26 Apr

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Courtney Okolo named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week

(image via TexasSports.com)

(image via TexasSports.com)

AUSTIN, Texas – Senior track star Courtney Okolo blazed around the track in 49.71 seconds to wow the crowd and break her own collegiate record in the 400 meters on Saturday. Today she was recognized by the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Women's Athlete of the Week.

Okolo shattered her previous record of 50.03 seconds set in 2014 as she left the field behind at the LSU Alumni Gold. It also was her first 400 meters of the season, making her time even more incredible when considering it was her season debut in the event.

The run has other historic significance as it gives Okolo three of the six fastest times in collegiate history. It also is the fastest time ever run by a collegian regardless of calendar date. The USTFCCCA only considers times run during the collegiate season for its records and in 2007 Natasha Hastings ran 49.84 at the USATF Championships.

Okolo's time breaks the school record previously held by track legend Sanya Richards-Ross. The previous Texas record was 49.89 seconds set at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The date of the run also has significance as only Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas and USA's Marion Jones have run faster than Okolo during the month of April.

Okolo also helped the Longhorns finish second in the 4x100 relay at the LSU Alumni Gold and she ran anchor on the victorious 4x400.

This week's men's Division I honoree was Virginia's Henry Wynne. The NCAA Indoor champion in the mile clocked in at 3:38.05 to win a field loaded with All-Americans at the Virginia Challenge.

To see winners of the NCAA Division II, Division III , NJCAA Divisions I, II and III visit USTFCCCA.org.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.