Tue, Jan. 21

NAU, UA, ASU track and field athletes rack up USTFCCCA honors

Arizona track and field athletes were well represented in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I Outdoor awards.

NAU’s Brooke Andersen won named the Mountain Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and Lumberjack director of track and field Michael Smith won the region’s Women’s Coach of the Year award.

Andersen is ranked No. 2 in the world in the women’s hammer throw with a best of 74.20m (243-5). That throw is an NAU and Big Sky record and is the second best in NCAA history.

Andersen is No. 1 in the NCAA in the hammer throw and won the Big Sky outdoor title. Last year she finished second in the country.

“The big thing with her is consistency and winning this award has shown that as she continued to post huge marks all season,” said NAU throws coach Nathan Ott in a press release. “If she continues to do what she has done all year and has her consistent type of meet, she has a good shot of walking out of Eugene as an NCAA Champion.”

Smith led the Lumberjacks to the four Big Sky championships this season. The second year coach was also Big Sky Women’s Coach of the Year.

“This recognition is a true reflection of the entire NAU track and field coaching staff and their commitment to our student-athletes over this year,” Smith said in a press release. “I’m fortunate to be supported by some of the best coaches in America who each make their own unmistakable mark of the development, experience and performance of our great athletes. I accept this award on behalf of this staff and their efforts during this historic year.”

On the UA’s side, freshman Jordan Geist won USTFCCCA West Region Field Men’s Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season.

Geist is ranked No. 4 in the country in the shot put with a throw of 20.41m (66-11½) and No. 26 nationally in the discus throw with a mark of 57.56m (188-10).

He was the first freshman in Pac-12 history to win both the shot put and discus at the same conference championships.

ASU’s Maggie Ewen won the USTFCCCA West Region Field Women’s Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season.

The senior has throws of 19.46m (63-10¼) in the shot put and 74.53m (244-6) in the hammer throw, collegiate records in both. She won the Pac-12 shot put, discus and hammer throw titles and Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year.

The 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be June 6-9 at Oregon.

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