FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas Razorbacks junior Katie Stripling and sophomore Catherine White have been honored with post-season awards, it was announced by the Southeastern Conference on Monday.
Stripling has been named the SEC Co-Field Athlete of the Year. She is the first Razorback and the first pole vaulter from any school to pick up the honor since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992. Athlete of the year separated to runner of the year and field athlete of the year during the 2004 season.
The 2009 SEC Outdoor Champion in the pole vault, she cleared 14-5.25 to win her third overall and second-straight outdoor SEC pole vault title. Stripling also earned her third All-SEC honor.
Her winning clearance is a season and personal best, an SEC Outdoor meet record and the Arkansas school record. She broke the SEC meet record by 6.25 inches. She broke the Arkansas school record twice during the 2009 outdoor season and has raised the Arkansas school record by 3.25 inches since 2008.
Stripling won Arkansas' third-straight title in the outdoor pole vault (2007-09). Her 2009 season-best (14-5.25) leads the SEC by four inches and the NCAA. She now holds all five of the top clearances on Arkansas' all-time list. She won six-straight competitions during the season and has cleared the NCAA regional-qualifying height six times during the season.
White has been named the SEC Runner of the Year. White has picked up her second SEC Runner of the Year award after taking the honor during the 2008 SEC Cross Country season. Since 1992, White is the only second student-athlete to earn SEC Cross Country Runner of the Year honors and an SEC track and field Runner of the Year honor in the same season. Amy Yoder Begley was the 1999 SEC Cross Country Runner of the Year and the 2000 SEC Indoor Runner of the Year.
White is also the first distance runner to claim SEC Runner of the Year honors since Arkansas' Yoder Begley was honored during the 2000 indoor season and 2001 outdoor season. White is Arkansas’ first SEC Runner of the Year honoree outdoors since Aneita Denton in 2005. Veronica Campbell-Brown was the 2004 SEC Indoor Runner of the Year.
The 2009 SEC Outdoor 5,000-meter and 10,000 meter champion, she was the only runner to win two individual titles at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships. White won her third SEC title overall and first and second outdoors. She added two All-SEC honors to her total which now stands at three.
White won Arkansas' eighth SEC 5K title and the first since Andreina Byrd's 2002 win. She became the eighth Razorback to win the SEC 10,000 meters since 1992 and is the first since Penny Splichal won the event in 2003. She is also the first Razorback to win the distance double (5K/10K) since Yoder Begley in 2001.
Her season- and personal-best 5K time of 16:08.29 leads the SEC and ranks No. 17 in NCAA, second among sophomores. Her season- and personal-best 10K time of 33:37.83 leads the SEC by more than one minute and ranks sixth in the NCAA, first among sophomores. White clocked two 5K regional qualifiers and one 10K provisional time this season.
Arkansas Razorback women's track and field will compete next at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, May 29-30, at the University of Louisville. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
SEC Women's Runner of the Year: Catherine White, ARK
SEC Women's Co-Field Athletes of the Year: Ashley Muffet, UK; Katie Stripling, ARK
SEC Women's Freshman Runner of the Year: Genevieve LaCaze, UF
SEC Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Rachel Laurent, LSU
SEC Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Sarah Bowman, UT
SEC Women's Coach of the Year: Mike Holloway, UF