top of page

TSR's 2021 D3 Indoor Track End of Season Awards


The D3 indoor track season certainly did not go (or end) the way that we expected or wanted it to. However, there were still plenty of results and numerous big-time performances that made us feel like an End of Season Awards article was not only appropriate, but warranted.


So with that, here are our D3 award winners for the 2021 indoor track season...

 

Best Freshman Award (Men)

*Redshirt freshmen are not included in this award


Nominees: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater), Tyler Kisting (UWL), Ryan Harvey (Loras), Evan Jamrozy (Loras), Gunner Schlender (UW-Whitewater)


Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater): Patzka, one of two lethal freshmen for UW-Whitewater, showed his stuff this indoor season in a very strong manner. The rookie ran 4:14 in the mile and 8:26 in the 3k this past winter, two times that are no joke, especially for a freshman. He serves as the second-half of a very reliable 1-2 punch with teammate David Fassbender. That duo will be scary for DIII come outdoors.


Ryan Harvey (Loras): Harvey ran well all season long, but the best performance of his freshman indoor campaign came at the end, with a time of 8:28 (3k) which was good enough to win the DIII Elite Indoor Championships and put him at NCAA #7 on the national leaderboard for the event. The night before that, Harvey had split a 4:14 on the anchor leg of Loras' DMR, six seconds faster than his seasonal best for the mile.


Evan Jamrozy (Loras): Another Loras freshman on this list, Jamrozy only got better and better as the indoor season progressed. Starting off with a modest 8:50 (3k), he then quickly dropped a 14:54 (5k) two weeks later, followed by a 14:48 for the title at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships. That 5k personal best placed Jamrozy at NCAA #7 on the national leaderboard this winter, also putting him as the top freshman in that event.


Gunner Schlender (UW-Whitewater): Gunner Schlender, while possibly overshadowed by his teammate and classmate Christian Patzka, was quietly one of the best freshmen in the country this year. He ran times of 8:37 for the 3000 meters and 4:17 for the mile, ranking him at NAA #21 and NCAA #29 in those events on the national leaderboard. He definitely has national berths in his future and has the potential to consistently contend for All-American honors if he can make a jump. Much like Patzka, he has a nice balance of versatility between the mile and 3k distances.


Best Freshman Award (Women)

*Redshirt freshmen are not included in this award


Nominees: Delaney Sall (Calvin), Annessa Ihde (Bethel), Fiona Smith (St. Benedict)


Delaney Sall (Calvin): As a freshman, Delaney Sall is already one of the best middle distance talents in D3. She finished 4th at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships in the 800 meters in a time of 2:15 which ranks at NCAA #5 in the country, tops amongst freshmen. Those who follow D3 track and field will become familiar with her name in the next few years (if they aren’t already). She had a very strong start despite her limited racing opportunities.


Annessa Ihde (Bethel): Annessa Ihde was one of the top freshmen in D3 this winter, quietly improving on her 800 meter personal best throughout the season. She started off running 2:20 early in the season, then got down to 2:16 by the season’s end, finishing 6th in the highly competitive DIII Elite Indoor Championships. She also ran 1:39 in the 600 meters and contested a handful of 4x400’s throughout the season. While we often focus on events that are 800 meters or longer, Ihde's willingness to drop down into other middle distance races is encouraging.


Fiona Smith (St. Benedict): Fiona Smith wasn’t just one of the strongest freshmen in D3 this year, she was straight-up one of the strongest runners in the nation. She was ranked in the top-10 nationally in the mile (NCAA #7), 3k (NCAA #3), and 5k (NCAA #4). Her most impressive result has to be her 3k/5k double at the Division III Elite Indoor Championships. After setting a PR of 9:55 and finishing behind Ana Tucker and Kassie Rosenbum in the 3k, she came back to win the 5k in 17:23, over 10 seconds faster than 2nd place finisher Carina Collet. This freshmen is a force to be reckoned with and seems like a juggernaught capable of running fast and contending with the top names in the country.


