Williams, Stevens Named Pac-10 Track & Field Athletes of the Year
June 29, 2009
TEMPE – The Pac-10 Conference announced its annual awards for track and field last week with two members of the Arizona State University program being honored for their success on the track and in the field during the 2009 indoor and outdoor seasons. Sarah Stevens was named the Pac-10 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career while Charonda Williams earned the Pac-10 Women’s Track Athlete of the Year accolade, making her the first Sun Devil woman to garner the award since it was first handed out in 1987.
Stevens’ honor is her second after earning the accolade in 2007 and keeps the award in Tempe for the third year in a row after Jacquelyn Johnson was selected for the award last year. While Williams’ honor is the first on the track for a Sun Devil, it also places her in elite company as she is one of just five women (and the second Sun Devil) to first be named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year before earning an athlete of the year honor. The other dual recipients include ASU’s Johnson (2004 newcomer and 2008 field), USC’s Virginia Powell (2003 newcomer and 2006 track) and UCLA athletes Monique Henderson (2002 newcomer and 2005 track) and Sheena Johnson (2001 newcomer and 2004 track).
One of the most decorated athletes in the program’s history, Stevens capped her career with 15 All-America honors, the most in program history, by finishing second in the shot put and discus at the NCAA Championships while also taking third in the hammer to give her 98 career points scored at the national meets (indoor and outdoor included). The 2007 NCAA indoor shot put and 2008 NCAA outdoor discus champion, Stevens rolled through the 2009 season as she took second in the shot put indoors after winning the shot put and hammer at the MPSF Championships for the third year in a row.
During the outdoor season, Stevens ranked among the Top 5 nationally in all three throws and was the only woman to not only compete in all three at the national championships earlier in June, but automatically qualify for all three. At the Pac-10 Championships, she earned the Women’s Athlete of the Meet honor by scoring 28 points as she won the shot put and discus and took second in the hammer and then repeated those finishes at the NCAA West Region Championships two weeks later. Overall, Stevens was named the MPSF Indoor Female Athlete of the Year and also earned several academic honors, including ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
Williams was one of the top stories in the nation this season as she continued to break school records and rank highly on both the national and international Top 20 lists. Competing in competitive track for just four years, Williams dominated the Pac-10 for the second year in a row as she won the 100m and 200m dash titles, making her the first woman in conference history to sweep both short sprints in back-to-back years. Williams also anchored the 4x100m relay to Pac-10 gold as well.
Most recently, Williams, who entered the season with a personal-best time of 23.09, continually rewrote the record books as she first ran 22.82 at the Sun Angel Track Classic to break an 18 year old school record (22.91). At the NCAA Championships two weeks ago, she ran 22.17 in the semifinals to lower the mark once again. But, she was not done there as she ran 22.65 and 22.55 in the first round and semifinals, respectively, at the USA Championships over the weekend before running a windy 22.39 in the final. With her fourth-place finish at the USA meet, the 2009 NCAA runner-up earned a berth onto Team USA for the 12th IAAF World Championships that will be held in Berlin, Germany, later this summer.
2009 Pac-10 Conference Track & Field Honors
Track Athlete - Charonda Williams (Arizona State)
Field Athlete - Sarah Stevens (Arizona State)
Newcomer - Mel Lawrence (Washington)
Coach - Vin Lananna (Oregon)
Track Athlete - Galen Rupp (Oregon)
Field Athlete - Ashton Eaton (Oregon)
Newcomer - Matthew Centrowitz (Oregon)
Coach - Vin Lananna (Oregon)