AUSTIN, Texas – As NCAA champion and collegiate record holder Courtney Okolo turns her attention to qualifying for the Olympic Games this summer, the USTFCCCA named her a semifinalist for the 2016 Bowerman Award on Wednesday

Okolo is one of 10 female student-athletes to be named a semifinalist for the most prestigious award in collegiate track and field.

This season Okolo dominated her event as she swept the 400 meters with victories at the NCAA Championships both indoors and out. She broke her own collegiate record outdoors during the season with a run of 49.71 seconds in April at the LSU Alumni Gold. That time bested her previous record of 50.03 and made her just the third woman to ever run sub-50 in the month of April.

Okolo also ran anchor leg on the 4×400 meter relay that won the NCAA Championship last weekend. She showed how strong she can close as she trailed by approximately 20 meters with just 150 to go. Okolo moved to the outside with 100 meters to go as she over took the two runners in front of and closed the deal for Texas to get the indoor/outdoor sweep in that event as well.

Her winning time of 50.36 seconds at the outdoor championship meet solidified her as one of the best of all-time at her distance as she now claims four of the 10 fastest times in collegiate history. She also has run on three of the 10 fastest 4×400 relay squads outdoors and four of the top seven indoor 4×4’s in collegiate history.

At the Big 12 Conference Championship this year, Okolo succeeded in winning her third straight title in the 400 and also finished third in the 200 meters. She also ran on the victorious 4×100 meter relay squad to help Texas secure the team title handily.

This is the second time Okolo has been a semifinalist for the Bowerman. In 2014 she advanced to be one of the three finalists for the award.

Three of the semifinalists will be chosen by the Bowerman Advisory Board as finalists and announced on Thursday, June 23. The 10 men’s semifinalists will be announced on Thursday, June 16.

Created in 2009, The Bowerman, named after legendary former coach of the Oregon Ducks and co-founder of Nike, Bill Bowerman, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation and has been called by some “The Heisman Trophy of Track and Field.”

Since the award’s inception, the USTFCCCA has recognized a number of athletes who are among the best in the world today. Past winners and finalists combined to win six medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

2016 Bowerman Women’s Semifinalists (listed alphabetically)
Courtney Frerichs, New Mexico
Shamier Little, Texas A&M
Maggie Malone, Texas A&M
Courtney Okolo, Texas
Keturah Orji, Georgia
DeAnna Price, Southern Illinois
Raven Saunders, Ole Miss
Dominique Scott-Efurd, Arkansas
Ariana Washington, Oregon
Kendell Williams, Georgia


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