Onwuzurike, Whittaker Earn Pac-12 Honors

Onwuzurike, Whittaker Earn Pac-12 Honors

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford sophomore Udodi Onwuzurike and freshman Juliette Whittaker, each a conference champion, received athlete of the year awards from the Pac-12 Conference on Thursday.

Onwuzurike, the Pac-12 200-meter champion, was named Men’s Track Athlete of the Year and Whittaker, the 800 winner, was named Women’s Track and Field Freshman of the Year.

Onwuzurike was clocked in 19.91 at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut on Sunday, a school and meet record and the fastest wind-legal collegiate time this year. Onwuzurike is No. 3 in the world outdoors this year. Raised in Michigan and representing Nigeria, Onwuzurike is faster than any American. 

Onwuzurike now stands at No. 9 on the all-time collegiate outdoor list. 

This was his first conference title and the first for Stanford in the men’s 200 since Jimmie Johnson in 1997. Onwuzurike nearly had another, finishing second in the 100 by 0.01.

Whittaker, the national high school outdoor record holder in the 800 and the NCAA indoor runner-up at that distance, won the Pac-12 race in 2:01.19, leading a 1-3-4 Stanford finish. Her time placed her No. 5 outdoors in Stanford history. 

Whittaker went on to help the Cardinal 4×400 relay team to third place. Last month, she anchored Stanford’s distance medley relay team to victory at the Penn Relays. 

Whittaker is undefeated outdoors in the 800 and 1,500 this year (in races in which she was not a pacer), winning both events at the Mt. SAC Relays. 

Onwuzurike and Whittaker next compete at the NCAA West Prelims. Onwuzurike is entered in the 100, 200, and 4×100. Whittaker is entered in the 1,500 and 4×400.

Previous Stanford winners for Men’s Track Athlete of the Year were Tony Sandoval (1976) and Chris Derrick (2012). 

Previous Stanford Women’s Track and Field Newcomer/Freshman of the Year winners were Lauren Fleshman (2000), Erica McLain (2005), and Valarie Allman (2014). 


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