Ashley Spencer hands off the baton to Courtney Okolo during track practice on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Texas women's 1,600-meter relay that recently won an NCAA indoors championship while setting a school record. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Track & Field

Longhorns track and field athletes and coach honored

Posted March 4th, 2016

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Ryan Crouser, Courtney Okolo and Texas associate head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey were honored with regional awards by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Friday.

Crouser was named the South Central men’s field athlete of the year, and Okolo was honored as the women’s track athlete of the year. Buford-Bailey was named the men’s and women’s assistant coach of the year.

Crouser earned the award after setting an indoor shot put record of 71 feet, 3½ inches at the Big 12 Championships. He dominated the event for his eighth Big 12 title in the shot put. Heading into the NCAA Championships, Crouser has the best throw by more than three feet this season.

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Okolo took the 200- and 400-meter events at the Big 12 Championships, setting meet records in both events. She ran a 22.79 in the 200 and a 51.06 in the 400. Her 400 time leads the world this year.

Buford-Bailey coached the women in an overwhelming performance at the Big 12 Championships. She advanced runners in the 60, 200 and 400 as well as the 60-meter hurdles. She also coached Zack Bilderback to a 200-400 double on the men’s side.

Also Friday, Bilderback and Crouser were named Big 12 male co-performers of the year by the conference, and Mario Sategna was named women’s coach of the year.

The Longhorns track and field teams are set to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11 in Birmingham, Ala.

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