ASU's Jacquelyn Johnson Named Pac-10 Track & Field Newcomer of the Year
June 18, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - Jacquelyn Johnson, a freshman on the Arizona State track and field team, was named the 2004 Pac-10 Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, the conference announced Friday. Johnson was selected for the honor by a vote of the conference coaches following a rookie season in which she won the national title in the heptathlon one month after capturing the crown in the same event at the Pac-10 Championships.
Johnson (Fr., Yuma, Ariz.) competed in her first NCAA Outdoor Championships meet last week and accumulated 5,807 points to win the heptathlon title. The leader after the first day of competition, Johnson headed into the 800m run, the final event of the day, trailing defending Hyleas Fountain. Needing to run 2.4 seconds faster in the race than Fountain, Johnson defeated the senior by 3.5 seconds to claim the track program's first individual NCAA title since the 1996 season and the first for an ASU woman since the 1990 season. Her point total also was the second-best in Sun Devil history and ranks her sixth on the all-time conference ledger.
At the Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, Johnson not only won the heptathlon title, she also won the high jump and placed in the 100m hurdles. Her win in the multi-events also marked the first time in school history that a Sun Devil woman had won the heptathlon. During the indoor season, Johnson competed in the NCAA Championship meet where she finished second in the pentathlon to Fountain of Georgia.
Earning a post-season honor from the conference not only is a first for Johnson, but also for the women's program in regard to student-athletes. The conference has honored an athlete of the year since 1987 and a newcomer since the 2000 season with Johnson being the first ASU name on the list. She is the second Sun Devil to earn an honor, following Leonard Braxton, the 1994 co-coach of the year. Overall, Johnson is the third Sun Devil track and field student-athlete to earn a conference honor with LaMonte King (1981) and Marcus Brunson (2001) both earning athlete of the year honors. Len Miller also was named the men's coach of the year in 1981.
The conference coaches selected Oregon's Tommy Skipper as the men's newcomer of the year while selecting Arizona's Robert Cheseret (men) and UCLA's Sheena Johnson (women) as the athletes of the year. UCLA's Art Venegas (men) and Jeanette Bolden (women) were named coach of the year with Bolden earning the honor for the eighth year in a row.
Next up for Johnson is the United State Olympic Team Trials, to be conducted at Sacramento State, July 9-18.
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