NEW ORLEANS – Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2017 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field season were announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the four regions honored both genders' top track athletes and field athletes, and the top men's and women's head coaches and assistant coaches.
Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.
The Tritons were well represented, taking home honors in all four athlete categories for the Midwest Region, with Karim Achengli named Men's Track Athlete of the Year, Agnes Mansaray named Women's Track Athlete of the Year, Jared Seay named Men's Field Athlete of the Year, and Annastacia Forrester named Women's Field Athlete of the Year. Head Coach Denny Myers was named the Midwest Region Men's Coach of the Year and Coach Nigel Bigee was named the Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.
Karim Achengli, a sophomore from Adra, Spain, is ranked 2nd nationally and 1st regionally in the 5000 with a time of 14:08.82. He is also ranked 3rd nationally and 1st regionally in the 10000 with a time of 30:50.97. Achengli owns the school record for the Tritons in the 3000 (8:23.63), the 2nd fastest time in school history in the 5000 and the 8th fastest time in school history in the 10000.
Agnes Mansaray, a freshman from Yeadon, Pennsylvania, is ranked 2nd nationally in the 800 with a time of 2:09.78. She is also a member of the 6th-ranked 4×800 relay team that has a time of 9:33.96 and she led off with a 2:10 split at the Region XI Championships. She is also a national qualifier in the 400 with a time of 55.65 and in the 1500 with a time of 4:48.44. Mansaray holds the school record in the 800, has the 6th fastest time in the 400 and is also the 11th fastest performer in the 1500.
Jared Seay, a sophomore from Ankeny, Iowa, is ranked 3rd nationally in both the decathlon with 6573 points and in the high jump with a clearance of 2.15m (7-0½). His total in the decathlon set a Region XI Championships meet record. Seay is also ranked 22nd nationally in the long jump. Seay currently holds the 2nd highest mark in school history in the Decathlon, the 12th furthest mark in the discus (42.90 / 140-9), and the 3rd highest mark in the pole vault (4.00 / 13-0).
Annastacia Forrester, a sophomore from Manchester, Jamaica, is ranked 1st nationally in the high jump with a clearance of 1.80m (5-10¾). She is also ranked 2nd nationally in the long jump with a leap of 6.30m (20-8) and is ranked 3rd nationally in the triple jump (12.88m/42-3¼). Forrester currently holds the school records in the high jump and the long jump, and has the 2nd longest mark in the triple jump.
Coach Denny Myers, who has over 20 Region Coach of the Year awards, is in his 8th year with the program and has his men's squad ranked 1st in the USTCCCA National Rankings heading into the final stretch of the outdoor season. The Tritons have 57 national championship qualifiers.
Coach Nigel Bigbee, who won his 3rd Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year award in his 3rd year with the program, played a major role in Iowa Central CC's 1st-place national ranking. Bigbee coached Odaine Lewis, who is ranked 1st nationally in the triple jump and 4th in the long jump in addition to coaching the nation's top-ranked 110 hurdler in Malik Beverly.
The Tritons are competing this week at the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 18-20, in Hutchinson, Kansas. Meet information can be found at: http://bluedragonsports.com/information/NJCAA_National_Track/NJCAA_Track_Lede_Page