Pac-12 announces track and field honors

Pac-12 Conference

De Grasse and Tonnesen Earn Men’s Track & Field Honors
Houlihan and Todd Earn Women’s Track & Field Honors
Morris and Clark Named Freshmen of the Year
Smith Gilbert sweeps coach of the year honors

SAN FRANCISCO -- USC’s Andre De Grasse and ARIZONA STATE’s Shelby Houlihan were named the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track Athletes of the Year, while ARIZONA’s Pau Tonnesen and OREGON’s Jasmine Todd were voted the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Field Athletes of the Year, the Conference office announced today. Meanwhile, the Trojans’ Marquis Morris and COLORADO’s Erin Clark were tabbed the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Freshmen of the Year. In addition, USC’s Caryl Gilbert swept the Conference’s Coach of the Year honors.

USC’s Andre De Grasse (Ontario, Canada) is having a remarkable year in just his first season in the Pac-12. A junior transfer, he has recorded the best time in the country in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. At the Pac-12 Championships, he was named the Athlete of the Meet after scoring 22.5 points. He won the 100-meter race in a meet-record 9.97 seconds, taking down the old record that had stood for nearly 20 years. The time is also currently one of the top times in the world. He also won the 200-meter race, qualifying for the finals in a time of 20.03, which ranks in the top three in league history. He won the individual title with a time of 20.05. De Grasse grabbed another title after helping the Trojans to claim the 4x100-meter relay. De Grasse was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Track Athlete of the Week three times this season.

ARIZONA’s Pau Tonnesen (Tempe, Ariz.) won the Pac-12 decathlon title, becoming the first Wildcat to win the title since 2007, recording a personal-best score of 7,823. He went on to score more points for UA in the final weekend of the championship, placing third in the pole vault. He is the first Wildcat to score in the pole vault since 2009. His mark of 17-4.5 (5.30m) in the pole vault lands his a spot in the NCAA West Regionals where he will compete for a spot at the national meet in Eugene, Ore. Tonnesen is the third Wildcat in four years to win the Conference’s field athlete of the year honor. Tonnesen was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete of the Week on April 13.

Trojan freshman Marquis Morris (Pittsburg, Calif.) was one of only two freshmen to win an individual crown at the Pac-12 Championships last weekend, claiming the 110-meter hurdles in a come-from-behind victory edging out the second-place finisher by just .02 seconds and clocking a time of 13.95. He helped the Trojans defeat crosstown-rival UCLA in the annual dual meet, winning the 110-hurdles with his fastest time of the year in the event (13.80 +3.5w) and the 400-meter hurdles, recording a personal best of 52.78.

ARIZONA STATE senior Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) had an impressive outing at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships over the weekend and is capping a successful career in Tempe. She successfully defended her 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter titles at the championships. She won the 1,500-meter for the third-straight year in meet-record time. She ran the race in 4:11.06, besting the previous record set in 2003 by nearly two seconds and crossing the finish line five seconds ahead of the field. She cruised to victory in the 5,000 meter, winning by nearly eight seconds with a 15:58.45, only the fourth sub-16 minute race in the history of the Conference championship.

OREGON sophomore Jasmine Todd (Chandler, Ariz.) was the Pac-12 Athlete of the Meet after accounting for 35 of her team’s 185 points, giving the Ducks a three-point win over second-place USC. A sophomore, she won the 100 meter and triple jump, also coming in second place in the long jump and fourth in the 200 meter. She also helped UO place second in the 4x100-meter relay, a race in which the Ducks needed to place fourth or better for at least a share of the Conference crown. It was the last event of the championships, as well. Todd ranks third in the country in the 100 and 17th in the triple jump. Her points were particularly important after teammate Jenna Prandini, who ranks first in the nation in the 100 and 200, scratched from the championships on the morning of the first day. Prandini was favored to win three events.

COLORADO’s Erin Clark (Eugene, Ore.) was one of only three freshmen women to win a Pac-12 title over the weekend, claiming the steeplechase crown with a personal-best time of 10:02.16, nearly eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field. The Buffs have won the women’s steeplechase every year since joining the league four years ago. Clark follows CU Olympians Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp as league champions in the event. She also ranks 15th in the country in the steeplechase. Clark is the first Buffalo to earn a Pac-12 postseason track and field honor.

In just her second season at the helm, USC’s Caryl Smith Gilbert was voted the Pac-12 Men’s and Women's Track & Field Coach of the Year. Her women’s squad nearly won its first Conference title since 1996, placing second by just three points. It was the closest margin of victory since the 2006 crown was decided by 2.5 points. She also led the men’s squad to a second-place showing, tallying 121 points. The Trojan women won seven individual titles at the championships, including the 4x100-meter relay, which posted a meet-record time. Six individual crowns were claimed by the Trojan men, including the 100 meters with a meet-record by Andre De Grasse. USC dominated the sprints and hurdles, qualifying at least four women into the sprint finals, including seven in the 200 and six in the 100. On the men’s side, the Trojans qualified three in each of the 100- and 200-meter events.

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