Spartanburg, S.C. – Western Carolina student-athlete Devaniel Dale and first-year head coach Jesse Norman were honored today as the Southern Conference released its specialty awards following the 2018-19 SoCon outdoor Track & Field season.
The awards were voted on by the league’s head coaches following the SoCon Outdoor Track & Field Championships last weekend. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
Dale, a junior from Salisbury, N.C. was named the Men’s Most Outstanding Track Performer after a pair of wins in both the 200- and 400-meter dash, as well as runner-up finishes as part of the 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay teams. Dale’s 200-meter dash winning time of 20.86 was 0.13 seconds from tying the school record held by Olympic medalist Manteo Mitchell. Dale won the 400-meter dash in 46.55, just 0.55 shy of tying Mitchell’s school record in the event. Dale scored 24 points in his four events.
Norman, a WCU alum and former assistant who returned to the program as head coach in January, earned men’s co-Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Catamounts to their fourth consecutive Southern Conference outdoor title. It is the first outdoor coach of the year honor for Norman, who was named the men’s Indoor Track Coach of the Year in late February after the Catamounts won their sixth straight indoor championship. The Catamount men scored five event wins led by Dale with two victories. Other winners included Dijoun Huitt (men’s triple jump), Dakota Oxendine (men’s high jump), and Dakota Wright (men’s shot put).
The Catamounts are off this weekend and return to action on Sunday, May 12 in Hickory at the Lenoir-Rhyne Last Chance Meet.
Men's Most Outstanding Track Performer
Devaniel Dale, Western Carolina
Female Most Outstanding Track Performer
Hannah Steelman, Wofford
Male Most Outstanding Field Performer
Ben Johnson, ETSU
Female Most Outstanding Field Performer
Maggie Johnston, Samford
Male Freshman of the Year
Elijah Bull, Wofford
Female Freshman of the Year
Mekayla Brown, ETSU
Men’s Coach of the Year
Rod Tiffin, Samford
Jesse Norman, Western Carolina
Women’s Coach of the Year
Johnny Bomar, Wofford