2015 Pac-12 track and field year in review

Blaine Ohigashi

• Full PDF Release with Season Bests | 2015 Track & Field Media Guide

• Pac-12 Announces T&F All-Academic Teams

THIS YEAR IN PAC-12 TRACK AND FIELD

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 capped one of the most successful men’s and women’s outdoor track & field seasons in league history with the OREGON men and women sweeping the NCAA titles, the first-ever sweep for the Ducks and first sweep since Texas A&M did so in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The men successfully defended their title from last year posting a 29-point victory over the second-place team, the largest margin of victory in 21 years. The women won the NCAA title for the first time in 30 years, pulling out a nine-point win. It is the Conference’s seventh women’s outdoor title since the NCAA began sponsoring women’s sports in 1982 and the league’s 47th all-time men’s outdoor crown.

Six Pac-12 athletes won eight NCAA individual crowns. UO’s Edward Cheserek (5,000 meters and 10,000 meters) and USC’s Andre De Grasse (100 meters and 200 meters) were each double winners. UO’s Sam Crouser won the javelin and Trojan Conor McCullough was a winner in the hammer. Duck teammates Jenna Prandini and freshman Raevyn Rogers won the 100 meters and 800 meters, respectively.

Pac-12 honors went to De Grasse, who was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Track Athlete of the Year, and ARIZONA’s Pau Tonnesen was tabbed the Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. The Trojans’ Marquis Morris was named the Men’s Freshman of the Year. On the women’s side, ARIZONA STATE’s Shelby Houlihan was voted the Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year, while UO’s Jasmine Todd was the Field Athlete of the Year. COLORADO’s Erin Clark was tabbed the Freshman of the Year. USC’s Caryl Smith Gilbert, who is only in her second year with the Trojans, was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year after her women’s squad came in second by just three points behind the Pac-12 Champion Ducks, while her men’s squad also finished second.

NATIONAL HONORS... After leading his teams to a sweep of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field titles, head coach Robert Johnson took home both the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year honors. Under his watch, the men’s squad successfully defended its title, while the women won their first crown since 1985. He wins the men’s honor for the second-straight year and the women’s honor for the first time.

Oregon assistant coach Andy Powell was also voted the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, the first time he has earned the outdoor honor. Powell’s main focus is with the distance runners, who collected 47 points of the team’s total of 85.

OREGON SWEEPS NCAA TITLES… The Oregon men defended their NCAA crown, scoring 89 points and posting a twenty-nine point victory over Florida, the biggest margin of victory in 21 years. It is the Pac-12’s 47th all-time track and field crown and Oregon’s seventh overall. The men won with the help of three individual titles, two coming from Edward Cheserek (5,000m and 10,000m) and one from Sam Crouser (javelin).

The Duck women claimed a slim nine-point win over Kentucky, the team’s second title all-time and first since 1985. It is also the Pac-12’s seventh outdoor women’s crown all-time. Jenna Prandini scored 26 points alone, including claiming the 100-meter title, while teammate Raevyn Rogers, a freshman, won the 800 meters to help the team claim their first title in 30 years.

On the men’s side, USC scored 40.5 points to place fifth, Stanford was 16th with 12 points, Arizona tied for 19th (10), Arizona State and Colorado tied for 51st (4), and California scored two points to tie for 68th.

On the women’s side, USC’s 34 points were good for seventh place, Stanford had 18 points to tie for 13th, ASU scored 10 to tie for 20th, Colorado was tied for 35th (6), Washington was tied for 42nd (5) and Arizona (3) tied for 51st.

USTFCCCA PROGRAM OF THE YEAR… The Oregon men’s and women’s track & field teams were crowned the USTFCCCA men’s and women’s Program of the Year. The award award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships. Colorado also ranked ninth on the men’s side. On the women’s side, the Ducks edged out Arkansas by just one point to claim the award. Stanford finished third and Washington was 13th in the final standings.

PAC-12 NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS… Pac-12 men’s and women’s athletes won eight NCAA individual titles, in total. OREGON had two men athletes claim three individual titles to help the Ducks claim the national title. UO also had two women’s individual titles which were crucial in their nine-point win. Below is a list of the Pac-12’s individual champions in 2015.

MEN

100m - Andre De Grasse, USC (9.75w)
200m - Andre De Grasse, USC (19.58)
5000m - Edward Cheserek, ORE (13:48.67)
10000m - Edward Cheserek, ORE (25:58.92)
Javelin - Sam Crouser, ORE (79.19m/259-9)
Hammer - Conor McCullough, USC (76.91m/252-4)

WOMEN

100m - Jenna Prandini, ORE (10.96w)
800m - Raevyn Rogers, ORE (1:59.71)

De Grasse's 100 meter win was a wind-aided time of 9.75 (+2.7) which is the fastest all-conditions in Conference history. He is the first to sweep the 100m and 200m titles by a Conference sprinter since Ato Bolden (UCLA) in 1996 and 1995, respectively. McCullough’s hammer throw (76.91m/252-4) victory is the Conference’s first event win since 1997.

REGIONAL HONORS… The USTFCCCA announced its all region winners and the Pac-12 was well represented in the West with coaches and athletes taking home eight of the honors. OREGON was the most honored with five recipients.

USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year: Andre De Grasse, USC
USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year: Jasmine Todd, ORE
USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year: Bryan McBride, ASU
USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year: Jenna Prandini, ORE
USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Coach of the Year: Robert Johnson, ORE
USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Coach of the Year: Caryl Smith Gilbert, USC
USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year: Andy Powell, ORE
USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year: Curtis Taylor, ORE

BOWERMAN UPDATE... In the final update of the season, OREGON’s Jenna Prandini is one of 10 women on the latest Bowerman Watch List and UO’s  Edward Cheserek and USC’s Conor McCullough are on the men’s watch list. The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

TOP MARKS... Three different Pac-12 athletes have posted the nation’s top times or marks.

Jenna Prandini’s 10.92 which she recorded in April is the fastest women’s collegiate time in the country and the fastest in Pac-12 history. Raevyn Rogers’ 1:59.71 in the 800 meters is also tops in the event. She is the only female collegian this year to break two minutes in the event and is the fastest freshman in NCAA history at the distance. The time also ranks fifth all-time in Conference history.

STANFORD’s Jessica Tonn ran 15:18.85 in the 5000 meters this year, which is the second-fastest time in the event in Pac-12 history.

USC’s Conor McCullough threw a 252-4/76.91m in the hammer throw at the NCAA Championships to claim the title, tops in the nation and fourth-best in league history.

USC’s Andre De Grasse ran a wind-aided 9.75 in the 100 meters to claim the individual national title, which is the fastest time among collegians and fastest all-conditions time in the event in Conference history.

2016 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS... The University of Oregon hosts next year’s NCAA Championships, June 8-11, 2016 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The University of Kansas (West) and the University of North Florida (East) will host the regional competition, May 26-28, 2016.

2016 PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS... Washington will host the 2016 Pac-12 Championships, to be held May 7-8 and 14-15 at Husky Outdoor Track in Seattle.

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