CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — Lee runner Christian Noble might not have been able to compete in his first NCAA Division II Indoor Track National Championships last week. However, that hasn’t stopped him from being listed as one of the top three track athletes in Division II.
After an abrupt finish to the indoor season, Noble ranked number one in the 3-thousand meter and number 2 in the 5-thousand meter nationally. He also finished in the top 15 of all time for Division II in both events.
The Lee senior says adding the national award to his region and conference athlete of the year awards would help validate the short season.
“We didn’t really get to close that chapter of indoor, so I think getting that would kind of help, in that in this weird time of not finishing indoor, and not being able to run outdoor,” Noble said. “It would really just put the period on the page and solidify that I could have done something really cool at the national meet.”
The USTFCCCA votes for the award on Monday, March 30.
FULL LEE ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE:
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Lee University senior Christian Noble was named as a finalist for the NCAA Division II Track Athlete of the Year Award the USTFCCCA announced on Friday afternoon.
Noble was set to compete as the top runner in the 3000m and the No. 2 runner in the 5000m at the NCAA D2 Indoor National Championships last week in Birmingham, Ala. before the event was cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19.
Noble will look to add another prestigious award to an already crowded trophy case. The long-distance runner has already been named the South Region and Gulf South Conference Athlete of the Year.
“Christian had a historic year. He not only finished the year ranked #1 in the 3000m and #2 in the 5000m, he is ranked in the top 15 all time for Division II in both events,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “I am extremely proud of Christian, he works exceptionally hard, being a finalist for this award is well deserved.”
“I’m really honored to be recognized by the Committee as a finalist. My goal this season was to be competitive and show everyone that I am one the best in Division II,” said Noble. “Although my goal of winning my first NCAA title is being put on hold, I am still determined to train hard and put all my focus towards Cross Country this fall as well as making the Olympic Trials this summer.”
The senior doesn’t lack confidence, nor should he as he has shattered Lee, conference and even national records since coming on campus as a highly touted recruit from Greenfield, Ind. back in 2016.
The other D2 finalists include Trevor Bassitt of Ashland and Mason Phillips of Northwood (Mich.). The USTFCCCA will begin voting on Monday.