Lawrie, Vollmer and Numerous Pac-10 Alumni Nominated for Espys

July 15, 2009

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Pac-10 Conference will be heavily represented at ESPN's ESPY Awards, taking place Wednesday, July 15 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Among the nominees are Washington's Danielle Lawrie and California's Dana Vollmer, who were each nominated after leading their respective teams to a national championship. Oregon State's upset of then-No. 1 USC in football is also nominated for Best Upset of the Year.

Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) and Lawrie (Langley, British Columbia) are competing against each other in the category of Best Collegiate Female Athlete. Both athletes helped their teams' claim the program's first national championship, Vollmer in swimming and Lawrie in softball, while Vollmer also claimed two individual titles at the swimming championships. Each were also named the Honda Award winner in their respective sport. The prestigious honor is given to a sports top female athlete.

In football, the Beavers jumped to a 21-0 lead at halftime in Corvallis, Ore., on Sept. 25, 2008, on national television. OSU freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns, as OSU went on to defeat the Trojans, 27-21.

Over 40 other Pac-10 alumni are nominated or are members of teams nominated for an ESPY in 13 events.

Hosted by celebrity actor Samuel L. Jackson, the ESPY Awards honor the best achievements, moments and leading athletes from the previous year. Fans determined the winners in all 37 categories, via online voting. All proceeds from the award show and related events benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

The ESPYs airs on a tape-delay basis on ESPN on Sunday, July 19. Below is the full list of Pac-10 nominees nominated in 14 categories.

Best Female Athlete:
Natalie Coughlin (California), Swimming

  • Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics
  • Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold


Best Championship Performance:
Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh (Stanford), Olympic Beach Volleyball

  • Went undefeated without losing a set in winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics
  • Won their 108th consecutive match with their gold medal victory


Best Upset
Oregon State stuns then #1 USC

  • Mike Riley's team won 27-21 in Corvallis, Ore.
  • The Beavers raced out to a 21-0 halftime lead to shock the Trojans
  • Oregon State freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the upset


US Soccer shocks Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals
USA Team: Jonathan Borenstein (UCLA), Carlos Bocanegra (UCLA), Marvell Wynne (UCLA), Benny Feilhaber (UCLA)

  • Lost the first two games of the 2009 Confederations Cup to Brazil and Italy by a combined margin of 6-1.
  • Beat Egypt and went through as the runner-up of Group B on a tie-breaker to face Group A winner, Spain who was undefeated in the tournament leading up to the match.
  • Defeated Spain, the top ranked team in the world, by a score of 2-0 to advance to the Final.


Best Game
Steelers vs. Cardinals in Super Bowl XLII

em>Steelers: Bruce Davis (UCLA), Ra'Shon Harris (Oregon), Travis Kirschke (UCLA), Keenan Lewis (Oregon State), Roy Lewis (Washington), Shaun McDonald (Arizona State), Troy Polamalu (USC), Jordan Reffett (Washington), Dennis Dixon (Oregon)
Cardinals: Dominque Byrd (USC), Wilrey Fontenot (Arizona), Dennis Keyes (UCLA), Matt Leinart (USC), Rodney Leisle (UCLA), Keith Lewis (Oregon), Deuce Lutui (USC), Chris Vincent (Oregon), Matt Ware (UCLA)

  • Santonio Holmes' catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers their record sixth Super Bowl title.
  • The Steelers' last minute drive clinched the 27-23 victory over the Cardinals.
  • Arizona scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before the Steelers' final drive clinched the Lombardi Trophy.


Best Moment
US swim team wins thrilling finish in Olympic relay
Nathan Adrian (California), Ben Wildman-Tobriner (Stanford)

  • Michael Phelps' quest for eight gold medals was in danger of disappearing in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay.
  • Veteran Jason Lezak hit the water a half-second after Alain Bernard of France, the world-record holder in the 100-meter freestyle at the time.
  • Lezak edged Bernard at the finish to give the Americans the gold.


Best Team
Los Angeles Lakers
Jordan Farmar (UCLA), Luke Walton (Arizona), Trevor Ariza (UCLA), Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Asst. Coach (UCLA)

  • Won 15th NBA championship by beating Orlando Magic, 4-1 in NBA Finals.
  • Posted the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) during the regular season.
  • Won the NBA title for the first time since 2002.

Philadelphia Phillies
Eric Bruntlett (Stanford), Chase Utley (UCLA)

  • Earned their first World Series title since 1980 and second in team history.
  • Their 28-year span between World Series titles is tied for the fourth-longest in MLB history.
  • Finished the postseason with a 7-0 record at home.
  • Won the NL with a record of 92-70.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers: Bruce Davis (UCLA), Ra'Shon Harris (Oregon), Travis Kirschke (UCLA), Keenan Lewis (Oregon State), Roy Lewis (Washington), Shaun McDonald (Arizona State), Troy Polamalu (USC), Jordan Reffett (Washington), Dennis Dixon (Oregon)

  • Won their record-breaking sixth Super Bowl.
  • Went 12-4 during regular season despite playing the toughest schedule in the NFL.


Best Female International Athlete
Lorena Ochoa (Arizona)

  • Remained the #1 ranked golfer in the world.
  • Added two more majors to her already storied career.
  • Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.


Best Baseball Player
Dustin Pedroia (Arizona State), Boston Red Sox

  • Earned the AL MVP Award.
  • Became the first AL 2nd baseman to win the award since Nellie Fox in 1959.
  • Became only the sixth player to win the MVP Award in his second season.


Best U.S. Female Olympian
Natalie Coughlin (California), Swimming

  • Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics
  • Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold

Dawn Harper (UCLA), Track & Field

  • Won gold medal in 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Olympics



Best Male Golfer
Phil Mickelson (Arizona State)

  • Earned over $5 million on PGA Tour in 2008.
  • Won two tournaments during 2008 PGA season.

Tiger Woods (Stanford)

  • Came back from major knee surgery to win Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament in 2009.


Best Female Golfer
Lorena Ochoa (Arizona)

  • Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.
  • Finished in the top ten in 17 of 22 events she played in.
  • Made over $2.7 million in prize earnings.
  • Won Rolex Player of the Year for third straight time.


Best Female Collegiate Athlete
Danielle Lawrie, Washington Softball

  • Led Washington to its first national softball championship title.
  • Led the nation in strikeouts (521) and wins (42).
  • Finished third in shutouts (21) and sixth in ERA (0.97).

Dana Vollmer, California Swimming

  • Won the 100 and 200 freestyle titles at NCAA swimming championships.
  • Was part of two winning relays that helped California win its first NCAA Division I swimming championship.


Best Male Athlete with a Disability
Jason Lester (Arizona State), Ironman^

  • Became the first physically-challenged Ironman athlete to finish the Ultraman Hawaii World Championship with a partially paralyzed right arm.
  • The event included a 6.2 mile swim and 90-mile ride on day one, a 171-mile ride on day two and a double marathon on day three.
  • Finished in 24th place overall.

^ Was not a varsity athlete at ASU but was a graduate.

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