July 1, 2009
Dallas -- Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced on Wednesday that Rice pole vaulter Jason Colwick has been selected as the 2008-09 C-USA Male Athlete of the Year. Also, East Carolina softball pitcher Toni Paisley and Tulane volleyball player Sara Radosevic were selected the 2008-09 C-USA Female Co-Athletes of the Year.
"I am a firm believer that anyone can achieve what they want, athletically or not, if they believe and work hard," said Colwick. To win this award is awesome."
Colwick, a junior, became the first Conference USA track and field athlete to win national titles in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. The two-time All-American had the number one height in the NCAA for 2009 of 5.72m (18-9.25).
It certainly is quite an honor for Colwick when you look at all of great athletes in C-USA.
"Just looking at the athletes at Rice with the (Jarett) Dillard and (James) Casey, and Chase Clement in football and with Anthony Rendon (ren-DOAN) in baseball and what they accomplished it is very impressive for Jason to receive this award especially with the strength of this conference," commented Jon Warren, Rice's head men's track and field coach.
The San Marcos, Texas, native recently placed sixth at the USA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships when he cleared 5.65m (18-6.5). The junior captured his first NCAA crown by clearing 5.60m (18-04.5), then followed up with a gold medal performance of 5.70m (18-8.25) at the outdoor championship. He was the lone vaulter to surpass the 18-foot mark at nationals and is the only C-USA athlete to ever clear 18-feet indoors and outdoors. Colwick became the second Owl in the last three years to win Athlete of the Year honors, joining former baseball standout Joe Savery.
Colwick will spend part of the summer competing internationally in Europe.