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Pac-12 Awards Come Early and Often for Ducks

Ducks earn Athlete, Freshman and Coach of the Year Honors

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 announced its winners of conference awards for the 2016 season earlier today. As could be reasonably expected, Oregon athletes (and a coach) were front and center. Stalwarts Devon Allen and Hannah Cunliffe, fresh off of Athlete of the Meet honors at the Pac-12 Championships, were named the men's and women's Track Athlete of the Year, respectively. Allen (110 hurdles, 200) and Cunliffe (100, 200, 4x100) both won multiple events at the Pac-12 Championships held over the weekend.

Allen broke the Pac-12 meet record in the prelims (13.32) and has run uncontested all year. He owns the fastest time in the NCAA this year in the 110 hurdles. The 200 was a similarly impressive race, this time in 20.88. He also contributed with third-place finishes in the 100 (10.48) and 4x100. Allen is no stranger to the spotlight, twice garnering Pac-12 Athlete of the Week honors. The honor is the first for a male Oregon athlete since 2010.

Cunliffe, in addition to three wins, was a record-setter in two of them. In what has become a recurring theme, the 4x100 broke the Pac-12 Meet Record in 42.71. Earlier this year, the quartet broke the school record running 42.68. The time was the third-fastest in NCAA history. Cunliffe brought down another record in the 200 (22.49) and owns the fastest 100 time in the country (10.99). This marks the third straight year a female Duck has earned the distinction.

The Ducks "swept" another honor with the Pac-12 Track & Field Freshman of the Year. Matthew Maton and Ariana Washington were named the male and female recipients. Maton was the runner-up in the men's 1500 at the Pac-12 championships. There, he posted the fifth-fastest time in the country (3:39.97). Washington is another member of the record-setting women's 4x100 team that is a frontrunner to win the national championship. Overshadowed by Cunliffe, she was runner-up in the 100 and third in the 200 at the Pac-12 meet.

Head coach Robert Johnson joined his athletes by virtue of winning the Pac-12 Women's Coach of the Year. This marks the third time in four years he has received the honor. Johnson has led the Ducks to eight national titles, which are split evenly between the men's and women's teams. The women dominated at the Pac-12's, leading start to finish with 185 points in all. They have been ranked in the top five all year.