Most Improved Award (Men)

*Focuses on athletes who were in the national picture, does not include freshmen or athletes who are in their first year of NCAA competition


Nominees: Nick Hoffman (Hope), Simon Heys (Wilmington), Neil O’Brien (Trine)


Nick Hoffman (Hope): Nick Hoffman burst onto the scene this past February with a 4:09 mile at the GVSU Mike Lints Open, a seven-second PR. He then backed up that result with several more impressive races. He finished 2nd in the mile at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships and concluded the season ranked at NCAA #3 on the national leaderboard in the mile while also NCAA #11 on the 3k.


Simon Heys (Wilmington): Heys had a big surge of improvement from 2020 to 2021, dropping a handful of times in the distance events. He ran 14:48 in the 5k after running 14:57 last year, and ran 8:26 in the 3k after running 8:37 last year. Not only that, but Hey had some nice competition in the OAC against guys like Hunter Moore, Alex Phillip and Ian Pierson which brought some nice battles this past winter and should continue on the outdoor oval.


Neil O’Brien (Trine): O’Brien was having a solid indoor season, already having run 4:15 in the mile when, at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships, he had a breakout race -- running 4:11 and taking the win in the process. Considering his best mile in 2020 was 4:19, dropping that much time throughout the season is pretty impressive. It will be fun to see how he does in the 1500 meters during outdoors.


Most Improved Award (Women)

*Focuses on athletes who were in the national picture, does not include freshmen or athletes who are in their first year of NCAA competition


Nominees: Maeve Roach (Coast Guard), Zanzie Demco (UW-Oshkosh), Hastings Marek (Baldwin Wallace)


Maeve Roach (Coast Guard): Up until this season, Roach had run exactly 2:20 for the 800 meters four separate times, but had never gone under that barrier. Then, at a dual meet this past February against Eastern Connecticut State, she had her breakthrough race with a victory in a time of 2:16 on Coast Guard’s 180 meter track. A few weeks later, she ran a massive mile PR of 5:00 on the same oval. However, it was her double at Wartburg’s DIII Elite Indoor Championships that was the most impressive thing she did this year. Roach recorded a win in the mile and a runner-up finish in the 800 meters with times of 4:57 and 2:14, respectively. Not only did she make a big leap this winter, but her progression was ongoing throughout the season which was super encouraging.


Zanzie Demco (UW-Oshkosh): Demco set multiple personal bests and was ranked in the top-25 in every distance event from 400 meters up to the 5k. Her highest ranking comes in the mile where she ran a blazing 4:57 to be ranked at NCAA #2 (by 0.6) behind Maeve Roach. This was a massive improvement for the junior from Oshkosh as she set a new PR in every race she ran this year. Before this year, she was primarily a 400/800 runner and had only run the mile four times and never anything longer than that. Demco was one of the most versatile athletes we saw at the top of the national leaderboard this year.


Hastings Marek (Baldwin Wallace): Marek took a big step forward this year, running significant personals bests in everything from the 800 meters to the 3k. She recorded multiple event wins at the OAC Indoor Championships and also found herself high up in the national leaderboard at the end of the season in the different events such as the 800 (2:17, NCAA #11), mile (4:59, NCAA #5), and the 3k (10:09, NCAA #7). This is an impressive show of range and even more impressive considering Marek had never competed at a track national championship. It will be interesting to see how these results translate to the steeplechase which is arguably her best event.


Best Performance Award (Men)

*Must have run attached


Nominees: Gabriel Pommier's Mile at North Central Dual Meet #2, DIII Elite Indoor Championships 800 Meters, Wartburg's DMR at the DIII Elite Meet


Gabriel Pommier's Mile at North Central Dual Meet #2: North Central’s Pommier ran a flat-track time of 4:09 this February at a dual meet against Elmhurst College which put at the top of the national mile leaderboard. What made the performance so eye opening though wasn't necessarily the time, but the fact that it appeared to be a completely solo effort, with the next finisher coming in at 4:23. There also appeared to be some lap traffic further back that he needed to move around. If you’re one of the best in the country, you won’t always have someone to run with, and on those days, it’s a lot tougher mentally to record personal bests. Of course, Pommier managed to do exactly that.


