Eight Receive USTFCCCA Region Honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) announced its men's and women's Athletes and Coaches of the Year on Monday, and seven from the Pac-12 received West Region nods and one received Mountain Region honors. The awards are voted on by the nation's coaches.
STANFORD's Chris Derrick (Naperville, Ill.) was named the USTFCCCA West Region Track Athlete of the Year after winning the 5000 meters and was runner up in the 1500 meters at the Pac-12 Championships in Eugene, Ore. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters and, earlier in the season, set the American collegiate record in the event with a time of 27:31.38. Derrick was named to the Bowerman Watch List. The award is presented to the nation's top men's and women's track and field athlete.
ARIZONA's Nick Ross (Murietta, Calif.) was selected the USTFCCCA West Region Field Athlete of the Year after he won the Pac-12 high jump title for a second-straight year, and placed second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. His personal-best of 7-6 (2.26m) in the high jump currently ranks second in the nation. Ross will be competing at NCAAs in the high jump and triple jump.
STANFORD's Jason Dunn was named the USTFCCCA West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year. The Cardinal's distance coach, Dunn has mentored Chris Derrick this season, as Derrick has gone to earn on a spot on the Bowerman Watch List and set the American collegiate record in the 10,000 meters. Stanford has also qualified three for the NCAA finals in the 10,000 meters, along with one in the 5,000 and one in the steeplechase.
COLORADO's Shalaya Kipp (Salt Lake City, Utah) was named the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year. She ran the top time in the steeplechase and the second-fastest in the U.S. when she ran 9:43.09 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. A junior, she won the Pac-12 title in the event and placed third in the 5000 meters. She followed up with a win in the steeplechase in her heat at the NCAA West Regional preliminaries with a time of 9:58.38.
OREGON's English Gardner (Voorhees, N.J.) was voted the USTFCCCA West Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year. Ranked second nationally in the 100 meters, she ran a wind-aided 11.00 at the Pac-12 Championships to win the event for the second-straight year. She is also ranked third in the 200 meters (22.82), also winning the Conference crown at that distance, as well as helping the Ducks claim the 4x100-meter relay. Gardner will compete in the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay in Des Moines.
OREGON's Brianne Theisen (Humboldt, Saskatchewan) in the nation's leader in the heptathlon. She scored the third-best score in collegiate history in the heptathlon at the Pac-12 Championships, scoring 6,353 points to win the league title for the third time and crushing the previous Pac-12 record. Theisen also cleared 6-0 (1.83m) in the high jump to rank in the top 10 in the nation in the event. She is also on the Bowerman Watch List.
OREGON's Robert Johnson, in his seventh year with the program, was named the USTFCCCA West Region Coach of the Year after leading the Ducks to a Pac-12 title by a large margin. The women's team won the league crown by a margin of 76 points, posting 200.50 points, the second-highest point total by any team in Pac-12 Championship history. The Ducks are the only team to score at least 200 points, doing so twice in the last three years. The team has 19 entries at the NCAA Championships this week, the most of any women's teams in the country. UO is ranked third in the nation.
USC's Dan Lange was named the USTFCCCA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. The throws coach, he qualified five for the NCAA Championships, including three hammer throwers. At the Pac-12 Championships, the women's hammer throwers scored 22 points, placing first, second and fifth. Marissa Minderler threw the fifth-best mark all-time by a Pac-12 athlete, achieving a personal-best mark of 220-11 (67.35m) and successfully defending her title in the event.
Pac-12 men's and women's track and field athletes are headed to Des Moines, Iowa, this week for the NCAA Championships finals which will be held June 6-9 on the campus of Drake University. Live coverage will be carried on NCAA.com and ESPN3.com starting on Wednesday. ESPNU will air live coverage on Saturday, June 9 at 9 a.m. PT.
For more information, visit the USTFCCCA website at www.ustfccca.org.