May 17, 2012
By Jennifer Jones
By Jennifer Jones
FRESNO, Calif. - Sophomores Meagan McKee and Olivier Bernard were given the top honors at the 2012 cross country and track & field awards banquet Thursday night. The pair were named Bulldogs of the Year and Student-Athletes of the Year for their respective areas.
This is the second year McKee has won the top Bulldog honor. She won both the shot put and weight throw at the indoor Western Athletic Conference Championships this year. The San Jose, Calif. native is also the 2012 WAC outdoor shot put champion and has won the event in all but two of her meets this year. Her personal best of 16.18m in the shot put (set on April 14), is just 22cm shy of the Olympic Provisional "B" Qualifying mark. She is currently ranked 13th in the West Region and will compete at the NCAA Regional Championships (May 26-28).
"She is one of the most enjoyable athletes I've ever watched in my 24 years of coaching," said head coach Scott Winsor. "I love her style. I love what she brings to the table. She brings confidence, poise, the whole package."
Bernard is also a WAC champion. He won the 1500m at the 2012 WAC Championships and placed third in the 800m. The Quebec, Canada native had five top three finishes in 2012. Bernard was the WAC's top performer in the 1500m with a time of 3:46.57 and he will compete in the event at the regional championships.
"He steps onto the track with much more confidence than last year and you can see it," added Windsor. "He just did the things in the off-season to prepare."
This year the Bulldogs unveiled a new award at the banquet. The Bulldog Strong Award was created to acknowledge student-athletes who have heart, soul and refuse to be denied. Senior Shanelle Stephens was the inaugural recipient of the award. She persevered through difficult injuries to be able to compete and has improved every year on the track.
"I have never seen in my years of coaching, someone who has the love for track and field and to run as much," said Winsor of Stephens.
Senior Latrisha Jordan was named the women's track student-athlete of the year. She is the 2012 WAC outdoor 400m hurdles champion and earned silver in the 100m hurdles and with the 4x100m relay team.
Bernard shared the men's track student-athlete of the year award with junior Jordan Walker, who along with Jordan and Bernard, earned three medals at the outdoor WAC Championships. Walker took home gold with the 4x400m relay team and silver in the 4x100m relay and 400m dash. He will compete in the 400m dash in regional championships.
McKee and junior Roderick Dash were the field student-athletes of the year. Dash earned two second place finishes at the WAC Championship, setting a personal record in the shot put (16.78m) in the meet.
There are 13 Bulldogs competing at the NCAA Regional Championships. Fresno State has the highest number of women throwers representing the WAC.
2012 Award Recipients
Bulldog Strong Award
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