Vance named Men's Outdoor National Coach of the Year, 33 South Plains athletes earn All-American honors

Vance named Men's Outdoor National Coach of the Year, 33 South Plains athletes earn All-American honors

LEVELLAND—The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its All-American recipients on Thursday for the 2017 NJCAA Div. I Outdoor Track & Field season.

It came as no surprise that South Plains sat atop the men's list with 18 athletes earning All-American status in 31 different events. 15 Lady Texans were named All-Americans in 21 events.

Athletes are deemed All-Americans by finishing among the top eight in their events, including relay events, at the national meet which took place in Hutchinson, Kansas on May 18-20. The Texans captured their 11th consecutive outdoor national title, led by first-year head coach Erik Vance. For his efforts, Vance was named the 2017 NJCAA Div. I Men's Outdoor National Coach of the Year.

"As far as our men's program goes, we just got better and better as the year went on and this was a heck of a first year," Vance said. "We saw some great progress on the ladies' side and will be in the thick of things next season. We're already working on next season and keeping our men where they are and getting the ladies right up there with them. I was really proud of this award and was disappointed coach Hobbs wasn't the Assistant Coach of the Year because he did just as much as anyone else to earn that award the way his sprinters and hurdlers competed. All in all, I couldn't ask for much more from our kids and look forward to keeping things rolling next season."

Texan All-Americans:

Jordan Atkinson: 200 Meters, 4×100 Relay, 4×400 Relay

Saahir Bethea: Triple Jump

Junior Charles: 4×100 Relay, 4×400 Relay

Robert Downs Jr.: 4×800 Relay

Robert Dunning: 110 Meter Hurdles

Dekaryea Freeman: 4×800 Relay

Rayan Holmes: 400 Meter Hurdles, 4×100 Relay

Montel Hood: 4×400 Relay

Patrick Johnson: Decathlon

Felix Kosgei: 5000 Meters, 10,000 Meters

Kwaume McGee: High Jump

Derrick Monroe: Long Jump

Laquan Nairn: Long Jump, Triple Jump

Omero Rodriguez, 1500 Meters, 5000 Meters, 4×800 Relay

Nicholas Rotich: 1500 Meters, Steeplechase, 4×800 Relay

William Watson: 110 Meter Hurdles, 400 Meter Hurdles

Adrian Williams: Javelin

Okeen Williams: 400 Meter Hurdles, 4×100 Relay, 4×400 Relay

Lady Texan All-Americans:

Omotayo Abolaji: 4×100 Relay

Agnes Abrocquah: 4×400 Relay

Kionna Bradshaw: Shot Put

Safia Bright: 4×100 Relay

Seselia Dala: 5000 Meters, 10,000 Meters, 4×800 Relay

Felicia Frimpong: Triple Jump

Poro Gahekave: Steeplechase, 4×800 Relay

Taylor Hill: 4×100 Relay

Melody Korie: Long Jump

Hellen Maasotuo: 4×800 Relay

Natasha McDonald: 400 Meters

Natassha McDonald: 4×400 Relay

Jannia Price: Discus

Mauricia Prieto: 200 Meters, 4×100 Relay, 4×400 Relay

Latriceia Smith: 4×400 Relay, 4×800 Relay