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Johnson earns Honda Sports Award for track & field


June 13, 2008

Jacquelyn Johnson, a six-time NCAA champion for ASU’s track and field team, has been voted as the top female college track and field athlete in the nation – and the recipient of the Honda Sports Award for 2008.

The honor, which is based upon the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Award program, positions Johnson as one of 12 eligible for the 2008 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
Johnson says one of her biggest role models has always been Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won the Honda Sports Award twice (1983 and 1985), in addition to the Honda-Broderick Cup (1985).

“I’ve always looked up to Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and to have an opportunity to follow in her footsteps is really exciting,” Johnson says. “I’m also thrilled to be honored with an award that recognizes achievement not just in athletics, but in academics as well. I’ve always tried to be a well-rounded athlete, and it feels really great to be recognized for that.”

Johnson is a major reason the Sun Devil women have won the last three NCAA team championships (2007 and 2008 indoor, and 2007 outdoor) and are in position to win their fourth this weekend. She has won three indoor pentathlon and three outdoor heptathlon crowns at the NCAA meet, and her win indoors this season came with a college record point total of 4,496 points.

Her score of 6,307 points at the Pac-10 championships not only won her third heptathlon crown at the conference level, but also established the Pac-10 and ASU records while placing her third on the all-time list in NCAA history.

The Yuma, Ariz., native was named the 2008 Pac-10 female athlete of the meet in Tempe. She won the heptathlon crown, in addition to placing second in the 100-meter hurdles, second in the long jump, third in the javelin and tied for seventh in the high jump to accumulate 33.5 of the team’s 186.5 points en route to its third Pac-10 team title in a row.

Johnson, the 2008 USTFCCCA West Region female field athlete of the year, graduated from ASU with a degree in kinesiology and is pursuing a place on the U.S. Olympic team in the heptathlon, where her point total ranks first among Americans and eighth in the world.

Johnson is the first Sun Devil to win the Honda Sports Award for track and field, after being only the fourth finalist for the award. The three other finalists included current teammate Sarah Stevens in 2007, Maicel Malone in 1991 and Gea Johnson in 1990.

In the 32 years the award has been handed out, Johnson is the 10th member of a Pac-10 school to garner the honor, joining four winners from UCLA, two from both Arizona and USC, and one from Oregon.

The results of voting for the Collegiate Woman of the Year Award and the Honda-Broderick Cup will be announced June 23 inside the Low Library on the Columbia University campus in New York.