WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Sixth-year Eph women's track and field head coach Nate Hoey has been named the NCAA DIII Women's Indoor Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for leading his team to the NCAA DIII title this past weekend in Boston,
Hoey is the second Eph women's head track coach to win the award, following Ralph White who was honored in 2003.
"I'm humbled by this recognition, but this is 100% a team award," state Hoey. "This goes to the students on our team and the outstanding group of coaches we have. They have done an outstanding job all season long. They have faced challenges and kept their heads held high and focused on how to maximize what is in front of them. I am incredibly proud of how they have approached this season."
This winter Hoey's Eph team had to make several training adjustments due to the fact that the Ephs' home indoor track in Towne Field House was unavailable due to renovation issues. Hoey and his staff had to get creative to come up with ways for his team to train so they could compete throughout the season and qualify individuals for the NCAA Championship Meet.
Sometimes the Eph sprinters and hurdlers only had a 30-yard rubberized strip to run on in the Lansing Chapman Rink and sometimes they practiced in the third level hallway of Chandler Gym. The team went outside when possible and made adjustments to a smaller space in Lasell Gym. The Facilities Department rose to the occasion and constructed a portable pole vault runway that could be assembled and then disassembled in Lasell Gym offering the team's pole-vaulters a five-step training area when they normally use a longer approach.
Despite all of the challenges his team faced in preparing throughout the season, Hoey's Ephs posted an impressive win at the New England DIIII championships amassing 140 points on the strength of six first place finishes and five-second place finishes.
Hoey's Ephs trailed Washington University (St. Louis) 24-8 after the first day of the two-day NCAA DIII Championships held in the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. On Day Two the Ephs mounted a furious comeback that featured junior Emma Egan winning the high jump and classmate Anna Passannante recording a pair of second place finishes in the span of 50 minutes. Passannante finished second in the mile run and she did so with a time of 4:46.81, which broke the previous NCAA DIII record and the Eph school record. She came back and duplicated that finish and effort in the 800. Passannante's second place finish in the 800 (2:11.03) also broke the Eph school record.
Passannante's efforts set the stage for the Eph 4x400 relay to win the meet and a sixth place finish would have left the Ephs tied with Washington University (St. Louis). The Eph relay of Davis Collison, Ella Dunn, Caity Ubl and Megan Powell ran in the first heat of the 4x400 and registered a winning time of 3:50.59, assuring the Ephs that they would win the title by adding five points to their total score and giving Williams a total of 42 points. Washington University (St. Louis) did not have a 4x400 team in either heat.