ASU track & field's Alcorn, Johnson earn Pac-10 Medal of Honor
Arizona State University senior track & field team members Jacquelyn Johnson and Kyle Alcorn have been selected as ASU's recipients of the Pac-10 Medal of Honor, the Conference announced Wednesday. The award is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Johnson is the most decorated athlete in Sun Devil history as she has captured six NCAA titles, including three indoor pentathlon and three outdoor heptathlon crowns at the national meet, while also leading the women's team to three-consecutive national team titles, including the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Indoor and 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships. A three-time Pac-10 champion in the heptathlon, Johnson also has been selected to the NCAA Silver Anniversary Team, celebrating the best of each event indoors over the past 25 years.
Most recently, Johnson scored 6,307 points to win the Pac-10 heptathlon crown and set a Pac-10, ASU and Sun Angel Stadium record while also recording the third-highest point total by a collegiate competitor in NCAA history. The NCAA record holder in the indoor pentathlon (4,496 points), Johnson is currently ranked among the Top 10 in the world in the heptathlon and will look to become one a select few to win the same event four times at the NCAA Outdoor Championships next weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.
Alcorn showed steady improvement since transferring into the program and had a breakout season in his senior campaign. After leading the cross country team to an appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall, Alcorn stepped onto the indoor track and clocked a sub-four minute mile, running the 3:59.59 to become one of only three Sun Devils to accomplish the feat. At the end of the indoor season (March), Alcorn stole the show at the NCAA Indoor Championships as he anchored the distance medley relay team to second place before capturing his first national title by winning the 3,000m run as the 14th-ranked entrant. His stellar performance helped the men claim their first national indoor title and just the second national title overall for the men in program history.
Outdoors, Alcorn competed in his top event, the 3,000m steeplechase, and is one of the favorites to win the national title in Des Moines. At the Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Alcorn pulled off a rare double as he won the steeplechase on the first night of competition, giving ASU the event for the fifth year in a row, before coming back the next night and winning the 5,000m run. He is one of only seven men that have won both events at the Pac-10 meet since 1969.
With Johnson and Alcorn earning the honors, it marks the second time in ASU history that track & field has swept the two honorees with the first coming in 2002 with Brandon Strong and Kelly MacDonald earning the honors. Alcorn is the second man to earn the award for the track & field team while Johnson is the sixth for the women. Johnson also gives the track & field program a winner for the second year in a row as Amy Hastings earned the honor in 2007. Both Alcorn and Johnson will be honored by the Pac-10 Conference at the State Farm Pride of the Pac-10 Luncheon held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament next March.
The Sun Devils will send 20 athletes to Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, next week (June 11-14) for the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
2008 Pac-10 Medal of Honor Recipients
Arizona State - Kyle Alcorn (Track & Field/Cross Country)
Arizona - Albert Subarits (Swimming)
California - Tim McNeill (Gymnastics)
Oregon - Dennis Dixon (Football)
Oregon State - Alexis Serna (Football)
Stanford - Tanner Gardner (Wrestling)
UCLA - Christopher Joseph (Football)
USC - Kaes Van't Hof (Tennis)
Washington - Heath Allen (Rowing)
Washington State - Alex Brink (Football)
Arizona State - Jacquelyn Johnson (Track & Field)
Arizona - Lacey Nymeyer (Swimming)
California - Angie Pressey (Volleyball)
Oregon - Jen May (Lacrosse)
Oregon State - Yuki Lamb (Gymnastics)
Stanford - Arianna Lambie (Track & Field/Cross Country)
UCLA - Lindsey Pluimer (Basketball)
USC - Allison Jaskowiak Kennedy (Basketball)
Washington - Christal Morrison (Volleyball)
Washington State - Ekaterina Burdell (Tennis)