April 25, 2001
NEW YORK - Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who dominated the sport of track and field for more than 20 years and still holds many American records, has been voted "Top Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Past 25 Years." The vote was conducted among the 976 NCAA member schools.
Joyner-Kersee accepted this prestigious award today at a special ceremony held at the Benjamin Hotel in New York City.
For each of the past 25 years, as part of a collegiate awards program, the top women athletes in each of 12 sports have been selected by NCAA member schools. From this group, the Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Year has been selected and presented the Honda-Broderick Cup.
This year, the Board of the Awards Program authorized a separate award to recognize and honor the Top Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Past 25 Years.
"Our awards program has recognized so many truly outstanding women athletes over the last 25 years. Jackie Joyner-Kersee's remarkable accomplishments both on and off the field, make her one of the most extraordinary athletes of our time. She is not only a phenomenal athlete but also an inspiration to all of us," notes Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Chairperson of the Honda Awards Program.
All former winners of the Honda-Broderick Cup were nominees for the Top Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Past 25 Years award. They include: Lucy Harris (1976), Ann Meyers (1977), Nancy Lieberman (1978), Julie Shea (1979), Jill Sterkel (1980), Tracy Caulkins (1981, 1983), Deitre Collins (1982), Cheryl Miller (1983), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1984), Kamie Ethridge (1985), Mary T. Meagher (1986), Teresa Weatherspoon (1987), Vicki Huber (1988), Suzy Favor (1989), Dawn Staley (1990), Missy Marlowe (1991), Lisa Fernandez (1992), Mia Hamm (1993), Rebecca Lobo (1994), Jennifer Rizzotti (1995), Cindy Daws (1996), Chamique Holdsclaw (1997), Misty May (1998), Cristina Teuscher (1999).
Throughout her collegiate career at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the most dominant American athlete in both the heptathlon and long jump events. She was the NCAA heptathlon champion in 1982 with a point total of 6099 and in 1983 with a total of 6365. In the long jump competition, she placed second in 1982 and third in 1983. She also was a member of the 1600-meter and 400-meter relay teams and competed in the 100-meter hurdles event. Overall, she was the most prominent member of the UCLA track and field team, leading her school to the NCAA Championships team title in both 1982 and 1983.
To this day, Joyner-Kersee remains the UCLA school record-holder in both the heptathlon and the long jump. She also retains UCLA's second highest mark in the high jump competition and third highest time in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdle events.
In addition to her achievements in track and field, Joyner-Kersee was a four-year starter on the UCLA women's basketball team, playing from 1980-83 and 1984-85. She played a total of 121 games, scoring an impressive 1,167 points and grabbing 752 total rebounds. She is still listed among the UCLA Bruins' best in career scoring and rebounding.
Betsy Stephenson, Associate Athletics Director at UCLA notes: "Jackie's impact on the UCLA Athletics program is unparalleled. She epitomized hard work and humility as an accomplished multi-sport athlete during her time at UCLA and she still continues to inspire college athletes with her incomparable athletic achievements. We're extremely proud to have her as part of the Bruin family."
Joyner-Kersee went on to win six Olympic medals following her college career. After winning the Silver Medal in the heptathlon in 1984, she took the Gold in the event in 1988, setting a world record point total of 7,215 that still stands. She repeated as Gold Medal winner in the heptathlon event both in 1992 and 1994 as well. She also won the Bronze in the long jump competition both in 1992 and 1996.
Joyner-Kersee won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete in 1987. She has also received many other renowned titles including being named Sports Illustrated for Women's Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century (2001), Track & Field News' Athlete of the Year (1986, 1987,1994) and the Associated Press' Summer Olympian of the Century (1999).
Yet with all of her extraordinary athletic achievements and awards, she is most proud of her accomplishments off the track. Namely, the recent launch of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, a community youth center built for her hometown of East St. Louis, IL. With the same dedication and energy evident throughout her athletic career, she continues to strive to be a positive role model for youths and adults alike. The Honda-Broderick Cup has been presented annually since 1976 and is part of the Honda Awards Program, which recognizes the top women collegiate athletes in each of 12 sports annually by vote of the NCAA member schools. The Honda Award winners in the 12 sports are then candidates for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is awarded to the Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Year.
In addition, the Honda Awards recognizes the top women collegiate athletes representing the NCAA Division II and Division III schools. The Honda Inspiration Award is also presented annually to an athlete who has overcome tremendous physical adversity to contribute to the success of her team. The awards program is sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.