Pac-12 Announces Track And Field Awards
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - STANFORD's Chris Derrick was named Pac-12 Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while ARIZONA's Nick Ross earned Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. English Gardner of OREGON was tabbed Pac-12 Women's Track Athlete of the Year while teammate Brianne Theisen was named Pac-12 Women's Field Athlete of the Year. Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year honors went to OREGON's Jonathan Cabral on the men's side, and ARIZONA STATE's Shelby Houlihan on the women's side. Taking both coaching honors, OREGON's Vin Lananna was voted the Pac-12 Men's Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Women's Coach of the Year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
Ending a successful collegiate career in the distance races, STANFORD's Chris Derrick (Naperville, Ill.) becomes the first Cardinal to win the honor since Tony Sandoval in 1976. Named to the USTFCCCA Bowerman Watch List this year, Derrick set the American collegiate record in the 10,000 meter in late April, also earning an Olympic 'A' Standard. Derrick won a Pac-12 title in the 5,000-meter race this season and was the runner-up in the 1,500 meter. He went on to compete in the 10,000-meter distance at the NCAA Championships, placing third overall in the field. The Cardinal tied for fifth at the Pac-12 Championships and placed in the top 20 at the national meet.
ARIZONA's Nick Ross becomes the first Wildcat to earn the field athlete honor since the award was instated in 2005. The sophomore from Murrieta, Calif., was the Pac-12 Champion in the high jump, clearing a height of 7-2.5 (2.20m). Ranked third in the country in the event, clearing a height of 7-4.5 (2.25m) at the Mt. SAC Relays in April, he placed fourth in the high jump at the NCAA Championships and qualified for the finals in the triple jump. His performances at the national meet helped the Wildcats to a seventh-place team finish, while placing third at the Pac-12 Championships.
OREGON freshman Jonathan Cabral (Calabasas, Calif.) was the 110-meter hurdle champion at the Pac-12 Championships and ranked in the top-15 in the country in the event, advancing to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, in the event. His time of 13.45 in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA West Region Preliminaries to qualify for the NCAA Championships was the fastest by a Pac-12 athlete. Cabral also competed in the 400-meter hurdles this season, as well.
Last year's women's newcomer of the year, OREGON sophomore English Gardner (Voorhees, N.J.) won the 100-meter and 200-meter titles at the Pac-12 Championships this season, and was a member of the 4x100-meter team that finished first at the league championships, as well. She went on to win an individual national championship in the 100-meter, then helped the 4x400-meter team set an NCAA Championship meet and a Pac-12 Conference all-time record with a time of 3:24.54, coming from behind to win the national championship. Gardner was also a national champion in the 60-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
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OREGON's Brianne Theisen (Humboldt, Saskatchewan) ends her collegiate career as one of the most prolific heptathletes in NCAA history. Winning field athlete of the year honors for the second time in three years, Theisen returned to the track this season after sitting out last year because of injury. She won her third Pac-12 heptathlon title in four years, amassing a then-Conference record 6,353 points to win the title in 2012. She went on to win her third NCAA Championship title in the event, completing the second-best heptathlon in NCAA history with 6,440 points, also a Pac-12 all-time best. She became only the third woman in NCAA history to win three heptathlon national titles. Theisen also won the women's pentathlon title at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year, the third of her career.
ARIZONA STATE freshman Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) was fourth in the 800-meter race at the Pac-12 Championships, helping the Sun Devils to a fifth-place team finish. She posted one of the top-10 times in the country in the 800m this season, including the top time in the Pac-12 prior to the national meet, posting a 2:03.85 at the 33rd Annual Sun Angel Classic in early April.
OREGON's Vin Lananna earns both the men's and women's Coach of the Year honor for the third time in the last four years. His Ducks swept the first-ever Pac-12 track and field championships at Hayward Field, both teams winning in dominating fashion. The women's team's 200.5 points was just the second time in meet history a team had passed the 200-point mark. The women also went on to placed second overall at the NCAA Championships, while the men placed in a tie for ninth. After leading the women's team to an indoor national championship in March, the program was tabbed the USTFCCCA's Women's Program of the Year for the fourth-consecutive year.
The honors were decided by a vote of the conference's track and field coaches.