Pac-12 track and field honors announced

Pac-12 Conference

Lalang and Prandini Earn Track & Field Honors
Ross and Prandini Earn Women’s Track & Field Honors
Allen & Allman Named Newcomers of the Year
Oregon’s Johnson sweeps men’s and women’s coaching honors

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - ARIZONA’s Lawi Lalang was named Pac-12 Conference Men’s Track Athlete of the Year, while teammate Nick Ross earned Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete of the Year honors. OREGON’s Jenna Prandini claimed both the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Track of the Year and Women’s Field of the Year nods. Pac-12 Newcomer/Freshman of the Year honors went to the Ducks’ Devon Allen on the men’s side, and STANFORD’s Valarie Allman on the women’s side. Oregon’s Robert Johnson swept the Pac-12 Men’s Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year awards for the second-consecutive year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

ARIZONA’s Lawi Lalang (Eldoret, Kenya) caps his career as a Wildcat as the Pac-12 Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. He became only the sixth athlete in Conference history to win at least six-career league titles after claiming crowns in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters this season. This year, he has been involved in three of the most exciting meets in collegiate track history, including the 1,500-meter race at the Pac-12 Championships where he won the individual title in meet-record time (3:36.34) and by just .16 seconds, a race that included two of the fastest times ever in collegiate history. He also won the 5,000-meter race at the NCAA Championships, coming from behind on the straight away to edge out Oregon’s Edward Cheserek by just .35 seconds. The duo both posted meet-record times, with Lalang recording the winning time at 13:18. Lalang was also second at the NCAA Championships in the 1,500-meter finals and was this time edged out by just .04 seconds. Lalang’s name is peppered all over the Pac-12 record books, recording top-10 times in the 1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters where he owns the top time in league history.

Arizona senior teammate Nick Ross (Murrieta, Calif.) is tabbed the Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career after earning the honor in 2012. He is the only Wildcat to win the award since the award was first introduced in 2005. Ross won his third-career Pac-12 high jump title with a meet-record tying 7-5.75/2.28m. He also stood atop the podium in 2011 and 2012. Ross recorded the nation’s best mark in the event in a double dual in early May, achieving a height of 7-6.5/2.30m, which would have ranked in the top-10 all-time in Conference history. His personal best was a 7-7/2.31m during the indoor season which tied for third all-time in league history. He also recorded a third-place finish in the triple jump at the Pac-12 Championships. Ross went on to tie for third at the NCAA Championships. He was named Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Week twice this season. Ross was also the Pac-12 Men’s Newcomer of the Year 2010.

OREGON’s Devon Allen (Phoenix, Ariz.) set a Pac-12 record in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships, clocking a personal-best 13.16 seconds to become the first-ever Duck to claim the individual title in the event and the first Pac-12 hurdler since 2003. A freshman, Allen nearly captured a pair of individual Conference titles at the league meet, placing second in the 100-hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. He was edged by just .12 seconds at the shorter distance and was even closer in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line just .05 seconds behind the winner. Allen’s national-championship winning time was also the best time in the country this season.

OREGON’s Jenna Prandini (Clovis, Calif.) swept the women’s track and field awards after winning three individual Pac-12 titles and a NCAA title. The sophomore earned the Pac-12 Championships Women’s Athlete of the Meet after accounting for 32 of her team’s 176 total points. She captured league titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump, breaking the meet’s record in the 200-meter race, becoming only the fourth woman athlete in Conference history to win at least three titles in one meet. She went on to capture the individual national championship in the long jump, becoming the first Duck to win the event crown. Prandini ranked in the top three in the country in the 100 and 200 meters this season, and posted a top-10 mark in the long jump at the Conference Championships. She was the Pac-12 Women’s Track & Field Newcomer of the Year last year.

STANFORD’s Valarie Allman (Longmont, Colo.) placed second at the Pac-12 Championships in the discus then went on to qualify for the NCAA Championships after placing second at the NCAA West Regional. In her first-career appearance at the national meet as a freshman, she came in at 21st overall. Allman recorded the best mark in the discus in the Pac-12 this season (187-7/57.17m), ranking in the top 10 in the country in the event. She is the first Cardinal to earn the newcomer award since 2005.

OREGON’s Robert Johnson is the Pac-12 Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive year, with both honors going to a UO head coach for the third-straight year. Johnson led the Ducks to a sweep of the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships title, then led the men’s squad to claim the program’s first NCAA title since 1984. It was also the Conference’s first national men’s track and field title since 2000. Johnson had three men’s athletes claim national championships en route to winning the team crown, and two women’s athletes nabbed individual honors that helped the Duck women place third at the national meet. At the Conference meet, nine different athletes won individual titles which helped UO build insurmountable leads on both the men’s and women’s side. An Oregon coach has been named the women’s coach of the year for the fifth time in six years, and nine times out of the last 13 years on the men’s side.

The honors were decided by a vote of the conference’s track and field coaches.

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