NEW ORLEANS – Carson-Newman freshman jumper Tanner Stepp (Jefferson City, Tenn.) added another accolade to his already packed trophy case after being named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Region Indoor Field Athlete of the Year Monday afternoon.
Last week, Stepp garnered All-Region honors in the high jump, the event he will be competing in at this week's Division II NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham.
"I think it does. I think that having this award shows that I am capable of doing this level of competition so I think that it helps," Stepp said of the honor.
The performance in the freshman's first season on Mossy Creek was impressive. Stepp ranked sixth nationally and first in the Southeast Region in the high jump with a jump tapping out at 2.13 meters. He's won three events this season, including the Appalachian Indoor and Sewanee Indoor. Stepp has also recorded two more runner-up finishes.
He is one of three freshmen to receive the honor for events that occur in the field.
Stepp joins Larry Cooke and Bo Whitley to receive the Region Athlete of the Year award. Cooke's and Whitley's awards came during the NAIA era for Carson-Newman.
"It's just good to come and work so hard and have the preseason training work out," Stepp said.
Stepp will compete this weekend at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala. on Friday. Cneagles.com will updates and other information regarding Stepp's trip to the Yellowhammer State.