FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- North Dakota State senior thrower Payton Otterdahl and associate head track & field coach Justin St. Clair have earned national athlete and coach of the year honors, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday.
Otterdahl was named the men’s indoor National Field Athlete of the Year, while St. Clair was recognized as the men’s National Assistant Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.
Otterdahl won both the shot put and weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Mar. 8-9. He became only the second man in NCAA history to sweep the national titles in the indoor throwing events, joining Dan Taylor of Ohio State in 2004.
The Rosemount, Minn., native posted four of the top six marks in indoor collegiate history in the shot put, including the collegiate record of 21.81m (71-6¾). Otterdahl is the first athlete from a non-Power 5 program to be named National Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.
St. Clair’s throws crew was a dominant No. 1 in the national Event Squad Rankings in the shot put and weight throw this season. NDSU was the only school in the country this year with three men throwing over 62 feet in the shot put. The Bison were also the only team in the nation with three men beyond 65 feet in the weight throw.
He coached Otterdahl to two national titles, the collegiate shot put record (21.81m/71-6¾), and the No. 5 all-time rank in weight throw (24.11m/79-1¼). The Bison men tied for ninth in the team standings at the NCAA Indoor Championships with Otterdahl’s 20 team points.
The NDSU men’s throwers scored 57 of a possible 78 points in the throws at Summit League Championships, taking four of the top five in both events.
St. Clair is in his eighth year directing both the men’s and women’s throwers for NDSU. He is a five-time Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.