June 7, 2002
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Anson Henry of WASHINGTON STATE was named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Track and Field Athlete of the Year, while Lena Nilsson of UCLA was named Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
USC's Julien Kapek was honored as the Pac-10 Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, while UCLA's Monique Henderson was named the Pac-10 Women's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year.
Also announced were the Conference Coach of the Year honors. OREGON's Martin Smith garnered men's Coach of the Year honors, while UCLA's Jeanette Bolden was named the women's Coach of the Year.
It was the first men's coaching honor for Smith. After an eighth place showing in 2000 and a ninth place finish in 2001, Smith guided the Ducks to a second place finish at the Pac-10 Championships - their highest finish at the Championships since a second place finish in 1996. Under Smith's tutelage, nine Oregon student-athletes finished either first or second at the Pac-10 Championships.
Bolden claimed her sixth consecutive women's coaching honor and her eighth in the last nine years as the UCLA women's team captured its sixth consecutive Conference championship, scoring 160 points to edge USC (157). It marked the Bruins' 13th Pac-10 title in 16 attempts. UCLA also finished second at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season as five of Bolden's athletes captured NCAA individual titles.
Henry, a senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, captured both the 100-meter (10.29) and 200-meter (20.52) titles at the Pac-10 Championships. Henry established a Cougar record in the 100 meters (10.17). He placed eighth in the 100 meters at the NCAA Championships.
Nilsson, a sophomore from Vallentuna, Sweden, became just the second athlete to win the 800-meter (2:03.88) and 1500-meter (4:20.81) titles at the Pac-10 Championships. At the NCAA Championships, she helped the Bruins to a second place finish by taking top honors in the 1500 meters (4:12.60).
Kapek, a sophomore from Houilles, France, won the triple jump (16.84m/55-3) at the Pac-10 Championships and placed third (16.58m/54-4.75) at the NCAA Championships. During the season, Kapek set a USC record with a leap of 55-8.50 - the third best mark in Pac-10 history.
Henderson, a freshman from San Diego, Calif., placed second in the 200 meters (23.04) and was the anchor on UCLA's first-place 4x400 meter relay team (3:31.97) at the Pac-10 Championships. Her season best time of 51.33 in the 400 meters ranks second on UCLA's all-time list, trailing Florence Griffith Joyner's 50.94 set in 1983.
The honors were decided by a vote of the Conference's track and field coaches.