Hillsdale's Putt and Ashland's Loughney Named USTFCCCA National "Athletes of the Year"

Hillsdale's Putt and Ashland's Loughney Named USTFCCCA National "Athletes of the Year"

Portions of this release courtesy of Tom Lewis, U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, Communications Manager

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announces the national award winners for 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season as chosen by the nation’s coaches. Adams State’s Andrew Graham, Ashland’s Ryan Loughney, Hillsdale’s Amanda Putt, and Central Missouri’s Lindsay Lettow were selected of National Athletes of the Year. Grand Canyon’s Tom Flood and Grand Valley State’s Jerry Baltes were picked as the National Coaches of the Year.

Click here for complete USTFCCCA "Athletes of the Year" release

This portion of the release courtesy of Brad Monastiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations and Event Management, Hillsdale College

One of the great individual athletic seasons ever seen at Hillsdale College hit a new high-water mark early Wednesday evening.

Junior Amanda Putt (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) was named the Division II National Female Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. It is the first time a Charger track athlete has received this honor. In short, Putt earned the title of “best track athlete” of the 2012 Division II indoor track season nationwide.

Her 2011-12 athletic year got off to a great start, recording an 18th-place finish at the Division II women’s cross country championships in Spokane, Wash. back in November, earning her third lifetime All-American honor. She took that momentum and blasted her way into the 2011-12 indoor track season, where she regularly blew away the competition.

She enjoyed a remarkable stretch in the middle of the season where she shattered three different school records in five consecutive weeks, culminating in a 4:46 mile run at the Indiana Relays on Jan. 28.

Putt then went on to capture GLIAC championships in the mile run and 800 meter run, netting GLIAC Female Track Athlete of the Meet honors. The USTFCCCA would bestow its regional version of that honor on her a week later, setting the table for her performance at the national championships at Minnesota State-Mankato last weekend.

Running two races within two hours of one another, Putt secured the first and second-ever NCAA Division II national championships, in the 800 and the mile. She was the only female at the meet to win multiple national championships.

"There have been a lot of adjectives used to describe Amanda Putt this year," said a proud women's head coach Andrew Towne right after the national meet. "But, today, she earned a new one...National Champion. She competed with confidence, courage, and determination. And, because of that, she has placed herself in a very elite group...a Charger National Champion. I couldn't be happier for her."

Putt has earned All-American status in each of her last four seasons: 2010-11 indoor track, 2010-11 outdoor track, 2011 cross country, and now 2011-12 indoor track. However, the 2012 outdoor track season will be her final one in a Charger uniform, as she’s on track to graduate from Hillsdale College in May with a major in biology.

Putt is also an outstanding student, having earned a 4.0 grade point average in the Fall 2011 semester. She has been named to the GLIAC Academic Excellence list twice and earned the GLIAC Commissioner’s Award in the fall season. Both honors are emblematic of high achievement in the classroom as well as on the playing field.

Putt’s mark on the Hillsdale College women’s track program is undeniable. She has raised the bar for everyone who follows her, giving future Charger runners a benchmark for outstanding achievement. Her accomplishments at Hillsdale are unparalleled, and should lead the conversation when discussion of elite athletes in the 21st century at the college are discussed.

Fans will have two opportunities to watch Putt run in person this spring, at the Hillsdale Relays April 14, and the annual Hillsdale College “Gina” Relays April 27-29. It’s a last chance to see one of the top athletes in the college’s history compete at home.

This portion of the release courtesy of Al King, Assistant Athletic Director, Media Relations, Ashland University

Ashland senior Ryan Loughney (Grahamsville, N.Y./Tri-Valley) has been named the national men’s field athlete of the year for the 2011-12 indoor track and field season by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The organization made the announcement on Wednesday (Mar. 14).

Loughney won his second consecutive NCAA weight throw title last weekend, winning the gold medal by 33 inches with a throw of 72-10 (22.20m).  His season’s best mark with the weight, fourth best among all divisions this year, was 75-5.25 (22.99m), making him the second best performer all-time in the event’s history in NCAA Division II. Loughney was undefeated against collegiate competition this season and he won a GLIAC championship.

At times, it seems as if this piece of hardware has a permanent home in Ashland. Loughney is the fifth Ashland student-athlete to receive the national thrower of the year award. The others are Kibwe Johnson, Bryan Vickers, Kurt Roberts and Adriene (Blewitt) Wilson. Ashland men have won this award four of the last six years.



Baltes, in his 13th year at the helm, led Grand Valley State to their second-consecutive NCAA women’s indoor track & field title. GVSU scored 94 points in the national meet, lapping the field and scoring 43 points more than any other team. GVSU had five event champions including the squad’s DMR. Rachel Patterson won the 5000 meters, Kristen Hixson claimed the pole vault crown, Lauren Buresh won the shot put, and Sam Lockhart notched top honors in the weight throw. Of GVSU’s 17 entries, 14 scored in the national meet.

In addition, Lakers won the GLIAC Championship by an impressive 112-point margin after leading the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings all season.

Football Academic Teams
November 17, 2011 Football Academic Teams