Zilaitis named Central Region Athlete of Year
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Men's Track & Field - Wed, May 24, 2017

MOUNT VERNON – Cornell's record-setting thrower Charles Zilaitis (SR/Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.) has been billed Central Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year for the 2017 NCAA Division III outdoor track & field season.

Special award winners in each of the eight regions were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). This spring's outdoor honorees were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches.  

Zilaitis enters the final leg of a sensational collegiate career this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Geneva, Ohio. The senior qualified 13th in the shot put (9:30 a.m. Friday) and 11th in the hammer throw (12:30 p.m. Saturday), looking to add to the two all-America medals he scored at NCAA Indoors.  

Zilaitis claimed all-region outdoor status in the shot put (54-8.25) and hammer throw (189-2, school record). He also ranks 33rd nationally in the discus with a program-best toss of 159-8.

Zilaitis was named Midwest Conference Men's Field Performer of the Year at the MWC Outdoor Championships in which he scored 34 team points and collected all-MWC honors in four events. He won titles in the shot put and hammer, placed second in the discus and third in the javelin.

Zilaitis guided the Rams to a runner-up MWC finish with 141 points. It was the team's best conference outdoor showing since 1989.

Zilaitis is a two-time all-American, seven-time all-region pick, 15-time all-conference honoree and four-time MWC champion. He has captured 21 event titles in 2017, including 10 this outdoor campaign. Zilaitis was voted MWC Field Performer of the Week three times this spring.