Pac-12 announces track and field honors
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - USC's Bryshon Nellum was named Pac-12 Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while ARIZONA STATE's Jordan Clarke earned Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. STANFORD's Kori Carter was tabbed Pac-12 Women's Track Athlete of the Year, while ARIZONA's Brigetta Barrett was named Pac-12 Women's Field Athlete of the Year. Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year honors went to WASHINGTON's Chris Williams on the men's side and OREGON's Jenna Prandini on the women's side. Taking both coaching honors, OREGON's Robert Johnson was voted the Pac-12 Men's Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Women's Coach of the Year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
USC's Bryshon Nellum (Los Angeles, Calif.) capped his collegiate career with a NCAA title in the 400 meter after posting a time of 44.73, the 10th-fastest time in Pac-12 history. He was the only collegian to break 45 seconds this season at that distance, also claiming the Pac-12 title in the event with a time of 44.76. Nellum also won the 200-meter title at the Conference championships, placing third at the NCAA meet. He finished the season undefeated against collegians in five finals at 400 meters and won three of four finals against collegians at 200 meters. Nellum was also named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Associations (USTFCCCA) National Men's Track Athlete of the Year earlier this week. Nellum was a silver medalist in the 4x400 relay at the 2012 London Olympics.
ARIZONA STATE's Jordan Clarke (Anchorage, Alaska) wins the Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete of the Year award for the second time in his career, winning the honor in 2011. Clarke won the men's shot put for the third-consecutive year at the Pac-12 Championships with a throw of 19.35m/63-6, then placed second in the event at the NCAA Championships (20.28m/66-6.50). Clarke is a two-time NCAA Champion in the event, winning the title in 2011 and 2012.
WASHINGTON freshman Chris Williams (Philadelphia, Pa.) advanced to the 100-meter hurdles finals and helped the Huskies to fourth-place in the 4x100-meter relay at the Pac-12 Championships. He was also second in the pole vault with a height of 5.26m/17-3 at the league championships. Williams went on to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., in the 110-meter hurdles and was on the 4x100-meter relay squad that also reached the semifinals. Williams becomes the first-ever Husky to win the men's newcomer of the year award.
STANFORD's Kori Carter (Claremont, Calif.) won the 400-meter hurdles race at the NCAA Championships, running the second-fastest time in Pac-12 history, clocking a 53.21. She also placed second in the 100-meter hurdles at the national meet. She swept the hurdles titles at the Pac-12 Championships. She won the 100-meter hurdles title by a margin of .01 second, then ran a meet-record 54.21 to win the 400-meter hurdle. Carter becomes the first-ever Cardinal to win the women's track athlete of the year honor.
ARIZONA's Brigetta Barrett (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) has been dominant in her collegiate career in the high jump. She capped her career by setting the collegiate-meet record 1.99m/6-6.25. She set the Pac-12 Conference record last summer at the London Olympics where she won a silver medal with a height of 2.03m/6-7, the highest mark by a collegian. Barrett won the NCAA title by 3.5 inches, clearing a height of 1.95m/6-4.75, the third of her career. The Pac-12 title she claimed was also the third of her career, and she has also won three national indoor titles in her career.
OREGON freshman Jenna Prandini (Clovis, Calif.) placed seventh at the NCAA championships in the 100-meter, then ran on the Ducks' 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, helping the teams to fourth-place finishes in both. She won the Pac-12 individual crown in the 100-meter, placed third in the 200 meter and helped the Ducks win the 4x100 meter. Prandini also competed in the long jump, where she placed fourth with a jump of 6.15m/20-2.25. She is only the second Duck to ever win the newcomer honor and the second in three years.
In his first season as head coach of the OREGON men's and women's program, Robert Johnson earns both the men's and women's Coach of the Year honor after leading the Ducks to a sweep of the Pac-12 team titles in Los Angeles, Calif. It was the men's seventh consecutive title and the women's fifth-straight title. The Ducks followed up with the Conference's best finishes at the NCAA championships, with the men placing fourth and the women placing third. Johnson also led the women to a fourth-straight NCAA indoor title and the cross country national championship in the fall. The women's program was tabbed the USTFCCCA's Program of the Year for the fifth-straight year, while the men finished third in the standings.
The honors were decided by a vote of the conference's track and field coaches.