June 21, 2004
The United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) has announced the 2004 Mondo National Outdoor Athletes and Coaches of the Year for NCAA Division I track & field.
The USTCA named UCLA senior Sheena Johnson and Baylor sophomore Jeremy Wariner the 2004 Athletes of the Year, and UCLA's Jeannette Bolden and the University of Arkansas' John McDonnell the 2004 Coaches of the Year.
Under 11th year women's head coach Jeanette Bolden, the UCLA women captured the team title at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, edging defending champion LSU 69-68, respectively. It was Bolden's first NCAA Outdoor title, adding to her two NCAA Indoor titles in 2001 and 2000. Prior to this year, Bolden's teams had amassed ten top 10 finishes, including placing second on five occasions at NCAA Outdoor Championships. In the Pac-10 Conference, Bolden has directed the Bruins to ten league team titles in the last 11 years, including the last eight consecutive seasons. At the NCAA West Regional Championships, the Bruins successfully defended their team title, while scoring 141 points. For her leadership and accomplishments, Bolden was named the 2004 Mondo West Region and Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year.
The Bruins' Sheena Johnson led the UCLA women's team to its first NCAA outdoor track & field title since 1983, scoring a meet-high 19.25 points. Johnson defended her 400m hurdles title in world-best and in-season collegiate record time of 53.54. Johnson also placed third in the 100m hurdles with a personal-best time of 12.75, while also running the second leg of the 4x100 meter relay, which took second overall in 43.49. Johnson was also a vital part of the 4x400 meter relay, running the second leg in the Bruins' fourth-place finish at 3:28.85, which clinched the NCAA team title (in prelims, the Bruins ran a school record 3:27.57). Johnson was also the NCAA West Region and Pac-10 champion in both the 100 and 400 meter hurdles.
Bolden and Johnson swept this season's Women's Coach and Athlete of the Year honors at the national, regional and conference levels.
In 2004 Wariner enjoyed one of the most dominating seasons in recent memory in the men's 400 meters. The 2004 NCAA champion at 400 meters, Wariner ran a stadium-record 44.71 to capture the NCAA 400 meter crown before leading Baylor's 4x400 meter relay team to the title at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Wariner won the NCAA Midwest Regional title 44.50 seconds on May 29, which currently ranks as the second-fastest time in the world this year. Wariner also helped lead the Bears to a seventh-place finish in the team standings with 27 points, which is their best finish behind three third-place showings in 1985, 1990 and 2001.
Arkansas men's head coach John McDonnell led the Razorbacks to their 11th NCAA outdoor crown and 39th overall national title with 65.5 points at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. McDonnell saw four of his athletes claim individual titles, the most earned at the NCAA outdoor meet since 1998. The Razorbacks posted three new school records and 12 All-America honors earned in 10 events. At the Mideast Regional Championships, McDonnell coached his team to its second-straight regional crown when the Hogs tallied 95 points. For his leadership and accomplishments, McDonnell was named the 2004 Mondo West Region Men's Coach of the Year. In winning the 2004 SEC Outdoor Conference Championship, Arkansas won its 20th outdoor conference title in the last 23 years.
The National Outdoor Athlete of the Year awards are sponsored by Mondo, USA, the world's largest supplier of track & field surfaces. Mondo is the official provider of all tracks and equipment for the Track and Field Competitions for the Athens Olympic Games.