Patchell sweeps SBC Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, 18 Red Wolves All-SBC
After leading the Arkansas State track and field teams to a sweep of the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships, head coach Jim Patchell once again did some sweeping, earning both Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year honors.
The league coaches vote on the end-of-season honors following the championships. Wednesday’s honor marks the 12th and 13th SBC Coach of the Year laurels for Patchell. A-State has now won five of the six possible conference Coach of the Year honors, with Patchell taking both indoor and outdoor accolades and Jesse Duvall garnering Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year billing.
The women’s outdoor title on Saturday capped off an incredible 2020-21 cross country and track and field season that saw A-State compile its first Sun Belt Triple Crown in program history. The men’s crown on Saturday tied former league member Western Kentucky for the all-time lead in outdoor titles with seven.
Now in his 10th season at the helm of the program, A-State has claimed eight of the 10 possible Coach of the Year honors since the 2019-20 cross country season. The Red Wolves have combined for 16 league titles between men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
Patchell was not the only one to earn postseason honors, as Bennett Pascoe notched Most Outstanding Track Athlete honors, while Lexington Hilton took Men’s Freshman of the Year laurels. The trio highlighted a combined 18 (10 men, eight women) on the All-Sun Belt teams. Pascoe claimed a pair of distance titles, setting meet records in both the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase. Hilton capped off his first season in Jonesboro with a bang, capturing gold in the 5000m on Saturday after taking silver in the 10,000m.
An individual’s highest podium finish at the conference meet determines First, Second and Third Team All-Sun Belt honors. A combined 18 Red Wolves earned All-Sun Belt honors on the weekend. A-State tallied six first-team honorees (4 women, 2 men), while placing seven on the second team (5 men, 2 women) and five on the third team (3 men, 2 women).
A handful of Red Wolves are now preparing for the national stage, with the 2021 NCAA West Preliminaries on the horizon. The top 48 athletes in each individual event advance to the prelims, held May 26-29 in College Station, Texas. Those finishing in the top 12 at the prelims will qualify for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships, held June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. The entries for the prelims are slated to be released on NCAA.com at noon CT Thursday.
For the latest on the A-State track and field program, follow @AStateTrack on Twitter and @Arkansas_State_Track on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/AStateTrackAndField.
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Individual Awards
Women’s Coach of the Year – Jim Patchell, Arkansas State
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Most Outstanding Field Performer – Autavia Fluker, South Alabama
Most Outstanding Freshman – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Newcomer of the Year – Melissa Jefferson, Coastal Carolina
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Individual Awards
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Bennett Pascoe, Arkansas State
Most Outstanding Freshman – Lexington Hilton, Arkansas State
Men’s Coach of the Year – Jim Patchell, Arkansas State
Most Outstanding Field Performer – David Ejumeta, Coastal Carolina
Newcomer of the Year – Kwanele Mthembu, Texas State
A-State on the 2021 All-Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Teams
First Team (4)
Second Team (2)
Third Team (2)
First Team (2)
Second Team (5)
Aimar Palma Simo
Third Team (3)
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