Bruin Track Great Honored

Dec. 3, 2001

UCLA track and field great John Godina, the 2001 World Outdoor/Indoor shot put champion, is the recipient of the 2001 Jesse Owens Award, presented annually to the outstanding U. S. male and female track and field performers. Stacy Dragila, World Champion and World record-holder in the pole vault, is the U. S. female winner. Both awards were announced last week at the USA Track & Field annual meeting in Mobile, AL.

Godina in 2001 in the shot put won the World Indoor title (68-3 3/4), the World Outdoor (71-9) crown and the U. S. Outdoor championship. At season's end, Godina owned four of the top six shot put performances in the World in 2001. Godina is coached by Art Venegas, in his third season as the UCLA men's head track & field coach.

Godina's career shot put highlights include - three-time World Outdoor champion (2001, 1997, 1995), 2001 World Indoor gold medalist, 1996 Olympic silver medalist, 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World indoor silver medalist (1997, 1995). As a Bruin, Godina won two NCAA Indoor shot put titles (1995, 1994) and in NCAA Outdoor competition, he won the 1994 discus crown and in 1995, both the shot put and discus titles.

It is the second time that both Godina (2001, 1998) and Dragila (2001, 2000) have won the prestigious award. Established in 1981, The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track & Field's highest accolade, presented annually to the outstanding U. S. male and female track and field performers.

As a two-time winner, Godina is placed among a select, elite group of two-time winners that includes only Bruin great Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Marion Jones, Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson.

Along with Godina, other Bruin track & field greats who have won the award are - triple jumper Willie Banks (1985), heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1987, 1986), sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner (1988), 400m hurdler Kevin Young (1992) and sprinter and hurdler Gail Devers (1996, 1993).

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