Sophomore is one of three finalists for female athlete of the year award after winning a pair of titles at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships and setting the 400m collegiate record
NEW ORLEANS – Courtney Okolo was named one of three finalists Thursday for The Bowerman, an award that honors the top NCAA male and female track and field athletes of the year.
Okolo won a pair of titles at last month’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, helping the Texas women finish second in the team standings. She accounted for 14 of the team’s 66 points, tied for the seventh-best individual total in school history at the NCAA Outdoor meet.
The sophomore from Carrollton, Texas, is the second Longhorn to be named a finalist for the award, which was instituted in 2009. Destinee Hooker was a finalist for the inaugural award.
Laura Roesler of Oregon and Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State are the other finalists.
The collegiate record holder in the event, Okolo won the 400 meters at outdoor nationals in 50.23 seconds, tied for the fifth-fastest time in NCAA history. She also ran the anchor leg of the winning 4×400-meter relay that set a meet record in posting the second-fastest time (3:24.21) in NCAA history, and the third leg of the third-place 4x100m relay.
Okolo won a pair of Big 12 outdoor titles in 2014. She broke the collegiate record (50.03) in the 400 and ran the third leg of the victorious 4x100m relay at the league outdoor meet. During the 2014 outdoor season, she ran a leg on three of the top 11 all-time 4x400m performances in NCAA history. She also was the second leg of the runner-up 4×400 relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships with the unit posting the second-fastest time (3:27.42) in collegiate history en route to a runner-up finish in the team standings.