Pac-10 Announces 2011 Track & Field Awards
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - WASHINGTON STATE's Jeshua Anderson was named Pac-10 Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while ARIZONA STATE's Jordan Clarke earned Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. Nia Ali of USC was tabbed Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Year while Arizona's Brigetta Barrett was named Pac-10 Women's Field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
Arizona's Stephen Sambu was named Pac-10 Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, and OREGON's English Gardner earned Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year.
Arizona's Fred Harvey garnered both men's and women's Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors.
Harvey led the Wildcats to a pair of top-10 team finishes at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The women took fifth while the men placed seventh. It was the highest overall finish for the two teams in one season in program history and only the second time both teams finished in the top-10 in the same year. Both squads' second-place finishes at the Pac-10 Conference Championships matched their highest finishes ever. The men had not placed that high since 1993. This is Harvey's first Pac-10 award for men or women.
Anderson joined BYU's Ralph Mann (1969-71) and Iowa State's Danny Harris (1984-86) as the only athletes to win three NCAA titles in the 400-meter hurdles. A senior from Woodland Hills, Calif., Anderson finished in 48.56, over a half-second ahead of the rest of the field. At the Pac-10 Championships, Anderson joined an elite group of conference athletes, including Oregon's Steve Prefontaine, to win four-consecutive titles in the same event. He earned the season's collegiate best and current American-leading time of 48.13 at the meet.
Clarke, a sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska, captured the NCAA title in the shot put, giving the Sun Devils the outdoor crown in the event for the third-straight year. Ryan Whiting won in both 2009 and 2010. Clarke captured the event with a throw of 19.75m (64-9.75) in the fifth round, the fifth-best mark in ASU history. A three-time All-American in the shot put, Clark also won his first Pac-10 championship this year with a mark of 19.05m (62-6).
Ali became the third Trojan to win the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships, joining Patty Van Wolvelaere (1977-78) and Virginia Powell (2005-06). The senior from Philadelphia, Pa., won the title with a wind-aided time of 12.63. Her time was the second-fastest in the United States this season. Ali also placed sixth in the high jump (1.80m/5-10.75). At the Pac-10 Championships, Ali won the 100-meter hurdles (12.77) and finished second in the high jump.
Barrett, a sophomore from Duncanville, Texas, won the high jump (1.86m/6-1.75) at the NCAA Championships. Barrett was one of five athletes to attempt 1.86m and the only one to clear at that height. It was the sixth time a Wildcat has captured the NCAA crown in the women's high jump and the first since Elizabeth Patterson in 2008. The NCAA Indoor champion this season as well, Barrett set a personal record of 1.93m (6-4) en route to the Pac-10 title in May. She surpassed that height at the USA Championships on Friday, jumping 1.95m (6-4.75) to capture the national title and become eligible for the IAAF World Championships in July.
Sambu, a junior college transfer, finished his first season with the Wildcats by running his second-fastest 10,000-meter time ever at the NCAA Championships. The Eldoret, Kenya, native ran 28:19.61 to place third and earn All-America honors. Sambu, who captured the Pac-10 title this spring, broke the Arizona school record in the 10,000 meters by 38 seconds at the Payton Jordan Invitational in May. His time of 27:28.64 ranked ninth in the world at the time and bested Arizona Olympian Abdi Abdirahman's 12-year old record.
Gardner, from Voorhees, N.J., ran a blazing 11.03 in the 100 meters at the Pac-10 Championships to break the meet record set by UCLA's Gail Devers in 1987. It also broke the U.S. junior record set by Angela Williams. Gardner also finished third in the 200 meters in a season-best 23.03, the second-fastest time in school history. She placed seventh in the event at the NCAA Championships (11.25) to help Oregon to a second-place team finish.
The honors were decided by a vote of the conference's track and field coaches.