"Walter and Andree' are fine representatives for their universities and this conference," SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer said. "They have competed at the highest level and have shown the true meaning of being a student-athlete by succeeding both on the athletic field and in the classroom. We congratulate them on their efforts and wish them the best in their future endeavors."
After finishing fifth in the world in the triple jump at the 2001 World Championships, Walter Davis entered his senior season with high expectations and certainly delivered. During the 2002 season, Davis helped the Tigers to their first NCAA Outdoor Championship since 1990 and was named the Men's National Track & Field Athlete of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association.
Davis won the NCAA outdoor titles in the triple jump and long jump, becoming the first man since 1998 to sweep both horizontal jumps and only the sixth man in the history of the championship event to do so. In addition, Davis led off the Tigers' victorious 4x100-meter relay team that won the national title, giving him a hand in 30 of the Tigers 64 total points at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
At the NCAA Indoor Championships he helped the Tigers to a third place finish in the team competition by winning the triple jump and finishing second in the long jump. He ended his career as a nine-time All-American and six-time national champion, both the highest totals in the illustrious history of LSU men's track and field. He ended his career a perfect 17-0 in the triple jump.
As the captain of the Alabama gymnastics team, Andree' Pickens led the Crimson Tide to the 2002 National Championship. In her three years of NCAA Championship competition, Pickens earned 14 All-American honors and two individual titles. She is the only gymnast in NCAA history to earn five All-American honors in two different seasons (1999 & 2002).
Selected as the SEC Gymnast of the Year for an unprecedented third consecutive year, Pickens won the all-around, vault, bars and balance beam titles at the 2002 SEC Gymnastics Championships. She is the first SEC gymnast to earn four individual league titles in the same year.
Pickens has also been honored nationally. She was named the 2002 Honda Award for Gymnastics winner; the 2002 NCAA Regional Gymnast of the Year, an honor she has earned four times; and the 2002 American Award winner, given annually to the senior gymnast who best represents the ideal combination of athleticism, academic excellence and civic responsibility.
Davis was selected from a field of nominees which included: Ron Bramlett, Alabama (track); Daniel Lincoln, Arkansas (cross country/track); Damon Duval, Auburn (football); Rex Grossman, Florida (football); Matias Boeker, Georgia (tennis); Jesse Witten, Kentucky (tennis); Terrence Metcalf, Ole Miss (football); Mario Austin, Mississippi State (basketball); Yaron Peters, South Carolina (baseball); Justin Gatlin, Tennessee (track); Bobby Reynolds, Vanderbilt (tennis).
Pickens was selected from a field of nominees which included: Adreina Byrd, Arkansas (cross country/track); Maggie Bowen, Auburn (swimming); Jessica Lehnhoff, Florida (tennis); Angela Jerman, Georgia (golf); Annie Gage, Kentucky (soccer); Britni Sneed, LSU (softball); Mira Radu, Ole Miss (tennis); LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State (basketball); Demetria Washington, South Carolina (track & field); Vilmarie Castellvi, Tennessee (tennis); Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt (basketball).
Past recipients of the SEC Athlete of the Year Award included: 2001 - Matias Boeker, Georgia (tennis) and Amy Yoder Begley, Arkansas (cross country/track); 2000 - Kip Bouknight , South Carolina (baseball) and Kristy Kowal, Georgia (swimming); 1999 - Tim Couch, Kentucky (football) and Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (basketball); 1998 - Peyton Manning, Tennessee (football) and Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (basketball); 1997 - Danny Wuerffel, Florida (football) and Trinity Johnson, South Carolina (softball); 1996 - Danny Wuerffel, Florida (football) and Saudia Roundtree, Georgia (basketball); 1995 - Todd Helton, Tennessee (baseball) and Jenny Hansen, Kentucky (gymnastics); 1994 - Corliss Williamson, Arkansas (basketball) and Nicole Haislett, Florida (swimming); 1993 - Jamal Mashburn, Kentucky (basketball) and Nicole Haislett, Florida (swimming); 1992 - Shaquille O'Neal, LSU (basketball) and Vicki Goetze, Georgia (golf); 1991 - Shaquille O'Neal, LSU (basketball) and Daedra Charles, Tennessee (basketball); 1990 - Alec Kessler, Georgia (basketball) and Dee Foster, Alabama (gymnastics); 1989 - Derrick Thomas, Alabama (football) and Bridgette Gordon, Tennessee (basketball); 1988 - Will Perdue, Vanderbilt (basketball) and Dara Torres, Florida (swimming); 1987 - Cornelius Bennett, Alabama (football) and Lillie Leatherwood-King, Alabama (track and field); 1986 - Bo Jackson, Auburn (football) and Jennifer Gillom, Ole Miss (basketball); 1985 - Will Clark, Mississippi State (baseball) and Penney Hauschild, Alabama (gymnastics); 1984 - Terry Hoage, Georgia (football) and Tracy Caulkins, Florida (swimming); 1983 - Herschel Walker, Georgia (football/track and field); 1982 - Buck Belue, Georgia (football/baseball); 1981 - Rowdy Gaines, Auburn (swimming); 1980 - Kyle Macy, Kentucky (basketball); 1979 - Reggie King, Alabama (basketball); 1978 - Jack Givens, Kentucky (basketball); 1977 - Larry Seivers, Tennessee (football); and 1976 - Harvey Glance, Auburn (track and field).