The CIAA honored Tia-Adana Belle (Jr./St. George, Barbados), Burkheart Ellis, Jr. (Sr./Raleigh, NC) and Head Coach George Williams of Saint Augustine’s University on Thursday, April 7, 2016. Belle was named Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Runner of the Week, Ellis was chosen Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Runner of the Week and Williams was voted Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Week.
Belle outraced a competitive field to win the women’s 400-meter hurdles in the Florida Relays last weekend. Her time of 56.34 is not only a personal best and an automatic qualifying time but is currently the third-best in the world this year. It also ranks second on the all-time outdoor Division II performance list in the event.
The defending NCAA Division II 400 hurdles champion, Belle currently has the fastest collegiate time in the event regardless of division. Belle is also part of the 4×400-meter relay squad which finished second at the Florida Relays in a Division II leading time of 3:39.32, which is an automatic qualifying time.
The league honor is the second award this week for Belle. On Tuesday, April 5, she was named NCAA Division II National Women’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Belle ranks first in the 400 hurdles and 100 hurdles nationally in Division II and the CIAA, and the 4×400-meter relay squad including Belle ranks first in Division II and the CIAA.
Ellis ranks first in the CIAA and third nationally in Division II in the 100-meter dash after running a provisional qualifying time of 10.34 in the Florida Relays. He is also a member of the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams which rank first nationally in Division II. The 4×100 relay team outran all college teams in the Florida Relays with an automatic qualifying time of 39.52 which ranked among the top collegiate times last weekend. The 4×400 squad placed second in the Florida Relays with an automatic qualifying time of 3:07.22.
Ellis ranks fourth in the CIAA in the 400-meter dash. The 4×400 and 4×100 relay squads including Ellis rank first nationally in Division II and the CIAA.
Under the guidance of Coach Williams, the Falcons’ men won the 400-meter hurdles, defeated all college teams in the 4×100-meter relay and posted five NCAA Division II automatic qualifying times and five provisional qualifying times in the Florida Relays, which featured many Division I competitors, Olympic hopefuls and former Olympians. Six Falcons’ competitors and two relay teams are ranked among the top three nationally in Division II based on their performances in the Florida Relays including top-ranked Shaquille Dill (Fr./Pembroke, Bermuda) in the 800 and the top-ranked 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.
Williams has won more NCAA Division II track and field championships than any coach regardless of division. The Falcons and Lady Falcons have combined to win 37 indoor and outdoor national titles.