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Athlete of the Week - No. 3

January 25, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – B.J. Lawrence of Doane (Neb.) has been named the NAIA National Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Gabe Wickham of Hastings (Neb.) has been tabbed as the NAIA National Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Lawrence and Wickham were selected based on their performances from Jan. 16 – 22. This week’s announcement marks the third-consecutive week that the Great Plains Athletic Conference has swept men’s honors.

Lawrence, a junior from Omaha, Neb., posted first-place finishes in two events at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invite on Jan. 20. His time of 6.73 topped a field of 37 runners in the 60-meter dash and placed him second this season behind Aquinas’ (Mich.) Rumeal McKinney in that category. Lawrence then clocked in at 21.74 in the 200-meter dash, vaulting him to the top of this season’s NAIA leaderboard. He gained NAIA All-America status in both events at the 2011 National Championships.

Wickham, a senior and Phillipsburg, Kan., native, blew away a field of 46 participants in the weight throw at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invite on Jan. 20. His mark of 69’ 5 ¼” put him comfortably in front of all other competitors and is far-and-away the top weight throw in the NAIA this season. The next best weight throw on the season came from Hastings’ Cody Weber, whose 60’ 9 ¼” mark is a full 8’ 8” short of Wickham’s top measurement. The last NAIA competitor to approach Wickham’s mark was Doan’s Will Moman with a weight throw of 69’ 4” in 2006.

The next Athletes of the Week will be announced on Feb. 1.

Track Nominees: Taylor Nall, Baker (Kan.); Justin Jones, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Adam Godwin, Oklahoma Baptist; Nathan Mesta, Oklahoma Christian; Andy Coy, Dakota State (S.D.); Wes Hammer, Grand View (Iowa); Jamal Murphy, Bacone (Okla.); Alex Blehm, Davenport (Mich.); Monte Larsen, Morningside (Iowa); Dewayne Booker, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Dustin Heiler, Aquinas (Mich.); Nicholas Hestand, Evangel (Mo.); Justin Kilpatrick, Ashford (Iowa); DeWain Meeks, Missouri Baptist; Andre Moodie, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Ronnie Taylor, Hastings (Neb.); Zach Widner, Siena Heights (Mich.); Colton McNinch, Southwestern (Kan.); Austen Barnes, Indiana Tech; Sam Acheampong, Briar Cliff (Iowa); Nate Nevius, Judson (Ill.); Sean Smith, St. Francis (Ill.).

Field Nominees: Ty'Rel Fields, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Juan Gonzales, Oklahoma Baptist; Derrick Toney, McPherson (Kan.); Ryan Gass, Morningside (Iowa); Emmanuel Panchol, Ashford (Iowa); Tyler Wells, Grand View (Iowa); Robbie Haynie, Eastern Oregon; Austin Basterrechea, College of Idaho; Kyle Abney, Indiana Wesleyan; Tracy Marshall, Oklahoma Christian; Kevin Rodgers, Southwestern (Kan.); Herbert Gary, Indiana Tech; Ray Carney, Siena Heights (Mich.); Shane Kenney, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Kiefer Smith, Central Methodist (Mo.); Josh Barry, St. Francis (Ill.).

2012 Composite Award Winners (Track; Field) (Schedule)
Week 1: Edwin Ronoh, Doane (Neb.); Rob Keeney, Doane (Neb.)
Week 2: Monte Larsen, Morningside (Iowa); Raheem Cowan, Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Week 3: B.J. Lawrence, Doane (Neb.); Gabe Wickham, Hastings (Neb.)