Student-athletes, coaches earn Southeast Region awards heading into NCAAs
EUGENE, Oregon (theACC.com) – Six Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes and coaches were honored as Southeast Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field season, as announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Clemson senior sprinter Tevin Hester earned Southeast Region Men’s Track Performer of the Year honors, while Virginia Tech’s Dave Cianelli was named the region’s Head Coach of the Year. Hokies assistant Bob Phillips was named the Men’s Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Duke senior pole vaulter Megan Clark was named the Southeast Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, while Florida State’s Bob Braman earned Women’s Head Coach of the Year honors for the region. Duke’s Shawn Wilbourn is the region’s top women’s assistant coach.
Hester, a senior from Oxford, North Carolina, swept the 100 and 200 at the ACC Outdoor Championships and was named the conference’s Most Valuable Track Performer for the meet. He set an ACC Outdoor Championships meet record with personal best 20.13 in the 200, the second-best time in Clemson history. He qualified in both the 100 and 200 for Eugene, where he is ranked No. 2 in the 100 and No. 3 in the 200. The Southeast Region Outdoor Men’s Track Athlete of the Year honor is the first of Hester’s career, but he earned the USTFCCCA’s indoor honor in both 2015 and 2016.
Cianelli’s Virginia Tech men won the team title at the ACC Championships with a total of 129 points – 36 points ahead of the next closest opposition. Cianelli’s squad is ranked No. 7 in the nation heading to this week’s NCAA Championships in Eugene with 10 entries. Cianelli is in his 15th year at Virginia Tech.
Phillips’ Virginia Tech pole vaulters finished an amazing sweep in scoring spots one through seven at the ACC Championships, earning 38 out of a possible 39 points. The seven Tech vaulters that qualified for the NCAA East Region prelims were the most for any team in any event in the nation, and four of advanced to the Eugene final site – another meet-best. Phillips is in his 32nd year at the school.
Duke’s Clark, a senior from Fort Benning, Georgia, set school and ACC records with her season-best vault of 15-2¼ (4.63m), which also ranks No. 4 in collegiate history. She secured a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials in July, has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second straight season and captured the silver medal at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Over the course of the outdoor season, Clark was named the ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Week three times.
Florida State’s Braman guided his team to its fourth ACC Women’s Championship and oversaw eight individual qualifiers for the NCAA Finals as well as one relay (4×100). Florida State will have NCAA Finals qualifiers in the hurdles, distance, relays, jumps, throws.
Wilbourn, in his eighth year at Duke, guided Clark, Madison Heath (pole vault) and Teddi Maslowski (heptathlon) to the NCAA’s final site in Eugene for the second straight season. He helped the women’s team finish sixth at the ACC Outdoor Championships with 66 points, seeing three of his athletes earn All-ACC honors.
Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.