DIII Elite Indoor Championships 800 Meters: The 800 meters was nothing short of electric at the DIII Elite Meet, with a slew of speedy names poised to run fast. In total, SEVEN men ran under 1:54, with two more coming in at 1:54. In the first section, Jesse Middendorf (Concordia-Moorhead), Matt Heinzman, Garrett Lenners (Nebraska Wesleyan) and Frosty Lorimer (Wartburg) made the "slow" heat actually quite fast, seizing the most of their opportunity. In section two, Mike Jasa threw down a 1:51, but there was a significant group of guys right behind him. Josiah Davis (Coast Guard), Wyatt Schmidt (Wartburg) and Ian Kelly (Luther) all ran times of 1:52 while Will DeHaan (Central College) was right behind in 1:53. These races produced the top SEVEN 800 meter times in DIII this year and Jasa was the one who came out on top in that elite-level field.


Wartburg DMR's at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships: Wartburg made a statement on their home track during the distance medley relay this March with a very fast time of 9:53 which places them at NCAA #9 on USTFCCA’s All-Time D3 record book, just seven seconds off of the D3 record which was run on a banked track. The splits were impressive across the board: 3:01 for Matt Heinzman, 49 low for Wyatt Schmidt, 1:51 for Dalton Martin and a 4:11 anchor leg from Joe Freiburger. Any other school that wants to claim the title of "Mid-Distance University" will have to take a backseat to the Knights for now.


Best Performance Award (Women)

*Must have run attached


Nominees: Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships, Parley Hannan’s return 5k, Fiona Smith’s 3k/5k double at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships


Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships: Despite running against a great field that included Kassie Rosenbum (Loras) and Fiona Smith (St. Benedict), Ana Tucker took control of the 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships pretty early on. She went through 1600 meters with a four-second lead in 5:09 and never gave back an inch. This strategy rewarded her with a win and a nice personal best of 9:39, the fastest 3k time in Division Three this season.


Parley Hannan’s return 5k: The excitement of Parley Hannan returning to run this season was high. Even though she ran in just one meet, she was still wholly impressive. She threw down a 16:40 (5k) mark, winning by over two minutes, which easily put her on top of the D3 leaderboard for this winter. With an outdoor looking to be in tow, how fast can Hannan go?


Fiona Smith's double at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships: As mentioned above, Fiona Smith had a great DIII Elite Indoor Championship meet. She raced against two of the best in D3 in Ana Tucker and Kassie Rosenbum in the 3k and came away with a new PR of 9:55, eight seconds faster than her previous best. She finished 3rd in that race as Tucker and Rosenbum were able to run away from her over the last 800 meters. She returned for the 5k where she took control around 3k and never looked back, winning in 17:23, the NCAA #4 time in the nation.


Best Team / Distance Coach Award (Men's Teams)

*Considers performances throughout the entirety of the season


Nominees: Jeff Miller (UW-Whitewater), Bob Schultz (Loras), Ryan Chapman (Wartburg), Eamon McKenna (UW-Oshkosh)


Jeff Miller (UW-Whitewater): It’s no easy task standing out in the crowded WIAC, but Jeff Miller has a very good crew that did just that. The main standout talent was David Fassbender who has been running well this season, notching times of 4:13 (mile), 8:19 (3k) and 14:33 (5k). His 3k and 5k times put him NCAA #2 and NCAA #3, respectively. However, Fassbender was far from the only Warhawk to crack the top-25 on the national leaderboard this year. Freshman Christian Patzka was one of the best rookies in D3 this year, running 4:14 in the mile and 8:26 in the 3k. Patzka was joined by fellow freshmen Gunner Schlender who was just slightly behind in 4:17 for the mile and 8:37 for the 3k. And we can’t forget about Justin Krause who ran 4:14 for the mile. That gives Whitewater spots at the NCAA #9, NCAA #11 and NCAA #13 on the mile national leaderboard. They also were ranked NCAA#2, NCAA #4, NCAA #21 in the 3000 meters.


