Oregon sweeps Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year awards
After Oregon proved its dominance at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships with sweeps of the men and women’s team titles, the awards came pouring in.
Kyree King and Deajah Stevens each claimed Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year awards, respectively, after both captured victories in their individual events — King in the men’s 100 and 200-meters, and Stevens in the women’s 100 and 200. They also both ran legs on Oregon’s champion 4×100-meter relay teams, giving each of them 22.5 points.
Stevens’ winning time of 22.09 seconds in the 200 was the second-fastest time in NCAA history, just a hair behind Dawn Stowell’s collegiate record of 22.04s set in 1989. Besides rewriting the meet and all-time records, she also tied with Rio bronze medalist Tori Bowie for the world lead this year. Stevens placed seventh in the Olympic final last year.
Stevens’ accomplishments transcended the conference level as the USTFCCCA selected her as the athlete of the week.
While Stevens is part of a long line of Oregon’s sprinting history — she was the fourth Oregon woman in the last six years to win both the 100 and 200-meter titles — King was the pioneer of the Oregon male sprinting crew as he became the first Duck to pick up wins in both short sprints since 1959. Although King’s time of 10.09 seconds in the 100-meter was not wind-legal, his name appears on the Pac-12 all-time performance list.
This is the second year running that Oregon athletes have been voted the track athletes of the year in the conference, with last year’s awards going to Devon Allen and Hannah Cunliffe. King is the sixth male Oregon athlete to win the honor and Stevens is the seventh female.
Oregon head coach Robert Johnson earned the Coach of the Year award after both the men’s and women’s teams won their categories with more than 50 points to spare. The Ducks’ title sweeps of the Pac-12 meet (11 for the men, 9 for the women) is the most of any conference across the nation. In addition, both the men and women teams tallied seven wins at the meet, the most-ever in a single Pac-12 Championships for the men.
The Oregon women have never strayed from the top two spots in the national rankings this season, logging a nation-best five weeks at the top spot. The men have appeared in the top 10 for six weeks.
The full release is here.
Follow Romaine Soh on Twitter @mainetainpls
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