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Track and Field's Houlihan Named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year

June 14, 2012


Arizona State University track and field freshman Shelby Houlihan was named the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, as announced by Commissioner Larry Scott on Thursday.

Houlihan sset freshman records for the Sun Devils at 800 and 1,500 meters during the 2012 outdoor season with times of 2:03.85 and 4:22.95, respectively.   Indoors, Houlihan obliterated the school record in the mile with her season’s best of 4:39.56 – nearly five seconds quicker than any other Sun Devil in history.  In addition, she clocked the third-fastest 800-meter indoor time in school history at 2:07.58. 

Houlihan’s outdoor time at 800 meters was the eighth-fastest time in the NCAA this season this year and the third-fastest junior time in the country as well.  Houlihan took fourth in the event at the Pac-12 Championships in a race where the top five were separated by less than half a second.  She was favored to advance to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, before an untimely fall at the NCAA West Preliminary knocked her from contention. 

For Houlihan, it made it a sweep of the Pac-12 award in the category for the 2011-12 season after she was honored as the conference Cross Country Newcomer of the Year this past Fall.   With this honor, Houlihan became the first student-athlete in Pac-12 history to earn both the cross country and track and field Newcomer of the Year honors since the conference began awarding both in 2000.

Houlihan became the third Sun Devil to be honored as Newcomer of the Year behind Jacquelyn Johnson in 2003 and Charonda Williams in 2008.  That mark ties Arizona State for the highest total of Newcomers of Year in Pac-12 history with UCLA and USC.

Houlihan is slated to compete this weekend at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind., in the 800-meter run with the preliminary round taking place on Friday.