NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field season were announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday with the GLIAC claiming three of the awards. Grand Valley State's Zach Panning was awarded the Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. In addition, Ashland's Jud Logan and Ernie Clark earned Men's Head coach, and Assistant Coach of the year respectivley.
Men’s Track – Zach Panning, Grand Valley State
Panning, a redshirt-senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana capped his career in impressive fashion with what he was able to accomplish in his final season of competition. The Laker standout swept the 5000 and 10,000 in Kingsville, Texas, and in doing so, became just the fifth man in NCAA DII history to complete double.
During the regular season, Panning posted the ninth best performance in NCAA DII history with a 13:37.94 in the 5000 at the Bryan Clay Invitational. That came just a few months after he recorded the 11th best performance in NCAA DII history over 10,000 meters with a 28:30.77 to take third overall at the Raleigh Relays.
Panning was also crowned the GLIAC champion in the 5000.
Zach Panning is the 2019 Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year released by the USTFCCCA! He was also named the Co-High Point Athlete of the Meet after he scored 20 points at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships!#AnchorUp pic.twitter.com/Mp30sAlQZQ— GVSU Track and Field (@GVSU_XC_TF) May 29, 2019
Men’s Head Coach – Jud Logan, Ashland
Logan, in his 25th year overall and 14th as head coach, must have a flair for the dramatic as he team won the men’s team title this past weekend by a single-point, the same margin in which he program captured the indoor title earlier in the year.
His program rallied from a final-day, 29-point deficit to win the title behind a strong effort from two standouts in Trevor Bassitt (Co-High Point Athlete of the Meet; first in 400H, second in 110H and 4×400 relay) and Myles Pringle (first in the 400, second in the 4×400 fourth in the 200 and seventh in the high jump). Thrower Alex Hill was also a big factor as he recorded 11 points across his third-place hammer and fourth-place discus performances.
It is the first men’s or women’s outdoor national honor earned by Logan for his career. He also was named Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year in 2008 and Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year in 2009.
Jud is the head coach of the year for the fourth time in his career! �� pic.twitter.com/jzERkeJ0gN— Ashland University Eagles (@goashlandeagles) May 29, 2019
Men’s Assistant – Ernie Clark, Ashland
Clark, in his fourth year with the Ashland program, helped his team to the national title as his sprints, hurdles and relay groups stepped up in a big way at the outdoor championships. His athletes combined to score 41 of the Eagle’s 54 points (75.9 percent) including individual champions in the 400 and 400H to help the Eagles win the team title by just a single point. The group’s 4×400 clinched the championship with its second-place finish.
Clark also coached the GLIAC High Point Track Athlete of the Meet as his units wracked up 91 points to place second at the outdoor conference championships.
It is the second straight year that Clark has been named Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year.
Ernie is the men's assistant coach of the year for the second straight outdoor season! �� pic.twitter.com/CKcxvrRT8r— Ashland University Eagles (@goashlandeagles) May 29, 2019