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Athletes of Distinction





BJ Graber Award
Yuliana Perez Receives 2002 Betty Jo Graber Award

The selection of Yuliana Perez for the 2002 Betty Jo Graber Award was quite easy for the committee. As if training to become a world class athlete were not enough, Yuliana Perez had to overcome the death of her mother and subsequent relocation to Cuba to be raised by relatives at the age of five, questions regarding her United States citizenship, and relocation to the U.S. from Cuba when she was 18 years old.  With the help of a few gracious individuals, not only did Yuliana establish a new life for herself in Tucson, Arizona as a student-athlete at Pima Community College but she has also was able to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. 

On the road to realizing that dream, Perez beaome part of NJCAA history as well.  Her list of accomplishments are numerous and impressive, not the least of which is winning the gold medal at the 2002 USA Track and Field Championships (June 22, 2002) with a jump of 46' 7.25" - a 2002 Top USA Outdoor Track and Field Mark.  In addition, Perez can claim the following titles:

  • 2001 NJCAA Indoor National Champion - Long Jump
  • 2001 NJCAA Indoor National Champion - Triple Jump (school record, NJCAA National Indoor triple jump record)
  • Voted 2001 National Indoor Track and Field Championship Female Athlete of the Meet
  • All-American Invitational (Chula Vista, CA at Olympic Training Center) - 2 Gold Medals
  • 2001 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championship National Champion - Triple Jump (school record, stadium record, NJCAA outdoor meet record)
  • Voted 2001 Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championship Female Athlete of the Meet
  • 2001 USATF Outdoor National Championships (Eugene, Oregon) - Silver Medal (Triple Jump; provisional qualifier for Team USA)
  • 2001 IAAF World Championships (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - 18th Place (Triple Jump; youngest competitor in that event)
  • 2001 FISU World University Games (Beijing, China) - 4th Place (Triple Jump; youngest competitor in that event)
  • Finished 2001 season ranked number 1 in the USA (by distance); number 3 All-Time in the USA (by distance) and no. 20 in the World (by distance)
  • 2002 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Champion - Triple Jump (school record, NJCAA indoor meet record)
  • 2002 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Champion - Triple Jump (stadium record, NJCAA outdoor meet record, American Collegiate Record)
  • Grand Canyon Games - Gold Medal (Triple Jump; Obtained "A" Standard for World Cup of Track and Field, set meet record and stadium record; NJCAA national outdoor triple jump record; American Collegiate Record)

In addition, Perez was been honored as the Dr. Martha R. Seger Work-Study Scholarship Award Winner, the 2002 Women's Sports Foundation Community College Sportswoman of the Year, and was the keynote speaker at the 2002 Senior Class Achievers Banquet.

 "I am not going to stop until I get my dream," said Perez.  "I'm going to train and work until I get there.  My dream is going to the Olympics one, two, three times."

Perez realized her dream in 2004 as she represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 























































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