CCCC track coaches, athletes honored
By David Wilson
National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2019 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field season, as well as the complete NJCAA All-American lists, were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches based on performances both at last weekend's NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Hobbs, New Mexico, and throughout the entire regular season. Student-athletes earned USTFCCCA All-America honors by virtue of finishing among the top-8 of their respective individual events, including as a member of a relay team.
On the men's side, after leading the Thunderbirds to the program's first NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships title, Cloud County head coach Harry Kitchener and assistant coach Drew Mahin were named the Men's Head Coach of the Year and Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively, by the USTFCCCA.
Kitchener just completed his 42nd season at Cloud County, which also earned the first Region VI/KJCCC indoor and outdoor championships in the program's history during 2018-19. He was also named the Central Region Men's Head Coach of the Year prior to the national meet.
Mahin, who serves as Cloud County's head cross country coach, just finished his sixth season with the T-Birds.
During its run to the national title, the Cloud County men scored 88 points between 11 events and received a staggering 42 of those from the 800-meter to 10,000-meter events, including 13 points coming in the 5000-meter run that put the team ahead for good with the meet winding down.
The T-Birds' individual national championship came in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase when freshman Dennis Kiptoo, who also added a pair of national runner-up placings down in Hobbs, won in a time of 9:20.99.
As for the Cloud County women's team, the T-Birds finished seventh overall in the points standings and also had one national champion in freshman Grace Chinonyelum, who was also named the Central Region Female Field Athlete of the Year.
Chinonyelum, a two-time national champion during the indoor season, won the women's triple jump with a school-record leap of 45-9 3/4. The jump would be tied for the second-best mark recorded this season at the NCAA Division I level, matching the 45-9 3/4 jump by Ciynamon Stevenson of Texas A&M.
The complete list of the 21 student-athletes to earn All-American status for Cloud County is listed below.
Kyle Alcine: High Jump
Murphy Bavinga: Triple Jump
Tanner Brown: Decathlon
Gabriel Chinya: 4X800
Johan Cobena: Decathlon
Jerrod Hoover: Javelin
Louis Humbert: Pole Vault
Santino Kenyi: 1,500-Meter Run and 4x800
Dennis Kiptoo: 10,000-Meter Run, 5,000-Meter Run and 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Lesley Mahlakoane: 400-Meter Run
Dais Malebana: 5,000-Meter Run, 1,500-Meter Run and 800-Meter Run
Kwanele Mthembu: 5,000-Meter Run and 10,000-Meter Run
Shanee Angol: Javelin
Grace Chinonyelum: 4x100, Long Jump, High Jump and Triple Jump
Chanice Forbes: 4x100 and 4x400
Tanya Harcum: 4x400
Sophie Jebose: Pole Vault
Myflore Methelus: 4x100 and 100-Meter Dash
Jacqueline Pokuaah: Long Jump, 4x100, 4x400 and 100-Meter Hurdles
Kenisha Stubbs: 4x400 and 400-Meter Hurdles
Jessica Williams: Pole Vault