Fast Track: Nash Repeats As Male Scholar-Athlete Of Year
In seven cross country races this season, Coleman Nash never finished out of the top 10. He was the 2022 GNAC cross country champion. Photo by Amanda Loman.
In seven cross country races this season, Coleman Nash never finished out of the top 10. He was the 2022 GNAC cross country champion. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – During the 2022 cross country season, Alaska Anchorage’s Coleman Nash was unstoppable. As it turns out, he is unstoppable in the classroom as well.

With a perfect 4.00 GPA, appearances in two Division II championships and another All-American trophy in what is already a storied career, the sophomore has been selected as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s 2022-23 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

This is the second straight year that Nash has been honored as the conference’s top male scholar-athlete. He joins Sam Charles of Montana State Billings (2009 and 2010) and David Downs of Seattle Pacific (2012 and 2013) and the GNAC only back-to-back winners of the award. Seattle’s Nicole Sauvageau (2002 and 2003) is the only repeat female winner.

“I am very honored to receive this award considering all of the incredible qualified student-athletes across the GNAC,” Nash said. “I am very grateful to be chosen for this honor.”

Between the cross country and indoor track and field seasons, Nash won three GNAC championships, was named All-West Region three times and brought home his fifth All-American trophy with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in December.

During the cross country season, Nash finished in the top 10 in all seven races he competed in. He opened the year with victories in both the UAF Blue/Gold Race and the Seawolf Throwdown. Nash placed second in September’s Bill Roe Classic, where he was the top Division II finisher, and placed fourth at October’s Division II Pre-Nationals behind three Colorado Mines runners.

In the championship season, Nash only got stronger. He proved dominant in the GNAC Championships on Nov. 5, winning the individual title by 17 seconds over Simon Fraser’s Charlie Dannatt in a time of 23:46.2 over 8,000 meters. While Dannatt was three seconds better than Nash at the Division II West Region Championships on Nov. 19, he placed second with a time of 30:10.34 in his first race of the season over 10,000 meters.

At the Division II Championships, Dec. 2 in University Place, Washington, Nash went out with the leaders and stayed there. He was never outside of the top 25, moving into the top 10 with 2,000 meters to go and went on to place sixth in a personal best time of 29:57.1. The performance bettered Nash’s 27th-place finish from the previous year and was the best individual finish for a GNAC men’s runner in the meet since 2015.

Nash’s honors during the cross country season included selection as the GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year and All-West Region honors from the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Nash took no time off between the Division II Cross Country Championships and the indoor track and field season, racing to a second-place finish in the 5,000 meters the next weekend at the UCCS Pre-Holiday Multi Meet. His indoor season was abbreviated, however, as Nash raced in just three meets prior to the GNAC Championships. His regular season included a seventh-place finish in the 3,000 meters at January’s UW Invite and a seventh-place finish in the 5,000 meters at February’s Husky Classic. In both races, Nash was the top non-Division I or open finisher.

Nash earned his first conference indoor titles with meet-record times at the GNAC Indoor Championships. In the 5,000 meters, Nash scored a six-second victory over Simon Fraser’s Sebastian Brinkman in 14:17.09. It was a closer affair in the 3,000 meters with Nash earning a three-second victory over Brinkman in a time of 8:18.32. The pair of record efforts earned Nash selection as the Male Track Athlete of the Meet.

By the time the Division II Indoor Championships rolled around, however, injury proved too much to overcome. Nash earned Second Team All-American honors in the 5,000 meters, placing 12th in a time of 14:19.39, but was unable to compete in the 3,000 meters. That injury would prevent Nash from competing outdoors, where he was the defending conference champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Nash earned USTFCCCA All-West Region honors in both indoor distances and had the region’s best time in the 5,000 meters.

Academically, Nash holds a 4.00 GPA as a double major in economics and real estate management. After attending the National Apartment Association Conference in Atlanta, Nash will spend the summer interning with Weigner Apartment Homes, which is one of the largest apartment associations in the United States. In addition to all of his athletics involvement, Nash is the president of the Real Estate Club at Alaska Anchorage.

Nash’s academic honors include selection to both the GNAC Cross Country and Track and Field All-Academic Teams, selection as a USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Academic Athlete and selection to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Track and Field/Cross Country Team.

The GNAC Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards are nominated by and voted upon by the conference’s athletic directors.

Other nominees for the 2022-23 GNAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award included Alaska sophomore Nolan Earnest (cross country), Central Washington senior Matt Poquette (basketball), Montana State Billings senior Bryan Maxwell (soccer), Northwest Nazarene senior Lorenzo Valentini (soccer), Saint Martin’s senior Kyle Greeley (basketball), Seattle Pacific senior Lars Helleren (soccer), Simon Fraser senior Jordan Bean (golf), Western Oregon senior Derek Maiben (baseball) and Western Washington junior Andrew Oslin (cross country/track and field).