Longhorns open outdoor season strong
AUSTIN, Texas – A month into the outdoor track and field season, a pair of Longhorns are still among the favorites to win the prestigious Bowerman. The USTFCCCA updated its outdoor watch lists this week and Courtney Okolo and Ryan Crouser are still on the list like they have since the first list was announced in January.
Okolo has ran only on relay teams so far during outdoor season after claiming her first NCAA indoor individual title in the 400 meters in March. The Longhorns are ranked No. 1 in the 4×400 meter relay and No. 5 in the 4×100, with Okolo running. In addition to her championship in the 400 meters, Okolo ran on the NCAA champion 4×400 relay squad indoors. She was named Big 12 Conference Co-Performer of the Year for her efforts at the conference championship winning the 600 yards and scoring points in the 400 meters as well as helping win the 4×400 title.
Crouser has posted the top mark in the shot put so far outdoors with a win at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. He also ranks 10th in the discus. Indoors, Crouser had the best mark of the season and finished second at the NCAA Championships in the shot put. He also set the Big 12 Championships record to successfully defend his crown.
Okolo was a finalist for The Bowerman in 2014 after winning the outdoor title in the 400 meters and breaking the collegiate record at the Big 12 Championships with a time of 50.03 seconds. She was a force in the event both indoors and out and helped Texas win the 4×400 meter relay at the NCAA outdoor meet while setting an NCAA Championship meet record.
Two other Big 12 Conference athletes join Crouser on the men’s watch list. Baylor’s Trayvon Bromell and Kansas’ Michael Stigler are among the 10 athletes considered for the award at this time. No other Big 12 Conference athletes are recognized on the women’s April watch list.