Pac-10 Track and Field Honors Announced

June 23, 2005


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Robert Cheseret of ARIZONA was named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while Jesse Williams collected Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. Monique Henderson of UCLA was tabbed Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Year, while teammate Jessica Cosby was named Pac-10 Women's Field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

OREGON's Galen Rupp was honored as the Pac-10 Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, while STANFORD's Erica McLain was named the Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year.

Also announced were the Conference Coach of the Year honors. Oregon's entire coaching staff garnered men's Coach of the Year honors, while Stanford's Edrick Floreal was named the women's Coach of the Year.

It was the first men's coaching honor for the Oregon coaching staff. After Martin Smith stepped down as Oregon's head coach on March 17, associate athletics director Gary Gray assumed the duties as interim coach. While Gray oversaw the direction of the Oregon track and field program, it was the daily work and effort of the entire Oregon coaching staff that led the Ducks to their second Pac-10 title in three years.

Floreal posted his first women's coaching honor after leading Stanford to its first Conference championship. The Cardinal scored 173 points to knock off UCLA, ending the Bruin's eight-year reign as Pac-10 champions. Under Floreal's guidance, Stanford went on to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Cheseret, a junior from Kapsabet, Kenya, becomes the fourth Pac-10 athlete to earn Track Athlete of the Year honors twice, and the first in back-to-back seasons since Oregon's Dean Crouser in 1982-83. Cheseret successfully defended his Pac-10 titles at 5000 meters (13:33.00) and 10,000 meters (29:16.48). He went on to victory at 10,000 meters (28:20.11) and a sixth-place finish at 5000 meters (13:41.88) at the NCAA Championships.

Henderson, a senior from San Diego, Calif., successfully defended her Pac-10 titles in both the 200 meters (23.06) and 400 meters (51.31) at the Pac-10 Championships. She's the second Pac-10 competitor to double in those events in back-to-back years, joining Arizona State's Maicel Malone (1990 and 1991). Henderson, a member of the gold-medal winning 4x400 meter relay team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, established a Pac-10 record with a winning time of 50.10 in the 400 meters at the NCAA Championships.

Williams, a junior from Raleigh, N.C., captured both the Pac-10 and NCAA titles in the high jump. His winning clearance of 2.28m/7-05.75 at the Pac-10 Championships tied the meet record, while his clearance of 2.29m/7-06 at the NCAA Championships established a USC record and ranks tied for fifth all-time on the Pac-10 list.

Cosby, a senior from Mission Hills, Calif., was a dual winner at the Pac-10 Championships with individual titles in the hammer throw (66.10m/216-10) and shot put (17.11m/56-01.75). Her mark in the hammer throw established a new Pac-10 Championships record. Cosby also picked up a pair of third-place finishes at the NCAA Championships in those events, with marks of 63.87m/209-06 in the hammer and 16.80m/55-01.50 in the shot.

Rupp, a freshman from Portland, Ore., picked up 13 points to help lead Oregon to the Pac-10 title. At the Pac-10 Championships, he posted a second-place finish at 10,000 meters (29:28.09), then followed up the next day with a fourth-place finish at 5000 meters (13:57.45). At the NCAA Championships, Rupp again took second at 10,000 meters (28:23.75).

McLain, a freshman from Plano, Texas, won both the long jump (6.46m/21-02.50) and triple jump (13.78m/45-02.50) titles at the Pac-10 Championships. At the NCAA Championships, McLain finished third in the triple jump (13.62m/44-08.25). Her mark of 45-02.50 in the triple jump established a Stanford record, a Pac-10 Championships record, and it was the fifth-best mark in Pac-10 history.

The honors were decided by a vote of the Conference's track and field coaches.

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