Story Courtesy of Akron Media Relations
AKRON ? University of Akron head track and field coach Dennis Mitchell was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Great Lakes Region Outdoor Women’s Coach of the Year while senior Cadeau Kelley (Cleveland/Marshall HS) was named the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Outdoor Male Field Performer of the Year.
Mitchell, who made history this past month by being the first coach to lead both a men’s team and a women’s team to Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships in the same year, earns his second USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year honor, a feat he also accomplished during the 2006 outdoor season. This year, Mitchell led the Zips’ women’s program to its third straight MAC Outdoor title and the program has won each of the last four MAC Indoor titles. Not only did the Zips win the MAC Championship this spring, they did so in record fashion by tallying a MAC-record 208.5 points, beating second place by 55.5 points. In fact, the Zips were so dominant during the first two days of the three-day event; their two-day total would have earned the team a second-place finish without competing on the third and final day. Mitchell also led a UA record 23 student-athletes, between the men’s and women’s team, to the NCAA Mideast Regional and had four advance to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, including Mideast Regional hammer champion and 2008 USTFCCA Indoor Female Field Performer of the Year Stevi Large (Somerset/Sheridan HS).
Kelley, like Large, was one of the four Zips to earn a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Kelley claimed an automatic berth by placing fifth at the 2008 NCAA Mideast Regional in the long jump. The UA indoor and outdoor record-holder for the long and triple jumps currently has the third-best long jump in the NCAA with a leap of 26-2.25 (7.98) at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Classic (May 3). That weekend (May 2-3) was a good one for NCAA long jumpers as five of the top six on the nation’s top 25 list each posted their season’s best jump. Kelley was the 2008 MAC champion in both the long and triple jumps, earning the 2008 MAC Male Field Performer of the Year. The senior will be making his second trip to a national championship. Kelley qualified for the 2008 NCAA Indoors, placing 14th at nationals with a leap of 24-9.25.
For a more information on the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, click below:
The qualifying round for Kelley the men’s long jump, which has a field of 25, begins June 11 at 3:30 pm (CT) and the final will be June 12 at 7:30 pm (CT). Large will be participating in the qualifying round for the women’s hammer June 11 at 1:30 pm (CT) with the final set for June 13 at 3:15 pm (CT). Also competing at the NCAA Outdoor will be senior Auston Papay (Sharon, Pa.) in the men’s discus and Ryan Jones (Shaker Heights/Twinsburg HS) in the men’s high jump. The qualifying round for the men’s discus is June 12 at 4:15 pm (CT) with the final set for June 14 at 3 pm (CT). The men’s high jump qualifying round is June 11 at 6:15 pm (CT) and the final is set for June 13 at 7:00 pm (CT).