JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced on Friday (March 20) that three members of the Lincoln indoor track & field program are finalists for the USTFCCCA’s National Athlete and Coach of the Year awards.
Junior Ryan Brown is one of three finalists for the Division II Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Award, and senior Rene Medley is one of three finalists for the Division II Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year Award. Head coach Victor Thomas, meanwhile, is one of the finalists for the Division II Indoor Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year Award and the Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year Award, making him the only coach in the country to be a finalist for both national coach of the year honors.
Brown ended the 2019-20 season leading NCAA Division II in both the long jump and the triple jump, posting automatic qualifying distances in each event. Brown’s distance of 7.77m, set at the Hoosier Open, leads the nation in the long jump. In the triple jump, his distance of 15.87m, also set at the Hoosier Open, tops the country. At the MIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, Brown won the triple jump while taking third in the long jump.
Medley finished 2019-20 with the top times in NCAA Division II in both the 60m and the 200m after winning both events at the MIAA Championships. Medley took the 60m in 7.37, and won the 200m in 23.57, with both times being automatic qualifiers.
Thomas coached Lincoln’s track & field teams to one of the most successful indoor seasons in program history. In the final USTFCCCA Division II rankings of the season, the Blue Tiger men’s track & field team was ranked No. 1 in the country, while the LU women were ranked No. 2. The two teams combined to produce 28 USTFCCCA All-Region Awards, with 14 Blue Tigers qualifying to compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.