IRVING -- The Big 12 Conference has announced Outdoor Track & Field postseason honors, as selected by the league’s head coaches. Honors include men’s and women’s Coach, Performer and Freshman of the Year.
Mark Wetmore (Colorado) was named Men’s Coach of the Year for the first time, while Pat Henry (Texas A&M) earned his second straight Big 12 Women’s Coach of the Year accolade. Nebraska’s Dusty Jonas was named Men’s Outdoor Performer of the Year and Porscha Lucas of Texas A&M claimed Women’s Outdoor Performer of the Year. The Men’s and Women’s Freshman Performer of the Year honors went to a pair of Aggies as Gerald Phiri and Jessica Beard earned top frosh accolades.
Wetmore enters his 16th season at Colorado, his 13th as the head coach. This is the first time he has led a team to a Big 12 track title and earned Coach of the Year in track. He has earned Cross Country Coach of the Year honors 10 times as women’s head coach and all 11 times on the men’s side.
After winning 27 team national championships at LSU, Henry started coaching Texas A&M in 2004 and claims his second consecutive Big 12 Outndoor Coach of the Year honor this season as well as earning 2008 Big 12 Indoor Coach of the Year accolades. His team finished 52 points ahead of second-place Nebraska.
Jonas set a new school and conference mark in the high jump, topping the bar at 7’-8 ¾" and setting the top standard in the world so far this season. Jonas outjumped Scott Sellers (Kansas State) who topped Jonas in a head-to-head matchup featuring the nation’s top two high jumpers at this season’s indoor championships.
Lucas ran a world best 22.29 in the 200-meter dash surpassing the former Big 12 Outdoor Championships record set by teammate Simone Facey last year. She also ran the second leg of the Aggie’s 4x100-meter relay squad that defended their title while clocking a Big 12 meet record time of 42.88 seconds. Lucas finished with the third-highest women’s point total, earning 18 ½ points.
Phiri produced the first double sprint victory in Big 12 men’s history with times of 10.03 (wind-aided) and 20.29 to claim the men’s high point award with 22 ½ points. He set Big 12 meet records in the 100-meter dash (10.03) and the 200-meter dash (20.29) in both events. The time was the third best posted by a collegiate athlete on the year.
Jessica Beard broke a 10-year old Big 12 meet record in the 400-meter dash by sprinting to a time of 51.09 seconds. She just missed taking the 400-meter school record of 51.06 set by Clora Williams in 2006.