(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Jared Ward, Chase Dalton, Shea Martinez and Andrea Nelson Harrison have been named finalists for BYU Track and Field’s 2014 Curtis Pugsley Athlete of the Year Award, which will be awarded Wednesday, March 4.
The Curtis Pugsley Award is BYU Track and Field’s highest honor, and is given annually to one male athlete 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.
After winning last year’s Curtis Pugsley Award, Jared Ward furthered his BYU track legacy in 2014. Ward took fourth place in the 5000 and 3000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, claiming first team All-America honors in both. His best 5000-meter time (13:34.74) from 2014 ranks fourth all-time at BYU, while his best 3000-meter time (7:52.51) ranks eighth.
Chase Dalton’s impressive senior year culminated with him representing team USA in the Thorpe Cup and claiming fifth place at the USA Track and Field Championships in the decathlon. During the indoor season, Dalton’s heptathlon score of 5621 at the Air Force Invitational was second best in BYU Track and Field History. His score of 7642 in the decathlon at the Texas Relays ranks fifth all-time at BYU. Dalton’s performances landed him second team All-America honors in the heptathlon and decathlon in 2014.
As a freshman, Shea Martinez burst onto the scene in 2014. During the indoor season, Martinez claimed fifth place in the 800 meters at the MPSF Championships and anchored the distance medley relay team to a third-place finish. At the University of Washington Invitational, Martinez posted the fourth-fastest indoor 800-meter time (2:04.79) in school history. In the outdoor season, she finished 11th at the NCAA West Preliminary and 17th at the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters.
Andrea Nelson Harrison concluded her BYU career with impressive finishes in multiple events in 2014. During the indoor season, Harrison took sixth place in the 3,000 meters at the MPSF Championships, and posted the eighth-best time in school history (9:23.65). In the outdoor season, Harrison took first place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USC Trojan Invitational. She concluded her outdoor season finishing eighth at the NCAA West Preliminary and 19th at the NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Harrison was also a USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree in 2014.
The award ceremony will be held March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Blue Room at LaVell Edwards Stadium.