(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Shaquille Walker, Jason Witt, Shea Martinez Collinsworth and Anginae Monteverde are the finalists for the 2015 Curtis Pugsley Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony held on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. MDT in the Blue Zone at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The Curtis Pugsley Award is BYU Track and Field’s highest honor, and is given annually to one male and one female athlete. The award is named after former BYU All-American and conference champion decathlete Curtis Pugsley, who passed away in 2013 after battling cancer. A scoring system based on accomplishments in the indoor and outdoor seasons determines the winner.
Walker set multiple school records during both the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2015. The second-team indoor All-American won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship in the 800m and set the BYU record in the same event with a time of 1:47.44. He anchored the 4x400m relay team that won the MPSF Indoor Championship and set the BYU record with a time of 3:07.66. Walker was named a first-team All-American for his efforts during the outdoor season. As he did during the indoor season, he set new BYU records in both the outdoor 800m (1:45.58) and 4x400m relay (3:03.82). He took fifth place in both events at the NCAA Championships, and he was a gold medalist in the 800m at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
Witt was named a first-team All-American for both the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2015. During the indoor season, he took fourth overall at the NCAA Championships in the 5,000m. He also ran the second fastest time in the event in BYU history (13:42.08) at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational. Witt also set the second best mark in school history for the 10,000m during the outdoor season with a time of 27:54.25. He took third in the event at the NCAA Championships. He also cracked the top five in BYU history when he ran 13:34.96 for the 5,000m at the Mount Sac Relays.
Martinez Collinsworth, a Pugsley Award finalist as a freshman in 2014, continued her track success in 2015. She was named to the All-America First Team for the indoor season. She took seventh place in the 800m at the NCAA Championships after a third place result at the MPSF Championships. She set the fourth best 800m time in BYU history last season at 2:04.40. Martinez Collinsworth received All-America Honorable Mention accolades for her outdoor season performance. She took 17th place at the NCAA Championships in the 800m and ran the 10th fastest time in the event (2:04.35) in school history. She also traveled to South Korea for the World University Games, earning a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay.
Monteverde set the BYU record for pole vault at 14’1.25” during the outdoor season. She also placed sixth at the NCAA Championships and was named a first-team All-American. Monteverde also made the second best vault in school history (14’0”) during the 2015 indoor track season at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational. She equaled the mark at the MPSF Championships, taking second overall. For her efforts, Monteverde received indoor All-America Honorable Mention recognition.