CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of MIT track and field student-athletes, along with two Tech coaches, were honored on Tuesday as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year. The MIT men’s team, which recently captured its 11th New England Division III Indoor Championship, received individual accolades for senior Stephen Morton, head coach Halston Taylor and assistant coach, Katherine Bright. Portia Jones was named the New England Women’s Track Athlete of the Year as well.
Morton, who currently owns the best mark in the country in the triple jump and second best performance in the long jump, was named the New England Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. A four-time All-America, Morton captured the individual titles in both jumps at the Regional Championship, in addition to a win in the 200 meters.
Just a sophomore, Jones has been a standout performer for the Engineers all season. At the New England Division III Championship, Jones earned a team-high 25 points while winning her first ever individual title to lead MIT to a second-place finish at the meet. Jones won the 55-meter hurdles, finished second in the 400m, fourth in the 200m and was part of the runner-up 4x200m relay squad. She currently owns the fastest time in all of Division III at 400 meters and fifth best in the hurdles. She will also be a part of Tech’s 4x400 and Distance Medley Relays at the NCAA Division III Championship this weekend.
Taylor, who received New England Coach of the Year honors for his guidance of the women’s program last year, was honored after helping the men win the regional crown for the 11th time in team history and first since 2003. Under Taylor’s guidance the Engineers have risen to No. 7 in the most recent USTFCCCA National Rankings heading into this weekend’s National Championship.
Bright was recognized for her work as MIT’s jumps coach, highlighted by Morton’s impressive performances this year. She is currently in her second season at MIT and in that time has seen Tech jumpers earn three All-America nods, as well four individual New England Championships, including a pair of titles in the Pentathlon by Hazel Briner that were bolstered by strong showings in the long and high jump.
The Engineers will travel to DePauw University for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championship this weekend. Both teams will look to improve upon their outstanding showings at last year’s National Championship, in which the men placed 32nd and the women finished in a tie for 16th.