NEW ORLEANS, La. --- The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has decided to award the student-athletes selected to compete in the 2020 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships this past March in North Carolina that ended up being cancelled the day before competition due to COVID-19 with All-America honors thus giving sophomore Amanda Crooks and senior Carly Danoski All-America accolades.
When the selected participants list was announced on Sunday, March 8, both Crooks and Danoski were among the top 20 declared and accepted entries in their events. Crooks was tied for seventh in the 60-meter dash with a school record time of 7.65 seconds that she ran at the All-Atlantic Region Indoor Track & Field Championships at Nazareth (N.Y.) College on March 7.
Danoski was sixth in the mile run with a banked track converted time 4:57.70 for her school record time of 4:54.78 from the Fastrack National Invitational at the Ocean Breeze Park & Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York on February 14. For NCAA championship purposes, all races run on a banked track are converted to flat track times to make comparisons nationwide for the performance lists equal. The All-America honors are the first for both Crooks and Danoski, and Danoski was set to compete in the NCAA meet for the fourth time in her career.
"Obviously, there were appreciably more significant circumstances which puts athletics and the resulting emotions from the meet in perspective. With that being said, it was certainly tough to be practicing at the facility in North Carolina within 24 hours of the races and then being told the meet was off and we had to turn around and go home," stated Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Jesse Baumann. "Amanda and Carly both had historic seasons with respect to our program and the opportunity to earn All-American honors, or even be in contention for a National Championship are so rare. Myriad variables with an athlete's health, peaking, the competitive field, and even some luck all need to align. There's a lightning-in-the-bottle element to earning All-American honors, and it felt that we were on the cusp of this when suddenly we lost the opportunity to compete for these honors.
"There was a lot of discussion about whether the athletes should be recognized as All-Americans at all, or if so, what made the most sense," continued Baumann. "There's no perfect solution, in fact I was in favor of a slightly different one. However, I'm happy the USTFCCCA chose to honor the athletes. Understandably, there was a lot of disappointment from the athletes and no definitive way to prove who would have earned All-Americans that weekend, so there may be some disagreement if or how athletes should have been recognized but considering all the circumstances this was likely the best solution. On top of that, we have three new school records that were set by Carly and Amanda this winter, and two of the best seasons that athletes have ever had while representing Moravian's Track and Field program."
In addition to the top 20 declared and accepted entries in all individual events, the USTFCCCA is also awarding All-America honors to the top 12 declared and accepted entries in all relay events that were to compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on March 13-14. A total of 675 student-athletes from 161 NCAA Division III Institutions were honored as All-Americans.
Normal policies dictate that All-America honors are awarded to student-athletes who score any portion of a team point (top-eight in the final of an individual event or as a member of a top-eight placing relay event) at the NCAA Championships. The Division III Track & Field Executive Committee, with support of the USTFCCCA Board of Directors, directed the national office to reconfigure the USTFCCCA All-America program for the 2020 indoor track & field season.