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Courtney Okolo runs collegiate record to earn USATF Athlete of the Week


INDIANAPOLIS -- Claiming a 400m collegiate record in her season debut, Courtney Okolo earns USATF Athlete of the Week after her performance at the LSU Alumni Gold meet on Saturday in Baton Rouge.

Okolo (Carrollton, Texas), a senior at the University of Texas, ran 49.71 in the 400m to become the first female collegian under 50 seconds. Her previous outdoor best, also an NCAA record, was 50.03. Okolo joins Sanya Richards-Ross, a fellow Longhorn, in the sub-50 club. Richards-Ross ran 49.89 at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, shortly after turning pro following her sophomore campaign.

In addition to Okolo’s quartermile pursuits on Saturday, she also anchored the Texas 4x400m relay team to a 3:27.29 win and won both Big 12 and USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week honors for her performances in Baton Rouge.

The IAAF World Indoor 4x400m gold medalist will next compete at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, which fans can watch online on USATF.TV +PLUS.

Other notable performances of the week are as follows:

Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis) ran a world-leading 54.70 in the 400m hurdles at the LSU meet.

Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, California) topped the world list in the 110m hurdles with his 13.33 at the Tom Jones Memorial meet in Gainesville.

Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina) had the world's best outdoor pole vault mark of the year to win the John McDonnell Invitational at Fayetteville, where she cleared 4.81m/15-9.25.

Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.


2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo.


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