June 11, 1999
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Jerome Davis of USC and Bernard Lagat of WASHINGTON STATE were named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Track and Field Co-Athletes of the Year, while Seilala Sua of UCLA was named the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Also announced were the Conference Coach of the Year honors. USC's Ron Allice was named men's Coach of the Year, while UCLA's Jeanette Bolden was named the women's Coach of the Year.
It was the second men's coaching honor in three years for Allice as he guided the Trojans to their second men's Pac-10 title in three years, scoring 164 points to defeat UCLA (136) and Stanford (105.5). The 164 points were the fourth highest point total ever tallied in the Pac-10 Championships. USC finished fifth at the NCAA Championships. Bolden claimed her third consecutive women's coaching honor and her fifth in the last six years as UCLA women's team captured its third consecutive Conference championship, and the 10th Pac-10 title in 13 attempts. The Bruins finished second at the NCAA Championships, coming up two points short (62-60) to defending champion Texas.
It was the first time since 1976 that two men have shared the Athlete of the Year honors. Davis, a senior from Ridgecrest, Calif., captured both the 200-meter (20.58) and 400-meter (44.95) titles at the Pac-10 Championships. The victory in the 400-meters was his fourth consecutive triumph at that distance in the Championships and his time was the nation's second fastest collegiate time this season. In an attempt to defend his NCAA 400-meter title, Davis placed third at this year's NCAA Championships. Lagat, a senior from Kapsabet, Kenya, won the 1,500-meters (3:52.06) at the Pac-10 Championships for the third consecutive year. At the NCAA Championships, Lagat won the individual title in the 5,000-meters (14:01.09) and placed fourth in the 1,500-meters. He held the best collegiate time in the nation in the 5,000 meters this season at 13:36.12. Lagat also captured the mile and 3,000-meters titles at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this past March.
Sua, a junior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., became just the second thrower to be honored as the Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Year (Oregon's Paula Berry, 1991). Sua took top honors in three field events at the Pac-10 Championships, winning the shot put, discus and javelin. She was a dual winner at the recently completed NCAA Championships with victories in the shot put and discus. At the NCAA Championships, her shot put mark of 57-9 was over two feet better than the rest of the field, while she successfully defended her discus crown with a meet record toss of 210-10.
The honors were decided by a vote of the Conference's track and field coaches.