SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Samford claimed four of the Southern Conference indoor track and field individual awards between its men’s and women’s programs, while Western Carolina claimed a pair of honors after a vote of the league’s head coaches following the SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
Samford’s Emmanuel Tate and Marquis Barnes were named the male Most Outstanding Track Performer and Most Outstanding Field Performer, respectively. Tate claimed a trio of runner-up finishes at the championship meet, doing so in the 200-meter dash, the 60-meter hurdles and the 60-meter dash. Barnes, who also claimed the Heath Whittle Award for the Men’s Most Outstanding Athlete as the highest point-scorer at the championship meet, won the heptathlon and long jump and posted fifth-place finishes in the high jump and triple jump.
On the women’s side, Samford’s Selena Popp was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer after also claiming the meet’s Most Outstanding Athlete award. Popp won the pentathlon, high jump and long jump, breaking her own meet record in the pentathlon with a score of 4,118 points.
Bulldogs coach Rod Tiffin earned his third consecutive Coach of the Year award after leading Samford to its third straight women’s team title.
Western Carolina’s Ty-Leah Hampton earned the female Most Outstanding Track Performer nod, as she claimed a trio of conference titles over the weekend. Hampton won the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, matching the meet record in the 60m with a time of 7.43 seconds. She also ran the anchor leg on the Catamounts’ 4x400-meter relay unit that took gold.
Cale McDaniel earned his second straight Coach of the Year honor after leading Western Carolina to its fifth straight men’s team title.
ETSU’s Karon Delince was named the male Freshman of the Year after scoring in four events, including a win in the 200-meter dash. Delince also took second in the long jump and fourth in the 60-meter dash and ran a leg on the Bucs’ third-place 4x400-meter relay unit.
Furman’s Kristlin Gear was named the women’s Freshman of the Year after posting wins in the mile run and the 800-meter run. She also ran the opening leg of the Paladins’ fifth-place 4x400-meter relay.
Male Most Outstanding Track Performer
Emmanuel Tait, Samford
Female Most Outstanding Track Performer
Ty-Leah Hampton, Western Carolina
Male Most Outstanding Field Performer
Marquis Barnes, Samford
Female Most Outstanding Field Performer
Male Freshman of the Year
Karon Delince, ETSU
Female Freshman of the Year
Kristlin Gear, Furman
Men’s Coach of the Year
Cale McDaniel, Western Carolina
Women’s Coach of the Year
Rod Tiffin, Samford