Bob Schultz (Loras): Loras is quickly becoming a middle distance powerhouse in D3 with Schultz at the helm. Mike Jasa is obviously quite the force to be reckoned with as the fastest 800 meter runner in the division nationally. Teammate Carter Oberfoell is another speedy talent as well. On the longer distance side, two of Coach Schultz’s freshmen are running outstanding. Ryan Harvey and Evan Jamrozy have made incredible leaps in their first year as Duhawks. Harvey ran 4:14 on the anchor leg of a DMR as well as a time of 8:28 in the 3k. Meanwhile, Jamrozy threw down a mark of 14:48 (5k). Both of those individual marks sat in the top-10 (nationally) of D3 this winter. Not only that, but veteran Luke Guttormson threw down a time of 8:30 in the 3k as well this winter. With a young squad in tow, the Duhawks are looking scary-good in the future.


Ryan Chapman (Wartburg): With all their home meets in hand, this season felt like the “Wartburg Special”. It also helps that their distance team was quite dominant this winter. Joe Freiburger and Christopher Collet were nothing short of impressive, each putting up multiple top-five marks in D3. Plenty of other guys stepped up to run fast, including Matt Heinzman’s 4:14 (mile) and 1:53 (800), Morgan Shirley Fairbairn’s 14:50 (5k), Wyatt Schmidt’s 1:52 (800) and Dalton Martin’s 1:53 (800). That’s not to forget their impressive 9:53 DMR performance which, even during most regular indoor seasons, would sit near the top of the nation.


NOTE: The Stride Report has since learned that coaches Marcus Newsom and Aubrey Fliehler have also contributed and led the development of numerous multiple middle distance talents on Wartburg's roster.


Eamon McKenna (UW-Oshkosh): Oshkosh has a history of strong middle distance runners and 2021 was no different. McKenna had two runners ranked in both the top-12 in the 800 meters and the mile. Steven Potter was ranked at NCAA #9 in the 800 meters while his brother Ryan Potter was ranked at NCAA #11. Both got pushed back on the leaderboard after not racing in the 800 meters at the DIII Elite Championships which produced the top-seven times of the year. For the mile, Andrew George was ranked at NCAA #8 while Steven Potter was NCAA #10. They could have put together a pretty fast DMR together between the Potter brothers, George and Amitai Wheat (a 50.16 400 runner). Maybe we’ll see it next year as all four runners have indoor eligibility remaining.


Best Team / Distance Coach Award (Women's Teams)

*Considers performances throughout the entirety of the season


Nominees: Ethan Brown (Coast Guard), Bob Schultz (Loras), Ryan Chapman (Wartburg), Mark Northuis (Hope)


Ethan Brown (Coast Guard): Coast Guard was without Kaitlyn Mooney who has led this team for years, but Coach Ethan Brown looks to have another superstar on his hands. Maeve Roach had one of the best seasons out of everybody this year, running 2:14 (800) and 4:57 (mile). That mile PR came in a tight race against Wartburg’s Aubrie Fisher at the Division III Elite Indoor Championship and gave Roach the top time in D3 this indoor season. Her 800 was 3rd overall. Coach Brown is hoping that she will be contending for two national titles during outdoors this spring.


Bob Schultz (Loras): Another team that depended heavily on one star was Loras. Bob Schultz and his distance team relied heavily on Kassie Rosenbum to score points and she delivered as she was one of the best in the country this indoor season. Rosenbum had four top-five marks nationally, finishing at NCAA #5 in the mile (4:59), NCAA #2 in the 3k (9:44) and NCAA #2 in the 5k (16:50). Roseunum was also a part of Loras’ 4th place DMR team. The only other runner Loras had in the top-20 was Brianna Renner who was ranked at NCAA #12 in the 3k with her 10:18 personal best.


