SUNY Oneonta indoor track and field athlete Norberto Cervantes earned Division III All-America status Tuesday, May 19, from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Cervantes, a junior, won the SUNYAC conference championship in the weight throw and finished third at the regional meet to earn his first qualification for the national championship meet. The NCAA Championships were not contested, however, as the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We were very excited to see Norberto qualify for his first NCAA appearance this year and happy to see that his efforts were honored,” O-State head coach Chris Wilber said in a media release. “He has worked extremely hard with our throws coach Mitch Couch, who now has his first All-American thrower, to reach this point and I hope it only motivates him to accomplish more in his final season next year.”
All-America status is typically reserved for athletes in individual or relay events that finish in the top eight of their event. But in light of the national event’s cancellation, any athlete accepted into an individual event or any athlete contributing to the performance that earned a relay team a place at the event were recognized. All together, 675 athletes from 161 institutions were honored.
“It is one of the most mentally draining things for an athlete when they start a season off strong and then fall into a plateau during the middle of the season. Fortunately, Norberto never lost sight of his goals and was able to work through these challenges throughout the year,” Couch said. “I’m extremely proud of him and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented young athlete.”
At the SUNYAC indoor championships, Cervantes defended his conference title in the weight throw by posting a personal-best distance of 18.18 meters (59’-7.75”). His performance at the championships earned him All-SUNYAC First Team honors.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse led all institutions with 36 athletes honored. UW-Oshkosh and Washington (Mo.) led all men’s teams with 19 honorees, while Williams led the women’s teams with 20.