Jason Richardson Named USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year
Aug. 7, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina hurdler Jason Richardson has been named the 2008 Division I Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) to lead a group of five Gamecocks that were named to the organization's All-Academic Track and Field Teams.
In addition, the women's team was one of 117 programs recognized as a 2008 USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field team after posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.197 and placing in the Top 25 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Richardson becomes the third Gamecock to earn national Scholar Athlete of the Year honors and is the first to sweep both the indoor and outdoor awards. Former Gamecock and three-time NCAA champion Shalonda Solomon earned 2006 Indoor Scholar Athlete of the Year honors while four-time NCAA champion Otukile Lekote was named the 2002 Scholar Athlete of the Year.
"It's an extreme honor because I think it really intensifies the intent and goals of student-athletes, which is to fuse academics and athletics together," Richardson said. "To do well academically and be rewarded for it is good to know that I'm doing right and striving for the right things."
Richardson, a senior from Cedar Hill, Texas, earned the 2008 Division I Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year award after a stellar outdoor campaign. Richardson's senior year was highlighted by a national title in the 110-meter hurdles, the perfect end to a perfect season in which he was undefeated in collegiate competition over the sprint hurdles. Earlier this summer, he competed in the 110-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Richardson also earns the Division I Indoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year award after finishing second in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2008 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Richardson finished only 0.003 out of first place, setting a new personal best and moving to number two all-time in Gamecock history. As a sports management major at South Carolina, Richardson compiled a 3.464 cumulative GPA.
"To be in the same category as (former teammate) Shalonda is great company to be in," Richardson said. "I'm proud to be another representative for the University of South Carolina."
Four other Gamecocks earned individual honors or having at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA and meeting the regional or national qualifying standards in their events. Michael Zajac, Sallie Gurganus, Aimee Kodat and Liza Todd also earned individual accolades.