May 17, 2007
The eight Big West Track & Field major awards were spread among four teams as the conference announced the winners of the Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year honors.
For the women, UC Santa Barbara claimed two of the awards as Stephanie Rothstein repeated as the Female Track Athlete of the Year, while teammate Amy Haapanen claimed the Female Field Athlete of the Year.
Rothstein (Phoenix, Ariz.), the 2006 Female Athlete of the Year, had a spectacular season in the distance events in her final go-round as a Gaucho. She set Big West records in the 5,000 (16:12.77) and 10,000 (33:26.79) leading up to the conference championship meet, both times being well under the NCAA Regional standard. At the Big West championships, she finished second in the 5,000-meter run and was the winner in the 10,000, her second straight individual crown in the event.
Haapanen (Manteca, Calif.) was as equally impressive in the throwing events as her teammate Rothstein was in the distance events. The senior had the top marks in the shot put and hammer, while ranking second in the discus leading up to the Big West Championships. Her mark in the hammer established a new conference record. At the conference meet, Haapanen recorded a personal best 15.93 meters for the gold in the shot put and added another individual title in the hammer with a meet-record effort of 62.88 meters.