Junior Akela Jones of Barbados and freshman Christoff Bryan of Jamaica were all honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in their annual regional awards, announced earlier Friday.
For Jones and Bryan, the duo swept the regional field awards for the first time in program history. Bryan, whose height cleared of 2.28m/7-05.75 is currently tops in Division I, is the third K-State high jumper since 2007 and first since Erik Kynard in June of 2013 to be named Field Athlete of the Year – Kynard that year swept the indoor and outdoor honors.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Bryan has excelled in his first year at K-State with his season-best mark ranking third in school history. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Bryan experienced considerable success including winning the U-18 high jump gold at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (CAC) in 2012 and he is also a three-time Caribbean Free Trade Agreement Games (CARIFTA) champion.
Bryan will compete alongside teammate Nate Gipson at NCAAs next weekend in the high jump.
On the women's side, Jones earned her second indoor accolade this week, as she was named Big 12 Co-Performer of the Year this past Wednesday. The first year junior-transfer from Oklahoma Baptist has dominated competition all season-long, most recently earning the conference championship high point scorer of the meet to go along with a conference title in the long jump.
Competing in three events at NCAAs next weekend (60H, high jump and long jump), Jones finished the indoor season with the No. 1 long jump mark (6.67m/21-0.50 – school record), No. 2 pentathlon mark (4,402 – not converted), No. 8 high jump mark (1.85m/6-00.75) and No. 8 hurdles time (8.14 – school record) in Division I.
Head coach Cliff Rovelto was also honored. Honored for an outstanding 2014-15 campaign that saw the men's and women's squads combine for 11 entries into next weekend's NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, Rovelto was named Midwest Region Women's Coach of the Year.