June 16, 2022

Five Buckeyes Earn USTFCCCA Regional Awards

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association announced its regional awards on Thursday, following the conclusion of the outdoor season. Five Buckeyes earned all-region accolades. View the full list of winners HERE.

Karen Dennis was named Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year for both the men and women, while Joel Brown was named Great Lakes Regional Assistant Coach of the Year for both as well. Sophomore thrower Hayden Tobias was named Great Lakes Regional Male Field Athlete of the Year, while senior thrower Adelaide Aquilla accomplished the same on the women’s side. Senior sprinter Anavia Battle was named Great Lakes Regional Female Track Athlete of the Year.

Dennis, who announced her retirement earlier this week after 20 years at Ohio State and 45 years coaching, earned coach of the year honors on both the men’s and women’s sides. Dennis became the first coach in conference history to be named Big Ten Outdoor Coach of the Year on the men’s and women’s sides in the same season after earning both team championships, the first time in program history and the first time in conference history since 1997. The Buckeye women set a Big Ten record for points scored at the outdoor championships with 185.5, while the runner-up had 98 points. On the men’s side, 16 Buckeyes earned All-American honors, while 14 earned a spot on the first or second team on the women’s side. The Buckeye women finished 12th at the NCAA Championships with 19 points, just two points outside of the top-10, to lead the Great Lakes Region. This outdoor season, the Buckeyes broke eight program records on the women’s side and three on the men’s side and won a collective 12 Big Ten event titles.

Brown, who coaches the sprints (100m, 200m), hurdles (100m, 110m) and the 4x100m relay, had a very successful season winning the Big Ten titles in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Buckeye women who Brown directly coaches scored 70 points at the Big Ten Championships, finishing 1-2-3 in the 100, 1-2-6 in the 200 and 2-5-6 in the 100m hurdles to contribute largely to the team’s Big Ten title and record-setting number of points. On the men’s side, Brown’s student-athletes scored a collective 48 points. He had five women and four men be named to the All-Big Ten First Team with Eric Harrison also being named Big Ten Male Track Athlete of the Championships. Brown coached eight performances to All-American first or second team honors at the NCAA Championships.

Tobias finished seventh in the shot put at last week’s NCAA Championships with a best throw of 19.86m to earn his spot on the USTFCCCA All-American First Team. He also earned All-Big Ten First Team honors after finishing as the runner-up at the Big Ten Championships (19.71m, same mark as the winner). He ranks fifth in program history in the shot put after throwing for a personal-best 19.95m to win the event at Penn Relays. Tobias earned two wins and six top-three finishes in the shot put during the outdoor season. He finished sixth at the NCAA regionals (19.31m) to qualify for the national championships for the first time in his collegiate career.

Aquilla was also named Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Year on Thursday. Aquilla broke the women’s outdoor collegiate shot put record at the NCAA Championships last week, defending her NCAA outdoor title with a best throw of 19.64m. She had the four best throws of the competition and beat the field by more than one meter to earn her spot on the USTFCCCA All-American First Team. Aquilla’s Big Ten outdoor shot put title helped the Buckeyes to a team championship and a record-breaking number of points. The All-Big Ten First Team honoree went undefeated in the shot put during the outdoor season and also broke the program’s discus record twice. Aquilla was named Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Week on March 23.

Battle was tabbed as the Big Ten Female Track Athlete of the Year on Thursday as well. Battle finished third in the 200m (22.33) and sixth as a member of the 4x100m relay (43.52) at the NCAA Championships last week, earning All-American First Team honors in both events in addition to being an honorable mention in the 100m. During the 200m semifinals, Battle broke her own program record by running a 22.26. She won the Big Ten title in both the 200m and 4x100m relay and was the runner-up in the 100m, placing her on the All-Big Ten First Team. The 4x100m relay squad broke the program record three times this season. Battle was also named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week on April 20. She was undefeated in both the 100m and 200m during the regular season.

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