NEW ORLEANS, La. --- Tusculum freshman sprinter Widchard Guervil has been named the Division II Southeast Region Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the USTFCCCA announced Tuesday.
Guervil was one of five Pioneers named to the USTFCCCA Division II Men's Southeast All-Region team, ahead of Tusculum's debut at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Joining Guervil on the All-Region team were junior triple jumper Yannick Rosalie, along with three other freshman members of the Pioneers' 4x100-meter relay team in Jacob Acklin, Kedar Ashford and Xavier Billups.
Each of the eight regions honored both genders' top track athletes and field athletes, and the top men's and women's head coaches and assistant coaches. Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches, and only individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards. The top-5 individuals in each event from each region earned All-Region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the regions' top-3 relay teams.
Guervil recorded the best times of the season in the Southeast Region in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, earning a berth in the NCAA championship in each event. The Fort Myers, Florida native is seeded sixth in the 100 meters with a time of 10.30 seconds, which he set in trials at the South Atlantic Conference Championship meet at the Irwin Belk Complex on April 19. Guervil is seeded 13th in the 200 meters, having run 20.97 seconds at the Tennessee Challenge on May 5.
Guervil, the Tusculum Male Athlete of the Year, finished fourth and earning All-America honors in the 60 meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in March. Each of the top six finishers in the 60 meters at the Division II Indoor Championships are in the field for the 100 meters, including indoor champion Mobolade Ajomale of Academy of Art who is in the third and final heat along with Guervil and top seed NaRon Rollins of Pittsburg State.
Rosalie was a late addition to the men's triple jump as the 23rd and final qualifier, and owns a season-best mark of 15.15 meters (49 feet, 8 1/2 inches) which he set at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier on May 2. The Paris, France product finished third in the triple jump in both the SAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, jumping 13.80 meters (45 feet, 3 1/2 inches) indoors and 13.69 meters (44 feet, 11 inches) outdoors.
The Pioneer 4x100-meter relay was the final team added to the field of 13 schools, having qualified with a time of 40.67 seconds that was set at the Tennessee Challenge. Tusculum's time of 40.67 seconds established a new SAC all-time record and was the fastest in the Southeast Region this season. The Pioneer team of Acklin (Maumelle, Arkansas), Ashford (Bronx, N.Y.), Billups (Palestine, Texas) and Guervil is the first SAC relay to qualify for outdoor nationals since the conference began sponsoring the sport in 2014.
Guervil will run the 100-meter trials on Thursday, May 24 at 6:10 p.m., with the finals to be held on Saturday, May 26 at 4:45 p.m. The trials in the 200 meters will be Friday, May 25 at 5:35 p.m., followed by finals on Saturday, May 26 at 5:50 p.m. Preliminaries in the men's 4x100 relay will be at 4:50 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 with finals on Saturday, May 26 at 3:25 p.m. Rosalie will compete in the triple jump on Saturday at 12:45 p.m.