Texas Longhorns Track & Field sweeps Big 12 Athlete of the Week
(Image via TexasSports.com)
AUSTIN, Texas – After an impressive showing by the Texas Track & Field team at the LSU Alumni Gold, the Longhorns have swept the Big 12 Athlete of the Week awards. Courtney Okolo and Byron Robinson both posted the No. 1 times in the nation for their respective events to get the weekly honors.
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. She 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.
Robinson established himself as a title contender for the 400 meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships this June with his impressive victory at the LSU Alumni Gold. Robinson crossed the finish line in 49.10 seconds to defeat the field by more than a full second. His time now ranks No. 1 in the NCAA this season ahead of Florida's Eric Futch at 49.45. Robinson also ran on UT's 4x400 relay that finished third with a time of 3:06.06. Robinson's time of 49.10 ranks him as the No. 2 Longhorn in school history.
Okolo's 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 is Okolo's first outdoor honor of the year from the Big 12. She did receive the award twice during indoor season this year, once individually and once as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team. She also was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week earlier this week for her record performance. Robinson's award is the first of the season as well.
Texas now leads the Big 12 with 10Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors combined among the men and women.