June 16, 2003
SEATTLE - Washington pole vaulter Brad Walker, who in March set a Pac-10 record while winning the NCAA Indoor Championship, was honored Monday as MONDO's West District Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The products technology company, which designs and builds most of the nation's top track surfaces, recognized nine athletes from around the nation for their outstanding achievement during the 2003 collegiate track and field season.
A three-time NCAA All-American, Walker won the 2003 NCAA indoor championship and was the favorite to win the outdoor title as well before breaking his hand in a training accident the week after winning his second-consecutive Pac-10 title.
The Spokane, Wash., native's Pac-10 record vault of 19 feet, 0 1/4 inch at the NCAA indoor meet equaled the third-best indoor vault in the world this season, and is the second-best by an American vaulter in 2003.
Walker has also been lauded for his academic work, earning first-team Verizon Academic All-District VIII honors in May. A business administration major with a 3.52 grade-point average, he is on the ballot for Verizon Academic All-America honors, scheduled for announcement June 17.
While his outdoor eligibility is exhausted, Walker plans to use his one remaining season of indoor eligibility to defend his NCAA title next season, before focusing his attention on qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.