Ryan Chapman (Wartburg): The women from Wartburg said whatever the men can do, we can do, too. As one of very few teams to run cross country this past fall, these ladies were fit and ready to show it. Head Coach Ryan Chapman had five women rank in the top-20 in the nation and had their DMR ranked at NCAA #3, only behind two different Hope teams. Aubrie Fisher was impeccable this season, running 2:18 in the 800 meters, 4:59 in the mile and 9:59 in the 3k. Those times had her ranked at NCAA #19, NCAA #4 and NCAA #5 in D3, respectively. Of course, she wasn’t alone on the leaderboards as Carson McSorley joined her in the 800 meters, running 2:16 to be ranked at NCAA #10. There was also Moriah Morter running 5:08 in the mile to earn an NCAA #18 ranking in the event. And we can’t forget about the long distance duo of Carina Collet and Natalie Paulson who ran 17:35 (NCAA #6) and 17:42 NCAA #9). The women of Wartburg were on a tear this year and the results give us plenty evidence to back that up.


NOTE: The Stride Report has since learned that coaches Marcus Newsom and Aubrey Fliehler have also contributed and led the development of multiple middle distance talents on Wartburg's roster.


Mark Northuis (Hope): The highlight for Coach Mark Nothuis and his team from Hope was definitely Ana Tucker. She could be considered as one of the best runners in D3 this winter. She was ranked at NCAA #3 in the mile (4:57), NCAA #1 in the 3k (9:39) and NCAA #3 in the 5k (17:11). She also joined some teammates on Hope’s DMR which was leading the division with an 11:58. The 1200 meter leg on that DMR was Jacinda Cole who had a great season herself. Aside from the DMR, Cole was also ranked at NCAA #9 in the mile with a time 5:01, a 12-second PR over last season. Coach Nothuis also had Ana Mason crack the top-20 rankings (nationally) in the 5k. She ran a 17:54 on a 300 meter track to rank at NCAA #18 after conversions.


Most Valuable Runner Award (Men)

*Must have run attached this season


Nominees: Joe Freiburger (Wartburg), Hunter Moore (Otterbein), Mike Jasa (Loras), David Fassbender (UW-Whitewater)


Joe Freiburger (Wartburg): Joe Freiburger had an exceptional 2020-21 campaign, running personal bests of 4:12 (Mile), 8:21 (3k) and 14:25 (5k), which ranked him at NCAA #6, NCAA #3 and NCAA #1 on the D3 national leaderboard, respectively. He also anchored Wartburg’s DMR at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships which the Knights won with a time of 9:53.


Hunter Moore (Otterbein): Moore had a breakout performance this indoor season, setting new collegiate bests in all three distance races this year: 4:15 (mile), 8:18 (3k) and 14:38 (5k). His 8:18 (3k) was a nation-leading mark while his 5k sat at NCAA #5 on the leaderboard. He won his final four races, only finishing 2nd to Alex Phillip of John Carroll and was a dominating presence in the Great Lakes region this winter.


Mike Jasa (Loras): Jasa owned the 800 meters this year, getting on the very top of the national leaderboard early-on in the season and staying there all winter long. His season culminated in winning the incredibly deep 800 meters at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships by almost a full second in 1:51.31 despite not taking the lead until the third lap. He also finished 3rd in the 400 meters at that same meet and anchored the Duhawks' 4x400, displaying highly impressive top-end speed.


David Fassbender (UW-Whitewater): Fassbender finished in the top-10 on the national leaderboard this season in the mile (4:13, NCAA #9), 3k (8:19, NCAA #2) and 5k (14:33, NCAA #3). It's safe to say that the UW-Whitewater standout has been one of the most consistent performers in the country throughout the indoor season. He won four out of the five races he toed the line for and never lost to a competitor on an opposing team. There are very few names in D3 who have been more dominant as Fassbender.


