition, Big Red decathlete Nick Huber claimed the Northeast’s men’s field athlete top honor and Dartmouth’s Mark Coogan was awarded that region’s top assistant coach honor.
Track Athletes of the Year
MEN — Kyle Merber (Columbia)
The senior set an American collegiate record in the 1,500 meters with time of 3:35.59 — fastest collegiate time in the nation, second-fastest in the U.S. and 15th-fastest in the world. The Dix Hills, N.Y. native was the Ivy League champion in the 1500 meters and the 4×800 meter relay (setting an Ivy League record with 7:20.53).
WOMEN — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth)
The sophomore sits 12th on the descending order list in the 1500 with a time of 4:16.15 to win the Ivy League Championships in school-record fashion. The Heptagonal Championships Athlete of the Meet also won the 3k in a Meet Record time of 9:24.64. The Topsfield, Mass., native enters the NCAA Finals with the top seed in the 5000 — her school record setting time of 15:23.35.
Field Athlete of the Year
MEN — Nick Huber (Cornell)
A senior from Leopold, Ind., Huber won the decathlon at the Ivy League “Heps” Championships by besting the meet record by over 400 points with a score of 7,632. Huber also placed at Heps in the high jump and 110-meter hurdles and was an IC4A qualifier in the high jump, pole vault, 110 hurdles, and 400 hurdles. He was named Cornell’s MVP of the season.
WOMEN — Allison Barwise (Boston U.)
A junior from Orange, Conn., Barwise ranks second among all collegians in the high jump with a best this season of 6-1½ (1.87m). Barwise was the America East Conference Championship MVP and High Point Scorer, having won the high jump and heptathlon. She won the league’s heptathlon with a meet-record score of 5,276 and also scored at the conference championships in the long jump and javelin.
Coach of the Year
MEN — Nathan Taylor (Cornell)
Taylor led Cornell to the top team ranking in the Northeast Region. The Big Red were runner up at the Heps and IC4A’s and had 18 athletes qualify for the East Preliminary Round with two advancing for the final rounds of the national championships. Cornell had 47 different athletes qualify for the IC4A’s and won 8 events at the Heps. As a jumps coach, Taylor had seven jumpers at the East Preliminary Rounds covering all four events.
WOMEN — Rich Bowman (Cornell)
Bowman now in his 31st season, led Cornell to the Heps title with 158 points, powered by five first team All-Ivy selections four second team All-Ivy selections. The Big Red were ranked No. 1 in the Northeast Region throughout the outdoor season, placed third at the outdoor ECAC Championships, and sent an Ivy League-best 13 women to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in eight different events. Thirty five women qualified for the outdoor ECAC Championships. Katie Kellner (10k) and Genna Hartung (Steeple) advanced to the NCAA Final Rounds in Des Moines.
Assistant Coach of the Year
MEN — Annette Acuff (Binghamton)
Acuff coached Erik van Ingen to a 3:38.06 clocking in the 1500 meters which ranks as the NCAA’s No. 3 seed and is an Olympic Trials “A” standard. Binghamton’s DMR finished third at the Penn Relays and the squad’s distance runners scored 62 points at the America East Championships. Acuff qualified three runners to the NCAA’s preliminary rounds.
WOMEN — Mark Coogan (Dartmouth)
Coogan, Dartmouth distance coach, will have two athletes at the NCAA’s final site. Abbey D’Agostino clocked 15:23 in the 5000 earlier this season as one of the top ten marks in collegiate history. D’Agostino was voted the Most Outstanding Performer at the Ivy League Championships. At the Heps, Coogan’s squad scored 53 of the team’s 89 points.
Track Athlete of the Year
MEN — Donn Cabral (Princeton)
Cabral set an American-collegiate record in the steeplechase with 8:19.14 at the Oxy High Performance Meet. The senior also anchored his team to victory in the DMR and 4xMile at the Penn Relays and won both the steeple and 10K at the Ivy League Championships. The Glastonbury, Conn., native won his heat at the East Prelims in the steeplechase to enter with the No. 6 seed.
WOMEN — Emily Infeld (Georgetown)
The junior entered the East Prelims with the third-fastest time nationally in the 1500 meters (4:12.44). The University Heights, Ohio, native qualified for the NCAA Finals in the 1500 meters with the third seed after finishing second in the event at the Big East Championships. Infield also holds the seventh-fastest time in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:34.26.
Field Athlete of the Year
MEN — Joe Kovacs (Penn State)
Kovacs, a senior from Nazareth, Pa., is the collegiate leader in the shot put by nearly two feet with a best this season and Penn State record of 68-5 (20.85m). Kovacs was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year as he was the league champion with the shot and has been undefeated this season among collegiate competition this year.
WOMEN — Kiani Profit (Maryland)
Profit, a senior from Pasadena, Calif., was the ACC Champion in the heptathlon with a school-record score of 5,695 points. Profit enters the NCAA Championships as the seventh-seed in the heptathlon.
Coach of the Year
MEN — Fred Samara (Princeton)
A fixture as Princeton’s head coach since 1977, Samara led his Tigers to the Ivy League Championship with a 31-point victory marking his 13th such championship at the school. Princeton is ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic region and have advanced six entries to the NCAA Final Rounds. Earlier this season, the Tigers claimed two Penn Relays Champ of America relay events.
WOMEN — Joseph Compagni (Monmouth)
In his 15th season guiding the Men’s & Women’s programs at Monmouth, Compagni’s Lady Hawks claimed the Northeast Conference title for the fourth-straight year. Monmouth was selected NEC Coaching Staff of the Year. The Hawks had four qualifiers in three events for NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Compagni’s team had its highest finish in school history at ECACs (15th). Monmouth completed the regular season ranked 14th in region.
Assistant Coach of the Year
MEN — Chris Johnson (Penn State)
Johnson coaches Penn State’s sprints, hurdles, and relays. The Nittany Lions 4×400 relay qualified for the NCAA finals site with a school-record clocking of 3:03.57 at the East preliminary. Gehret won the 400 meters at the Big Ten Championships and took second in the 200. His squad won the sprint medley and was second in the 4×400 relay at the Penn Relays.
WOMEN — Chris Miltenberg (Georgetown)
Miltenberg oversees the middle-distance and distance programs at Georgetown. The Hoyas will send seven to the finals site, four of which come from distance events. Miltenberg was formerly an assistant at Columbia.