Texas A&M track & field athletes Tyra Gittens and Athing Mu were named to the US Track and Field Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) National awards list, the organisation announced Tuesday.
Less than a week after claiming national titles in their respective events, Gittens (heptathlon) was named the USTFCCCA Women's National Field Athlete of the Year while Mu (400m) earned USTFCCCA Women's National Track Athlete of the Year.
The Texas A&M duo scored a combined 36.5 points, nearly 58 per cent of the team total of 63 points at the NCAA Championships over the weekend.
Gittens scored 24 points winning the heptathlon (6,285 points), finishing second in the long jump (6.68 metres) and third in the high jump (1.87 metres). The junior finished the meet as the top female point scorer and set a collegiate record as the most points scored at an NCAA outdoor meet solely in field events.
According to the Texas A&M website, “Gittens became the third best performer in collegiate history in the heptathlon winning the South eastern Conference title with 6,418 points.
“During the multi-event, she cleared 6.96 metres in the long jump to become the fourth best performer in collegiate history in the event and cleared 1.95 metres in the high jump to equal the sixth best performer in collegiate history.
“She became the first woman in world history to achieve such marks in the long jump and high jump within the same heptathlon.
“In total, Gittens set Texas A&M records in the long jump, high jump and heptathlon during the 2021 outdoor season.”
Gitten’s 6.96 metre leap surpassed the 6.82 metre Olympic qualifying standard and punched her first ticket to an Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Mu set an individual collegiate record winning the 400m and was a member of the relay that set the all-time 4x400m collegiate record to score 12.5 points at the NCAA Championships.
The Texas A&M site continued, “The freshman bettered her previous collegiate record by .11 seconds to win with a time 49.57, matching the largest margin of victory in an NCAA meet. She followed by anchoring the relay of Tierra Robinson-Jones, Charokee Young and Jaevin Reed in comeback fashion splitting an astonishing 48.85 to claim the title in a time of 3:22.34.
At the SEC Championships, she won the 400m (49.84) and ran on the winning 4x400m relay (3:26.17) to score 12.5 points.
Gittens and Mu completed the sweep after claiming the USTFCCCA National Women's Indoor Athlete of the Year accolades in March.