Pincock, Light, & Perera win USTFCCCA Regional Awards.
COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s track & field team took home three of the four South Central regional awards handed out by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday afternoon.
For the second time, George Pincock, who just wrapped up his sixth season in Commerce, is named the USTFCCCA South Central Region Outdoor Men’s Coach of the Year. He also received the honor in 2017. In addition, they named Rock Light the South Central Region Outdoor Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year. He worked with Lion’s vertical jumpers, including national champion Ushan Perera (Mahabage, Sri Lanka), selected as the South Central Region Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.
This season, Pincock guided the Lions to a runner-up finish at the Lone Star Conference Championships and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships, the Lions’ best finish at the national meet in 37 years. In addition, the Lions won three national championships on the men’s side, which were the most for any program at nationals this year and most for A&M-Commerce since 1985.
Pincock also served as the sprints coach and mentored J.T. Smith (Klein Oak) to the 100-meter dash national championship. In addition, the Lions won the 4×100 meter relay at the LSC Championships and finished fourth at nationals, entering the final meet with the top seed time.
They highlighted Light’s efforts with the Lions’ high jump, pole vault, and combined events unit. The Lions secured 17 points in the high jump at nationals, with Perera winning the national championship while Justin Lewis (Lynn, Mass.) and Dakari Hill (Orlando, Fla.) tied for fifth. The 17 points were the second most for any team in one event at the national meet.
Perera is the South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year for the second straight year and third straight Lion to win the award. He became the first student-athlete in school history with four national championships by winning the high jump crown this year. He is a lone athlete in Division II to clear 7 feet 3.25 inches (2.22m) and did so twice this year. His season-best mark of 7 feet 5.25 inches (2.27m) at the Texas Relays is top 10 in the world this year and top 10 in Division II history.
This fall, the Lions look forward to competing in NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference.
2022 USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field South Central Regional Awards
Track Athlete: Benjamin Azamati, West Texas A&M
Field Athlete: Ushan Perera, A&M-Commerce
Coach of the Year: George Pincock, A&M-Commerce
Assistant Coach of the Year: Rock Light, A&M-Commerce
Track Athlete: Brianna Robles, Adams State
Field Athlete: Zada Swoopes, West Texas A&M
Coach of the Year: Matt Stewart, West Texas A&M
Assistant Coach of the Year: Randy Denham, West Texas A&M