Five Named USTFCCCA All-Mideast Region; Cooper Coach of the Year

Five Named USTFCCCA All-Mideast Region; Cooper Coach of the Year

ERIE, Pa. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced the All-Region honorees and award winners for the 2017 Outdoor Track & Field season.

Penn State Behrend had five student-athletes named All-Region, while head coach Greg Cooper was selected the Mideast Men's Coach of the Year and Bill Hoffman garnered the Mideast Men's Assistant Coach of the Year accolades.

Senior Mitchell Obenrader (Fryburg, PA/North Clarion) was a three-time All-Region selection for his efforts this season in the shot put, discus and javelin. The hurler broke the shot put and discus school records, while claiming the ECAC and CSAC titles in both events. Obenrader was also named the CSAC Field Athlete of the Year.

Matt Grafton (Worthington, PA/Kittanning) earned All-Mideast Region in the 110m and 400m hurdles. Grafton, a first-time participant this season at the NCAA Championships, was named CSAC Track Athlete of the Year. The senior was CSAC champion in the 110m hurdles and was runner up in the 400m hurdles. Grafton also set a new school record in the 400m hurdles this season.

Senior Luke Patten (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex) was selected All-Mideast Region in the pole vault. This season, he was the CSAC and ECAC pole vault champion, setting a personal-best height of 5.01m.

For the women, senior Paige Allen (Butler, PA/Butler) and Rachel Pell (Elizabeth, PA/Elizabeth Forward) were recognized as All-Mideast Region honorees. Allen was chosen in the 100m and 200m, while Pell was selected in the 400m hurdles. Allen was the CSAC champion in the two events and ECAC in the 200m with a school and personal-best record time 24.39. She also earned All-ECAC with a fourth-place finish in the 100m. Pell was the CSAC Champion and won the bronze medal at ECAC's in the 400m hurdles.

Cooper, in his 11th year with the program, guided the men's team to the Colonial States Athletic Conference title and the team's first National Top 25 ranking this season. He was named the CSAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season and has four qualifiers for nationals this week.

Hoffman, in his fifth year with the program, helped guide his athletes to win the men's 100 meters, 110 hurdles and 4×100 relays at the CSAC championships, leading the Lions to capture the Colonial States Championships for the second year in a row.

Many of the honored athletes and coaches will be at the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships set for this weekend, May 25-27, in Geneva, Ohio.