March 1, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the organization’s region athletes and coaches of the year for the 2013 NCAA Division II indoor track & field season on Friday. Three Grand Valley State student-athletes were bestowed with honors, including two coaches.
Blaine Maag was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year. Maag, the throws coach in his second year, has a nation-leading six men’s NCAA entries in the shot put and weight throw combined. At GLIAC Championship, his athletes accounted for 26 team points helping GVSU win their 13th title in 14 years. Freshman Darien Thornton was named GLIAC Freshman Field Event Athlete of the Year. He owns the longest weight throw mark by a freshman in DII history.
Senior Sam Lockhart was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Women's Field Athete of the Year. Lockhart set a Division II all-time record in the weight throw with a mark of 70-6.5 (21.50m) at the GLIAC Conference Championship. She is also ranked first in the nation for the shot put with a throw of 53-6.5 (16.32m). Lockhart won both events at the GLIAC Championship helping the Lakers win their 14th straight conference championship.
Head coach Jerry Baltes has been named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Women's Coach of the Year. Baltes, in his 14th season with the Lakers, guided the team to its 14th straight GLIAC title with a conference-record 140-point margin of victory. The Lakers are No. 2 in the national rankings after spending the majority of the season at No. 1, and have a DII-best 23 entries into the NCAA Championships. It is the 36th regional coach of the year award that Baltes has earned in his career.
To read the full USTFCCCA release, please click here.
The Lakers are currently preparing for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Championships, scheduled to take place March 7th through 9th in Birmingham, Ala.