METAIRIE, La. – Oral Roberts University head track and field coach Joe Dial has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association\'s (USTFCCA) Midwest Region Men\'s Coach of the Year for the outdoor season, the organization has announced. The Golden Eagles are also ranked 16th in this week\'s USTFCCCA Division I poll.
Dial wins regional coach of the year honors after leading ORU to a second-place finish at the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference Championships and a consistent spot in the USTFCCCA Top 20. The Golden Eagles enter the national meet with the NCAA\'s two fastest qualifiers in the 800-meter run with Shaun Smith and Prince Mumba.
The 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships will take place June 7-10 at the A.G. Spanos Sports Complex on the campus of Sacramento State University.
Not only is Dial sending a pair of national contenders to Sacramento, but he also put together the world\'s fastest 4x800-meter relay team during the outdoor season. Adrian Foster and James Wanjiku teamed Smith and Mumba to create a foursome that dominated the nation\'s premier outdoor events, winning top honors at both the Texas and Penn Relays. The squad established the world\'s fastest 4x800 time of 2006 in Austin, crossing the finish line in 7:17.02, more than a second and a half ahead of their nearest competitor.
ORU\'s Andretti Bain is also headed for next weekend\'s national meet, qualifying by virtue of his fourth place finish in the 400-meter dash at the Midwest Regional meet.
A schedule of events for the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championship, along with the latest DI Top 25 poll, can be found at www.ustfccca.com.