NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 400 meter champion Vernon Norwood of LSU led the special award winners on the Louisiana Sports Writers Track and Field College Team.
The special awards were voted on by the SIDs of the four-year schools in the state. SIDs could not vote for athletes from their own schools.
Norwood was named the men’s track athlete of the year, and teammate Rodney Brown was named field athlete of the year. LSU’s Dennis Shaver was chosen as the men’s coach of the year.
Southeastern Louisiana’s Devin King was the freshman of the year, and the Lions’ Alex Young was newcomer of the year.
On the women’s side, Aleia Hobbs of LSU was named the track and freshman athlete of the year. Teammate Tori Bliss was the field athlete of the year.
Katerina Vodova of Tulane was newcomer of the year and Joseph Moses of Xavier was the coach of the year.
Norwood swept the NCAA titles in the 400 meters and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team at the outdoor championships. He won the NCAA indoor final 45.31 seconds and the outdoor at 45.10. Norwood’s personal best was 44.44 to win the 400 at the LSU Alumni Gold meet. He was No. 5 in the world rankings for the outdoor season.
Brown was the top-ranked discus thrower with a season and personal best mark of 213 feet 5 inches to win the Penn Relays. He also won the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships and Texas Relays among his eight discus titles. Brown was ninth in the discus final at the NCAAs.
King’s best pole-vault effort was 17-7 to win the LSU Alumni Gold meet. Young of Southeastern won the Southland Conference title in the shot put (58-10) and was 10th in the NCAA outdoor finals (218-2).
Shaver took LSU to fourth place in the NCAA outdoors and seventh place indoors with 16 All-America honors. The Tigers won three NCAA titles. LSU sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams accounted for all of LSU’s 64 combined points at the two NCAA meets.
Among the women, Hobbs was the only double winner: track athlete and freshman of the year. She was an NCAA finalist in the 100 meters with a personal best of 11.13 in the semifinals. She ran the second leg of LSU’s 4x100 relay that finished fifth at NCAAs.
Bliss was second in the shot put in the NCAA indoors (60-7.25) and third in the NCAA outdoors (58-6). She posted 60-1 to win the SEC indoor title and broke her own outdoor school record with a career-best throw of 60-8 at the LSU Invitational.
Newcomer Vodova scored a total of 12 points for the Wave at The American outdoor championships, claiming second in the long jump (19-11) and fifth in the pole vault (12-10.25).
Moses coached Xavier to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s team championship.