ASU's Jacquelyn Johnson Earns Honda Sports Award for Track & Field

June 12, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - Jacquelyn Johnson, a six-time NCAA champion for the Arizona State University track and field team, has been voted as the top female collegiate track and field athlete in the nation and the recipient of the Honda Sports Award for 2008. The honor, which is based upon the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Award program, now positions Johnson as one of 12 eligible for the 2008 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Johnson notes that one of her biggest role models has always been Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won the Honda Sports Award twice (1983, '85), as well as the Honda-Broderick Cup (1985). Says Johnson: 'I've always looked up to Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and to have an opportunity to follow in her footsteps is really exciting. I'm also thrilled to be honored with an award that recognizes achievement not just in athletics but in academics as well. I've always tried to be a well-rounded athlete and it feels really great to be recognized for that.'

A key reason the Sun Devil women have won the last three NCAA team championships (2007 and 2008 indoor and 2007 outdoor) and are in position to win their fourth this weekend, Johnson has won three indoor pentathlon and three outdoor heptathlon crowns at the NCAA meet. Her win indoors this season came with a collegiate record point total of 4,496 points while her score of 6,307 points at the Pac-10 Championships not only won her third heptathlon crown at the conference level, but also established the Pac-10 and ASU records while placing her third on the all-time list in NCAA history.

The Yuma, Ariz., native was named the 2008 Pac-10 Female Athlete of the Meet in Tempe as she not only won the heptathlon crown, but also placed second in the 100m hurdles, second in the long jump, third in the javelin and tied for seventh in the high jump to accumulated 33.5 of the team's 186.5 points en route to its third Pac-10 team title in a row. The 2008 USTFCCCA West Region Female Field Athlete of the Year, Johnson graduated from ASU with a degree in Kinesiology and is currently pursuing a place on the U.S. Olympic Team in the heptathlon, where her point total currently ranks first among Americans and eighth in the world.

Johnson is the first Sun Devil to win the Honda Sports Award for track and field after being only the fourth finalist for the award. The three other finalists included current teammate Sarah Stevens in 2007, Maicel Malone in 1991 and Gea Johnson in 1990. In the 32 years the Award has been handed out, Johnson is the 10th member of a Pac-10 school to garner the honor, joining four winners from UCLA, two from both Arizona and USC and one from Oregon.

Johnson and the Sun Devils will send 20 athletes to Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, next week (June 11-14) for the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Voting for the Collegiate Woman of the Year Award will be held over the next two weeks with the winner of the award, and the Honda-Broderick Cup, being announced on June 23 inside the Low Library on the Columbia University campus in New York.

2008 Honda Sports Award Winners
Track & Field
- Jacquelyn Johnson (Arizona State)
Cross Country - Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech)
Field Hockey - Rachel Dawson (North Carolina)
Soccer - Ashlee Pistorius (Texas A&M)
Volleyball - Foluke Akinradewo (Stanford)
Swimming/Diving - Caroline Burckle (Florida)
Basketball - Candace Parker (Tennessee)
Gymnastics - Katie Heenan (Georgia)
Lacrosse - Hanna Nielsen (Northwestern)
Golf - Amanda Blumenherst (Duke)
Tennis - Amanda McDowell (Georgia Tech)
Softball - Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech)