May 24, 2001
As they prepare for the upcoming NCAA Outdoor T & F Championships, senior thrower Christina Tolson and junior pole vaulter Tracy O'Hara are nominees for the 2001 collegiate women's track and field Honda Award.
Tolson, from Fountain Valley, last week at the 2001 Pacific-10 Championships in Berkeley, won the shot put and defended her hammer throw title. Her winning shot put mark of 58-3 3/4 leads the current national collegiate list and it was the No. 4 throw in Pac-10 and UCLA history. Tolson's first-place hammer throw of 214-7 was a Pac-10 record and No. 2 on the current collegiate chart. Last March, at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships, Tolson won the shot put and was second in the weight throw, helping lead the Bruins to their second consecutive NCAA Indoor title.
O'Hara, from San Diego, at last week's Pac-10, won the pole vault for the third season in a row, with a winning vault of 14-1 1/4. Her season-best of 14-6 leads the current women's collegiate chart. As a sophomore in 2000, O'Hara was again a Honda nominee, winning both NCAA Indoor and Outdoor pole vault titles and setting the women's collegiate outdoor record (14-7 1/4).
Both Tolson (shot put) and O'Hara are favorites to win their events at the NCAA Outdoor, May 30-June 2 in Eugene, OR.
Also nominated for the women's track and field Honda award are ' hurdler Brenda Taylor from Harvard and USC sprinter Angela Williams.
Tolson and O'Hara join Bruin junior Stacey Nuveman as spring nominees for the Honda Award. Nuveman, UCLA's record-setting catcher on the Bruin softball team, is a Honda Award nominee for the sport of softball.
The Bruins already have one Honda Award winner for this season. UCLA senior Mohini Bhardwaj won the Honda Award for the sport of women's gymnastics and is now eligible for the Honda-Broderick Cup. In UCLA's women's athletic history, the Bruins have had 22 Honda Award winners.
The track and field winner, announced on May 29 after nationwide balloting, will also become a nominee for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is awarded annually to the nation's outstanding collegiate Women's Athlete of the Year. The Honda-Broderick Cup will be awarded at the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Banquet, on June 11, 2001 in Salt Lake City, UT during the NACDA convention.
UCLA has had three women's athletes win the Honda-Broderick Cup, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee for track and field in 1984-85. The other national Athlete of the Year winners were Ann Meyers (basketball) in 1977-78 and Lisa Fernandez (softball) in 1992-93.