The NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships open with a student-athlete banquet including presentation of the Regional Athlete and Coach of the Year Awards. Dira Hansen and Coach Patty Ley were each brought up twice for their honors. The final Dual Meet Rankings were also announced this week and the CNU women finished on top of the South/Southeast Region for the second year in a row.
Hansen, Ley Sweep Region Awards
Captains Finish Indoor As Top Women’s Dual Meet Team
On the eve of competition at the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) honored the top athletes and coaches by region. Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) and Coach Patty Ley were each brought on stage twice to receive awards.
Hansen was nominated for both the Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year. Ranking 10th in Division III in the 800m (#8 seed in the Championships) with her School Record 2:13.67, posting a 400m mark that would have qualified for the Championships (57.88), and High Point total at the Mason-Dixon Championships convinced the Head Coaches across the South/Southeast Region to vote her the Track Athlete of the Year.
Her nomination for the Field Athlete of the Year was based upon her 3309 point total at the CNU Last Chance Pentathlon – also a School Record and the #7 score in Division III this year. Backed up by All-Conference finishes in the High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple Jump, Hansen made a clean sweep of the Region Awards. She will contest the Pentathlon and 800m at the Championships.
Coach Ley’s impact on the distance program at CNU has been obvious and earned her the well-deserved honor of both the Men’s and Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year honors. Her athletes posted 69 PRs during the Indoor Season, scored a combined 85 points at the Conference Championships, and set four School Records – including both 800m standards. Hansen has been the standout on the women’s side while the men have shown great depth. Matthew Winkler (Palmyra, VA), the Captains’ second male distance runner to qualify for the Indoor National Championships, led CNU to a 1-2-4 finish in the 800m at the Mason-Dixon Conference Championships. Five Captains ran sub-1:59 in 2011 of who four are on the CNU Top-10 All-Time List.
Also announced this week were the final Dual Meet Rankings, measuring head-to-head strength. For the second year in a row, the CNU Women finished atop the South/Southeast Region and 16th Nationally. The men’s squad finished 4th in the Region and 34th in Division III.Dira Hansen and Brittany Jacobs (Warrenton, VA) start the Indoor National Championships first thing Friday morning in the Pentathlon and Long Jump, respectively. Hansen will double back for the 800m Friday evening along with Matthew Winkler. Finals for the 800m are set for Saturday evening. Richard Roethel (Farmingville, NY) starts competition in the men’s Pentathlon early Saturday morning.