Gourley, Thomas earn USTFCCCA awards


NEW ORLEANS – The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Monday morning that Virginia Tech distance coach Ben Thomas earned Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year and distance runner Neil Gourley won Men’s Track Athlete of the Year for the Southeast Region during the indoor season.

Thomas, who oversees cross country as well, was tabbed assistant coach of the year for the third time in the last four years in the Southeast Region. Thomas orchestrated both the men’s and women’s distance medley relays turning in first-place finishes, as well as Rachel Pocratsky and Gourley winning the 800 meters and Vincent Ciattei placing first in the mile at the ACC Indoor Championships.

Gourley ran the second-fastest time in the country at ACCs in the 800, clocking a time of 1 minute, 47.04 seconds. The Scotland native also ran anchor on the DMR, too, helping the unit set the Clemson Indoor Track and Field Complex facility record (9:38.31). It marks Gourley’s first postseason honor from the USTFCCCA. The redshirt senior was tabbed a preseason All-American by FloTrack before the year began.

The pair will have their eyes set on going out the right way their final time together in competition this upcoming weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Gourley qualified in the mile and is expected to run in the DMR on Friday evening inside Gilliam Indoor Stadium. He will not have outdoor eligibility, making it his last meet at the college level.

On Sunday, the USTFCCCA put out its rankings heading into NCAAs, and the Hokies came in at No. 12 on both sides. The women own 11 times and marks and the men have 15 times and marks that rank in the top 50 across the nation.

The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held on the campus of Texas A&M on Friday and Saturday. The event will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

USTFCCCA Southeast Region Award Winners

Men's Track Athlete of the Year
Neil Gourley, Virginia Tech

Men's Field Athlete of the Year
Joshua Davis, NC State

Men's Coach of the Year
Robert Olesen, Charlotte

Men's Assistant Coach of the Year
Ben Thomas, Virginia Tech

Women's Track Athlete of the Year
Sydney McLaughlin, Kentucky

Women's Field Athlete of the Year
Olivia Gruver, Kentucky

Women's Coach of the Year
Edrick Floreal, Kentucky

Women's Assistant Coach of the Year
Delethea Quarles, South Carolina

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