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Hay, Headley, and Van Gilder Earn USTFCCCA Regional Honors

Hay, Headley, and Van Gilder Earn USTFCCCA Regional Honors New Orleans, La. - May 19, 2009 - Three members of the Springfield College track and field programs were among 64 men’s and women’s regional athletes and coaches of the year for the 2009 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced on Monday. Nikki Hay was named the New England Women's Field Athlete of the Year, while Steve Headley was selected as New England Men's Track Athlete of the Year and Joe Van Gilder was honored as the New England Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.

Headley and Hay continued to prove they were two of the most dominant athletes in the country as the duo was also awarded the exact same accolades for their performances during the indoor season by the USTFCCCA . For Headley, this marks the second time that he has been selected, and remains the only member of the Springfield men's track and field team to have ever been named the New England Athlete of the Year. As for Hay, this marks the third time she has been honored as she picked up the same award in the winter and last spring.

Hay, who hails from Norwalk, Conn., has continued to build on her tremendous career this season. Hay, has automatically qualified for the Division III outdoor championships in the triple jump with a best mark of 40' 1.25" (12.22m), and she also achieved a provisional qualifying mark in the long jump. She was the triple jump champion and the long jump runner-up at the NEWMAC Championships, and she won the ECAC triple jump. Hay is ranked second in the triple jump heading into the NCAA Championships.

A native of nearby Wilbraham, Mass., Headley was the NEWMAC Conference champion in the 100 and 200 meters and ran on the winning 4x100 meter relay team. At the New England Division III Championships, Headley ran 10.39 to win the 100 meters, and that time is the fastest in Division III this season. He also owns the nation’s third-fastest 200 meter time. Headley was named the NEWMAC Track Athlete of the Year as well as the New England Division III Track Athlete of the Year.

Van Gilder is responsible for coaching Springfield’s sprints and relays. This year, his star pupil Headley won the New England Division 100 meter championship and the NEWMAC 100 meter championship. Headley was also the indoor national champion in the 55 meters and has Division III’s fastest time in the 100 meters. Springfield also ranks sixth in the 4x100 meter relay headed into the Championships.

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Head Coach Jim Pennington

Jim Pennington Jim Pennington enters his 30th season as head coach of the Springfield College women’s cross country and track and field teams in 2013-2014. Under Pennington’s direction, the Pride has recorded seven top 20 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and seven top 15 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Read more.

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