June 12, 1998
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- University of Washington freshman sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker was named the Pacific-10 Conference male track and field Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Friday.
Hooker, a product of Ellensburg (Wash.) High School, won the 55-meter title at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships to become Washington's first national track and field champion since 1988. He became the first double-event winner in Husky history at the Pac-10 championship meet, winning the 100- and 200-meter titles.
After opening the outdoor season with 21 consecutive sprint victories, Hooker was beaten for the first time in the finals of the NCAA championships in Buffalo, N.Y. where he finished third.
Hooker established a new school record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.18, and boasts the fifth best 200-meter time in UW history with a mark of 20.70. He is the first Washington athlete to garner athlete of the year honors since 1976 when the award was introduced.
The athlete of the year awards are decided by a vote of the Conference's track and field coaches.
Arizona junior Amy Skieresz was named the top Pac-10 female athlete for the second straight season. She was the conference champion at 5,000 meters, and then successfully defended her titles in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the NCAA meet.