WESTERVILLE, OHIO—The Otterbein University track and field coaches handed out their team awards at the annual award’s ceremony held Sunday at Otterbein.
“I was very proud of the effort that our kids gave throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons,” said head coach Dave Lehman. “Our event coaches did an outstanding job which showed up in significant improvements over previous years. Also our captains succeeded nicely in creating a positive, winning attitude.”
The coaches’ awards went to sophomore distance runner Joey Montoya and senior jumper Michele Gernert. The pair earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) honors at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships—Montoya in the 5000-meter run and Gernert, in the long jump.
“With our coaches’ awards, we recognized two outstanding young people who represented themselves and their teammates very well,” Lehman said. “They both showed tremendous resolve in overcoming adversity, bringing a positive attitude to practice every day, and achieving at a high level. Michelle Gernert and Joey Montoya are great examples of the quality men and women that we have involved in athletics at Otterbein.”
Senior pole vaulters Aaric Milligan and Jordan Long, and junior thrower Liza Elliott received outstanding field athlete awards. Milligan and Long won OAC indoor titles in the pole vault, and each finished second at the outdoor meet. Milligan also qualified for the NCAA indoor meet, and currently sits sixth in NCAA Division III this outdoor season. Elliott scored in the shot put (outdoor), hammer throw and weight throw at the conference meets.
Sophomore Devon Fitzgerald, sophomore Abbey Gray, and junior Jasmine Troyer were named most outstanding sprint athletes. Fitzgerald scored in the hurdles at both the OAC indoor and outdoor meets. Gray took All-OAC honors in the hurdles both indoor and outdoor. Troyer earned All-OAC status as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team at the outdoor meet and scored in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the conference indoor and outdoor meets.
Junior Andrew Mantell and senior Bekah Reese were named the most outstanding distance athletes. Mantell cleaned up at the OAC indoor championship, winning the 1000 meters, placing second in the 1500, and anchoring the winning distance medley relay team. He also captured the 800 title at the outdoor meet. Reese took home All-OAC honors in the 3000 and 5000 at the indoor championship, and scored in the 5000 and 10,000 at the outdoor meet.
Mid-distance runner Richard Gopel and thrower Deanna Williamson were presented most outstanding freshman awards. Gopel earned All-OAC honors twice at the indoor meet, finishing second in the 800, and as a member of the winning distance medley relay team. Williamson scored in the shot put at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets as well as the hammer throw.
Men’s captains Milligan, Mantell and junior Kyle Jefferson; and women’s captains Troyer, Elliott and Reese were also recognized for their leadership this season.
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