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Stevens selected as a 2010 NCAA Top VIII Award winner

December 22, 2009

Sarah Stevens, one of the most decorated student-athletes in Arizona State University athletic history and a two-time national champion for the Sun Devil track & field program, has been named a winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Top VIII Award, the Association announced today. A 15-time All-American, Stevens completed her athletic eligibility last spring when she earned All-America honors in all five events she entered at the NCAA Championships (two indoor, three outdoor).

The Top VIII Award recognizes current student-athletes who have completed their athletic eligibility for their success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Recipients will be honored in January at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta. This year’s honorees will join the likes of Peyton Manning, Rebecca Lobo and John Elway as recipients of the national award.

Stevens is just the second Sun Devil to earn the prestigious honor from the NCAA following track & field standout Gea Johnson earning the first distinction for ASU in 1992. Stevens, the 42nd student-athlete from the Pac-10 to be honored since the award was created in 1973, is the first track & field athlete to be selected for the honor in the conference since 1995 when Kelly Blair (Oregon) and Tanya Hughes (Arizona) both were honored.

In her time in Tempe, Stevens won a pair of national titles as she captured the shot put crown at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships before taking the discus crown at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She came close to adding titles with runner-up finishes on four occasions and added third-place finishes four times in her career. All 15 of her All-America performances saw her finish no lower than sixth place while her career NCAA performances saw her finish lower than ninth place just four times.

On the conference level, Stevens dominated the two throwing events indoor at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships as she won a conference crown seven times. Included in her championship haul were three weight throw crowns and all four shot put titles with the Sun Devil winning both titles each of the last three years. Outdoors, she was a six-time Pac-10 Champion as she captured the shot put three times, the discus twice and the hammer once.

For her success, she was twice named the MPSF Female Athlete of the Year and twice selected as the Pac-10 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. The rest of the teams in the west also took notice of her success and voted her as the U.S. Track and Field, Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women’s West Region Field Athlete of the Year on four occasions (twice each indoor and outdoor).

Away from the field of competition, Stevens also was highly successful as a student as she twice was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American while also being named the 2008 USTFCCCA Women’s Division I Outdoor Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A four-time Academic All-Pac-10 and MPSF All-Academic selection, Stevens was a member of three teams that were selected as the USTFCCCA Women’s Track & Field Scholar Team of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009). The 2009 Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for track & field, Stevens was selected as a recipient of 2009 NCAA Postgraduate and 2009 Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarships.

A true leader for the team, Stevens also was a leader for all teams on campus as she twice served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) on campus. Stevens also volunteered with the Pat’s Run fund-raiser, the Pat Tillman Leadership Through Action Program, the Salvation Army at South Mountain Outreach and several other organizations.

2010 NCAA Today’s Top VIII Honorees
Amanda Blumenhurst (Duke) - women’s golf
Courtney Kupets (Georgia) - women’s gymnastics
Vanessa Lee (Pittsburg State) - women’s cross country/indoor & outdoor track & field
Jeff Lerg (Michigan State) - men’s ice hockey
Kent Raymond (Wheaton (IL)) - men’s basketball
Brittany Rogers (Alabama) - softball
Sarah Stevens (Arizona State) - women’s indoor & outdoor track & field
Tim Tebow (Florida) - football