2018 MPSF Indoor Track & Field Awards

Maggie Ewen, Arizona State (Photo courtesy ASU).
Maggie Ewen, Arizona State (Photo courtesy ASU).
Feb. 27, 2018

2018 MPSF Indoor Track & Field Awards-PDF

2018 MPSF Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Meet and Coach of the Year

MPSF Women's Athlete of the Meet


Arizona State senior Maggie Ewen (St. Francis, MN) won a third-straight MPSF weight throw title with a heave of 71 feet, three and one-quarter inches on the first day of the conference championship. She went on to deliver an MPSF and Dempsey Indoor Facility record shot put throw of 62 feet, three and one-quarter inches on the second day. No. 1 in the nation in the shot put and third in NCAA history, Ewen’s fourth career MPSF Championship heave took down the six-year-old conference record by over three feet (58’-7.5”), and the four-year-old facility standard by over one foot (60’-8.75”). It was the only Dempsey record and one of two MPSF records set in this year’s meet on the women’s side. Ewen is the second female Sun Devil in the last six years to be named MPSF Athlete of the Meet (Christabel Nettey, 2013) and the third in the last decade (Sarah Stevens, 2009).

MPSF Men's Athlete of the Meet


USC junior Rai Benjamin (Mount Vernon, NY) delivered the lone 2018 MPSF Men’s Championship record, also setting a new all-time Dempsey Indoor facility standard in a nationally 11th-ranked 400-meter time of 45.94. Benjamin became the first-ever athlete in the 26-year history of the MPSF Championship, and in the facility’s history, to finish the event in under 46 seconds. Benjamin’s time took down one of the oldest lasting MPSF records from 2002, and ranks second in USC’s record book. He is also a member of the nation’s top-ranked 4x400-meter relay team. This was the second-straight year the only men’s conference record was broken by a Trojan. Benjamin is the second USC male to be named MPSF Athlete of the Meet, and a repeat from last year (Randall Cunningham, 2017).

MPSF Men's and Women's Coach of the Year


USC head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert led both her teams to an MPSF Championship, just the second time in the 26-year history of the conference meet which a school swept the titles (first since 1995). The Trojans won a meet-high nine individual MPSF titles in this year’s championship, which included six of the eight sprint victories and all four on the women’s side. USC has a No. 1 national ranking in several events throughout the season, including both 4x400 meter relay teams and the men’s 400-meter, while also being in the NCAA’s top-three in several others (women’s 200 and 400-meter, and 60-hurdles). Smith Gilbert, who has six MPSF Coach of the Year awards to her name (women-2018, ’17, ’15, ‘14; men-2018, ‘16), was also a six-time Conference USA Coach of the Year at the University of Central Florida.