USTFCCCA recognizes eight from the Pac-12
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Eight men's and women's Pac-12 individuals, seven from the West Region and one from the Mountain Region, received USTFCCCA Region Honors, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches of America announced today. The awards are voted on by the nation's coaches. The five Pac-12 athletes that were recognized are also finalists for the prestigious Bowerman Award, presented to the nation's top collegiate track & field athlete.
USC's Bryshon Nellum (Los Angeles, Calif.) was named the USTFCCCA West Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year. Bouncing back from an off-field shooting that nearly jeopardized his athletic career, Nellum was named the Pac-12 Championships Male Athlete of the Meet after winning the 200-meter and 400-meter title at the Pac-12 Championships, while also helping the Trojans' 4x400-meter relay team place sixth. He will be competing in the 200-meter and 400-meter races at the NCAA championships this week in Eugene, Ore. Last summer, Nellum helped the U.S.A. 4x400-meter relay squad win silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
COLORADO's Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colo.) has been dominant in the 3000-meter steeplechase and was selected the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year. She won the individual title in the event at the Pac-12 Championships and is the favorite to win the event at the NCAA championships this week. Coburn is a U.S. Olympian in the event, having competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London last summer.
STANFORD's Kori Carter (Claremont, Calif.) was voted the West Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year. She swept the hurdle events at the Pac-12 Championships, winning the 100-meter hurdles for the second consecutive year by .02 seconds or less. She also will be competing in both events at the NCAA championships this week.
UCLA's Julian Wruck (Brisbane, Australia) is the favorite to win the discus title at the NCAA championships this week. He won the Pac-12 title in the event and threw an NCAA record 68.16/223-7 (pending NCAA certification) over the weekend at the Claremont Hammer and Discus Elite Invitational, which is nearly 16 feet further than the next-closest collegiate mark this season. The mark also breaks the Pac-12 best mark by six feet, which he set earlier this season.
ARIZONA's Brigetta Barrett (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) takes home the West Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year honor. She claimed her third-consecutive Pac-12 title in the high jump and is going for a third-straight NCAA title in the event. She has also won three indoor NCAA titles in the high jump. Barrett set the NCAA collegiate-meet record in the high jump at the Pac-12 Championships, achieving a 1.99m/6-06.25. She jumped a 2.03/6-7 to win silver at the London Olympics, the highest mark ever achieved by a collegian and also a Pac-12 record.
Coaching honors were also announced and three Pac-12 mentors received nods. OREGON's Robert Johnson was named the USTFCCCA West Region Men's Coach of the Year, ARIZONA's Fred Harvey was tabbed the West Region Women's Coach of the Year, and USC's John Henry Johnson was voted the West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.
In his first year as head coach, Robert Johnson led the Ducks to their seventh-straight Pac-12 title. The Ducks won just four individual events, but of the events won, the Ducks won the Pac-12 4×400 relay for the first time since 1934. Harvey, in his 11th year at the UA, led the Wildcats to a runner-up finish at this year's Pac-12 Championships. Arizona heads into the NCAA finals ranked No. 6 in the nation and never ranked lower than seventh in the national rankings. John Henry Johnson is in his 19th season as a sprints coach at USC. He had his athletes go 1-2-3 at 200 meters and 1-2 at 100 meters at the Pac-12 Championships. His athletes have posted some of the top times in the country and in Pac-12 history. Among the sprinters he has mentored is USTFCCCA West Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year Bryshon Nellum.
For more information on all the region honors and the USTFCCCA, visit www.ustfccca.org.
Pac-12 track & field athletes continue to prepare for the NCAA championships, which is being hosted by the University of Oregon at the historic Hayward Field June 5-8. For more information on the national championship, visit www.ncaa.com.