Johnson named NCAA Woman of the Year for state

FAYETTEVILLE – Former University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track & field standout Jessica Johnson was named the NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Arkansas on Monday afternoon by the NCAA offices in Indianapolis, Ind.

A two-time all-American, Johnson was Arkansas’ first female all-American in the high jump and set four University of Arkansas high jumping records during her time with the Lady Razorbacks. A multi-time NCAA Championships participant, Johnson won the Southeastern Conference outdoor high jump title in the spring of 2003 and later finished as the NCAA runner-up in the event in Sacramento, Calif.

“I know that it sounds cliché,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said, “but when the NCAA describes the model student-athlete, Jessica is just that. She had great success in the athletic arena and even bigger successes in the classroom.”

Upon graduating in the spring of 2004, Johnson enrolled in the Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Jessica is the reflection of the type of student-athlete we look for,” Harter said. “We hope to be proud of our young ladies not just athletically, but also as citizens and students. An award like this only goes to those with the academics, but also the community service for giving back.”

Johnson’s appointment as one of the 52 on the NCAA Woman of the Year roster makes her the sixth Lady Razorback cross country/track & field athlete to represent the state of Arkansas. She joins the likes of Cynthia Moore (1991), Kim Mount (1994), Megan Flowers (1997), Jessica Dailey (2000) and Amy Yoder Begley (2001). Since the award was first issued in 1990, 12 Lady Razorbacks have been named the Woman of the Year for the state in 14 ballots. Johnson now joins the 51other state and province award winners with a chance to crack into the top 10, announced later this month, and earn a post-graduate scholarship.

The NCAA Woman of the Year banquet is to be held on Sunday, Oct. 31, in Indianapolis, Ind.