Okolo, Petrillose named to Bowerman Preseason Watch List

AUSTIN, Texas – After winning individual NCAA titles last season, Texas Longhorns Courtney Okolo and Kaitlin Petrillose are among the 10 athletes named to the 2015 Bowerman Women’s Preseason Watch List. The USTFCCCA announced its early list of contenders on Thursday and Texas was one of two schools with multiple athletes to watch in 2015.

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. In just two years at Texas, Okolo has already amassed eight first team All-America honors.

Petrillose is the defending champion indoors in the pole vault. She also broke the collegiate record in her event, clearing 5.60 meters (15-1.00) at the NCAA indoor meet. She Big 12 Championship records both indoors and out, going over the bar at 14-6.00 during the outdoor meet and 14-5.25 indoors. Her best outdoor mark of 4.50 meters (14-9.00) at the Texas Relays last year ranks her as the No. 5 performer in NCAA history as well.

No other Big 12 Conference teams are recognized on the preseason watch list, and only one of the 10 represents a team from outside the power conferences.

Another 400 meter runner was honored for Texas as Ashley Spencer was listed among the athletes receiving votes. Spencer is a two-time NCAA champion outdoors winning in 2012 and 2013 while at Illinois. Last year, she pulled up with an injury during the semifinal at the outdoor championship meet. She finished second in the 400 indoors at the NCAA meet and ran on UT’s 4×400 relay that also finished second.

The USTFCCCA will update the men’s and women’s watch lists periodically throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons. Thrower Ryan Crouser was named to the men’s list on Wednesday. Three men and women will be selected as finalists with the winner of the most prestigious award in collegiate track and field announced during the USTFCCCA Convention next winter.




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