2008 Conference Track & Field Honors
June 23, 2008
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Lionel Larry of USC was named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while Trojan teammate Corey White collected Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. Alysia Johnson of CALIFORNIA was tabbed Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Year, while ARIZONA STATE'S Jacquelyn Johnson was named Pac-10 Women's Field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
WASHINGTON STATE's Jeshua Anderson was tabbed the Pac-10 Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, while Arizona State's Charonda Williams was named Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year.
Also announced were the Conference Coach of the Year honors. OREGON's Dan Steele garnered men's Coach of the Year honors, while Arizona State's Greg Kraft was named the women's Coach of the Year.
It's the first time Steele has been honored by his peers. He guided Oregon to the Pac-10 title, the school's fourth in six years, and ninth overall. The Ducks posted 144.5 points to narrowly edge Arizona State (135).
Kraft posted his third consecutive women's coaching honor after leading Arizona State to a successful defense of its Conference championship, then led the Sun Devils to the NCAA West Region championships and a second-place showing at the NCAA championships. The Sun Devils scored 186.5 points to outdistance Stanford (117) at the Pac-10 Championships. It was the largest margin of victory and the second-highest point total in Pac-10 Championships history.
Larry, a senior from Compton, Calif., successfully defended his title in the 400 meters (44.77) at the Pac-10 Championships, then went on to finish second at that distance (44.63) at the NCAA Championships. His 400-meter time is the eighth fastest in Pac-10 history. It marks the tenth time a Trojan has been named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Year.
White, a junior from San Jose, Calif., won the Pac-10 title in the javelin (73.66m/241-08), captured the NCAA West Region title, then placed second at the NCAA Championships (77.79m/255-02). He set a USC record, and the second-best mark all-time in the Pac-10, with a toss of 81.65m/267-10 at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this season. White transferred from University of Redlands where he was a two-time NCAA Division III javelin champion.
Alysia Johnson, a senior from Canyon Country, Calif., had the best collegiate 800-meter time in the nation at 2:00.57, set at the Pac-10 Championships. The time eclipsed her previous Conference meet record of 2:01.74, which was achieved at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships. At the 2008 NCAA West Regional, Johnson successfully defended her 800-meter title with a meet-record time of 2:00.77, surpassing her previous West Regional meet-record time of 2:02.12 from 2007. Johnson was unable to defend her NCAA title as she slightly re-injured her foot during the NCAA Championships. Her school record time of 1:59.29 remains the second fastest time in Pac-10 history.
Jacquelyn Johnson, a senior from Yuma, Ariz., became the first four-time NCAA heptathlon champion, and just the fourth woman in NCAA history to win the same event four times in a career. She added a third Pac-10 heptathlon title with a Pac-10 record 6,307 points and collected a meet-high 33.5 points at the Pac-10 Championships to garner Athlete of the Meet honors. The USTFCCCA has recognized her as the West Region Female Field Athlete of the Year. In addition, Johnson has been announced as one of five finalist for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is presented annually to the Collegiate Woman of the Year.
Anderson, a freshman from Woodland Hills, Calif., became just the second Cougar to capture the 400-meter hurdles title at the Pac-10 Championships (49.55). He then posted a school-record 48.69, the seventh-best time in Pac-10 history, to win the NCAA 400-meter hurdle title. It's the fifth-best time by an American this season and met the U.S. Olympic Trials 'A' standard.
Williams, a junior from Richmond, Calif., doubled at the Pac-10 Championships with victories in the 100 meters (11.45) and 200 meters (23.09). She became the ninth woman in Pac-10 history to capture both events in the same meet. She also is the first Sun Devil to accomplish the feat. Williams is a transfer from Laney College, Oakland, Calif.
The honors were decided by a vote of the Conference's track and field coaches.
A complete list of previous Pac-10 Track and Field Award Winners can be found in the full release.