June 18, 1998
LOS ANGELES -- During the last week, several UCLA men's and women's track and field athletes have received prominent athletic and academic awards. Those awards are:
UCLA senior Nada Kawar on Thursday (June 18) was named a 1998 GTE-CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American. From Montrose, she has a 3.90 cumulative grade-point-average in biology. At the recently completed '98 NCAA Outdoor meet held in Buffalo, NY, Kawar earned All-American honors in both the shot put (personal-best 58-4 1/2, third place) and discus (181-4, seventh place). At the '98 conference championships at Stanford, she was second in the shot put (56-4 3/4) and fifth in the discus (168-9).
Kawar has also received the prestigious Pacific-10 Conference Medal, given annually by the league office to a male and female athlete from each member institution (the Bruin men's winner was soccer's Josh Keller). The Medal is based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
On Sunday (June 14), Bruin senior Mebrahtom Keflezighi, from San Diego, was given the first annual Carl Lewis Award, presented to the nation's top male collegiate track and field athlete. He received the honor at the annual Intercollegiate Golf/Tennis/Track & Field Awards Dinner in Dallas, TX. During his career, Keflezighi won four NCAA titles (1997 cross country; 1997 outdoor 5,000m/10,000m; 1997 indoor 5,000m).
Senior Josh Johnson, from Sherman Oaks, has been named a 1998 GTE/CoSIDA third-team Academic All-American. Johnson, son of Olympic and Bruin great Rafer Johnson, has a 3.41gpa in sociology. At the '98 NCAA Outdoor, Johnson earned All-American honors in the javelin (personal-best 248-6, fourth place) and was second at the 1998 Pac-10 meet (235-2).
Five Bruin men and women track and field athletes have earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic recognition. Earning first team for the UCLA men are Johnson and Keflezighi (3.00gpa, communications studies) and getting first-team for the Bruin women are Kawar, senior thrower Rachelle Noble (3.28gpa, history) and sophomore jumper Kelly O'Connor (3.96gpa, linguistics and computer science).Earning second-team for the Bruin men are senior hurdler Gerimi Burleigh (3.44gpa, art), senior distance runner Matt Olin (3.02gpa, history) and junior thrower Wade Tift (3.02, sociology) and earning second-team for the UCLA women are junior Melinda George (3.54gpa, applied mathematics).
Bruin head coaches Bob Larsen (UCLA men) and Jeanette Bolden (UCLA women) have been named the 1998 U. S. Track Coaches of America (USTCA) Dist. VIII and Pacific-10 Track & Field Coaches of the Year. Both the Bruin men and women won their conference titles in 1998. For the Bruin men, it was their sixth conference crown in the last seven years under Larsen. Bolden, completing her fifth season as the Bruin women's coach, has led UCLA to four Pac-10 championships. At the '98 NCAA Outdoor, the Bruin women placed second and the UCLA men sixth.