Colorado’s Benner, Stanford’s Williams named Pac-12 Track & Field top scholar-athletes
TUCSON, Ariz. – COLORADO senior Kaitlyn Benner and STANFORD fifth-year Harrison Williams were named the 2019 Pac-12 Women’s and Men’s Track & Field Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the league office announced on Saturday prior to the start of the Conference Championships. The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes who are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Benner (Superior, Colo.), both an All-American and Academic All-American, carries a 3.93 grade-point average as a chemical and biological engineering major in Boulder. She won the 5,000-meter run at the 2016 Pac-12 Championships and was runner-up in the 10,000 at the 2018 Conference meet before going on to earn NCAA All-America honors in the events (Second Team in 5k at 2016 NCAA Championships, First Team in 10k at 2018 NCAAs) those seasons. Benner was also a three-time NCAA All-American in cross country and earned First Team All-America accolades in the 3,000-meter run at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. She has twice advanced to the ballot for national CoSIDA Academic All-America honors (2016, 2018) and was selected to the Third Team in 2018 as well as Pac-12 All-Academic First Team recognition in 2016 and 2018. Benner’s selection gives CU a Pac-12 Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient for the second consecutive year after Ben Saarel was the men’s winner in 2018.
Williams (Memphis, Tenn.), the 2018 Pac-12 decathlon titlist and reigning NCAA indoor heptathlon champion, is a product design major with a 3.66 grade-point average. He enters this weekend’s Pac-12 Championships at No. 2 in the NCAA and the top American in the decathlon with 8,112 points, a new school record which he has broken five times during his Stanford career. Williams is a five-team First Team All-American, including fourth- and fifth-place showings at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2016 and 2017, respectively, along with three NCAA indoor top-6 finishes. Williams, a three-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic Team selection, is the league-leading eighth Stanford track & field student-athlete to receive the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, including the Conference-best sixth men’s recipient from the Cardinal.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2007-08 academic year.
Both Benner and Williams are entered to compete at the 2019 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships this Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, at Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. For the second time in event history, both days of the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network, all regional channels, the Pac-12 Now app and Pac-12.com with Saturday coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT, followed by Sunday coverage at 6:00 p.m. PT. For more information on the Pac-12 Championships and for live results and scores, please visit pac-12.com/tfchamps.
Men – David Egbo, ARIZONA; Garrett Corcoran, CALIFORNIA; James West, OREGON; Leon Powell, UCLA; Denham Patricelli, WASHINGTON; Kyler Little, WASHINGTON STATE.
Women – Tatum Waggoner, ARIZONA; Chrissy Glasmann, CALIFORNIA; Venessa D'Arpino, OREGON; Saskia McNairy, OREGON STATE; Mackenzie Little, STANFORD; Elleyse Garrett, UCLA; Raynee Helm-Wheelock, UTAH; Izzi Batt-Doyle, WASHINGTON; Lindsey Schauble, WASHINGTON STATE.
Pac-12 Track & Field Scholar-Athletes of the Year
2018-19: Harrison Williams, STAN; Kaitlyn Benner, COLO
2017-18: Ben Saarel, COLO; Alyssa Thompson, ARIZ
2016-17: CJ Albertson, ASU; Keyasia Tibbs, ASU
2015-16: Justin Brinkley, STAN; Jaide Stepter, USC
2014-15: Luke Lefebure, STAN; Jessica Tonn, STAN
2013-14: Lawi Lalang, ARIZ; Laura Roesler, ORE
2012-13: Nick Happe, ASU; Jordan Hasay, ORE
2011-12: Chris Derrick, STAN; Brianne Thiesen, ORE
2010-11: Elliott Heath, STAN; Katie Niehaus, STAN
2009-10: Ryan Whiting, ASU; Kaisha Baker, ORE
2008-09: Galen Rupp, ORE; Sarah Stevens, ASU
2007-08: Russell Brown, STAN; April Kubishta, ASU