Most Valuable Runner Award (Women)

*Must have run attached this season


Nominees: Kassie Rosenbum (Loras), Ana Tucker (Hope), Maeve Roach (Coast Guard)


Kassie Rosenbum (Loras): Rosenbum was always among the nation’s elite at the D3 level, but she took it to another tier this year, finishing in the top-five on the national leaderboard in three different events. These races included the 5k (16:50, NCAA #2), 3k (9:44, NCAA #2) and mile (4:59, tied NCAA #5). When the postseason arrived, she won the mile and finished 2nd in the 3000 meters at the American Rivers Conference Championships. Rosenbum then followed that up with a close 2nd place finish to fellow star Ana Tucker at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships.


Ana Tucker (Hope): In 2020 as a freshman, Tucker made a nice jump to dip under 10 minutes in the 3k for the first time. This year, she was on a completely different level, competing with the likes of Kassie Rosenbum on the highest level of DIII. She ended up running 4:57 in the mile, 9:39 in the 3k and 17:04 in the 5k, all of which were really solid improvements over last year. Tucker was also a part of Hope’s winning DMR at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships, while she also won the 3k at that meet as well over Rosenbum.


Maeve Roach (Coast Guard): The Coast Guard senior had a breakout season that has her on this list multiple times. She had such an outstanding season that the only time she lost was in the 800 meters at the DIII Elite Championship meet to Josie Herrmann from Concordia-Moorhead. Her 800 PR of 2:14 and mile PR of 4:57 from this year are very impressive and put her top-three in D3 for both events. What is equally as impressive is how much faster she ran this year than her previous marks. Before this year, she held personal bests of 5:36 in the mile and 2:21 in the 800. Roach will likely carry this momentum to the outdoor season and race for a national title.

 

FINAL VOTES


Best Freshman Award

Men

Kevin: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater)

Brett: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater) Hannah: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater)

Overall Winner: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater)


Women

Kevin: Fiona Smith (St. Benedict)

Brett: Fiona Smith (St. Benedict) Hannah: Fiona Smith (St. Benedict)

Overall Winner: Fiona Smith (St. Benedict)


Most Improved Award

Men

Kevin: Nick Hoffman (Hope)

Brett: Nick Hoffman (Hope) Hannah: Simon Heys (Wilmington)

Overall Winner: Nick Hoffman (Hope)


Women

Kevin: Maeve Roach (Coast Guard)

Brett: Maeve Roach (Coast Guard) Hannah: Zanzie Demco (UW-Oshkosh)

Overall Winner: Maeve Roach (Coast Guard)


Best Performance Award

Men

Kevin: Gabriel Pommier's Mile at North Central Dual Meet #2

Brett: DIII Elite Indoor Championships 800 Meters Hannah: DIII Elite Indoor Championships 800 Meters

Overall Winner: DIII Elite Indoor Championship 800 Meters


Women

Kevin: Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships

Brett: Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships Hannah: Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships

Overall Winner: Ana Tucker's 3k at the DIII Elite Indoor Championships


Best Distance Coach / Team Award

Men

Kevin: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg)

Brett: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg) Hannah: Bob Schultz (Loras)

Overall Winner: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg)*


*NOTE: Won with acknowledgment that coaches Marcus Newsom and Aubrey Fliehler contributed / led the development of multiple middle distance talents on Wartburg's roster.


Women

Kevin: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg)

Brett: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg) Hannah: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg)

Overall Winner: Ryan Chapman (Wartburg)*


*NOTE: Won with acknowledgment that coaches Marcus Newsom and Aubrey Fliehler contributed / led the development of multiple middle distance talents on Wartburg's roster.


Most Valuable Runner Award

Men

Kevin: Joe Freiburger (Wartburg)

Brett: Joe Freiburger (Wartburg) Hannah: Joe Freiburger (Wartburg)

Overall Winner: Joe Freiburger (Wartburg)


Women

Kevin: Kassie Rosenbum (Loras)

Brett: Ana Tucker (Hope) Hannah: Ana Tucker (Hope)

Overall Winner: Ana Tucker (Hope)

ความคิดเห็น


bottom of page