JOPLIN, Mo.— The No. 8 Missouri Southern men’s and No. 2 ranked women’s track and field programs garnered four regional awards as announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Friday.
Each of the eight regions – Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast, West – honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes as well as the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches.
For Southern, Rajindra Campbell was named the Central Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. Campbell, a senior from Ocho Rios Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica, is ranked first nationally in the shot put at 20.07m (65-10¼), a mark that ranks him third on the NCAA DII all-time chart. He is undefeated during the 2020 indoor season and won the MIAA title by more than five feet.
Emily Presley, a senior from St. Clair, Mo., was named the Central Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. She is ranked first nationally in the pole vault at 4.30m (14-1¼). She has put four marks on the NCAA DII all-time chart this season, including her personal best that slots her in as the fifth best performer.
Head Coach Bryan Schiding was named Central Region Men’s Coach of the Year. Schiding, in his seventh year at Missouri Southern, led his team to the MIAA Championship title after the Lions were picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll. Under Schiding’s guidance, he had 19 NCAA qualifiers, with three being automatic qualifiers, plus one relay team. His athletes also broke six school records this season. The Lions are ranked No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Central Region and nine student-athletes from the men’s side will be competing at the NCAA Championships.
Assistant Coach Jason Francis, who is in his third year coaching sprints, hurdles, high jump and combined events, was named Central Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Francis had athletes combine for 58 of the Lions’ 130½ points at the MIAA Championships. The MSSU hurdles squad is rated No. 1 in the nation.
The Lions, who qualified 21 individuals, will battle for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama on March 13-14.