Gittens, Mu Garner USTFCCCA Regional Athlete of the Year Honors
NEW ORLEANS – Texas A&M track & field’s Tyra Gittens and Athing Mu garnered the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association South Central Region Athlete of the Year honors, the organization announced Thursday morning.
Leading the nation’s No. 2 women’s team, Gittens was named the Field Athlete of the Year, while Mu was named the Track Athlete of the Year.
Gittens, a redshirt junior, leads the NCAA in the pentathlon (4,612) and high jump (1.91m/6-3.25). She is also ranked No. 5 in the long jump (6.62m/21-8.75), and is the only woman in the top-5 in three individual championship events.
The Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, native, scored 23 points at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, winning the high jump and long jump competitions, while finishing sixth in the pentathlon. She received the Cliff Harper Award, which is given to the top-point scorer at the meet, for the second consecutive season. It was the first time a female athlete has won the award outright in back-to-back seasons since 1997.
On Feb. 2, she was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week after winning the pentathlon at the Texas Tech Invitational. She won the event with a school-record 4,612 points, which made her the third-best performer in collegiate history. During the event, she recorded a school record high jump clearance of 1.91m/6-3.25, which was the fifth-best clearance in collegiate history during a pentathlon.
It is the third time in her career to be named the USTFCCCA Regional Field Athlete of the Year and second consecutive indoor season. Gittens is currently on The Bowerman Watch List, which is given annually to the nation’s top track & field athlete.
Mu, a freshman from Trenton, New Jersey, has rewritten not only the Texas A&M record book but the all-time collegiate one as well. In her first season in Aggieland, the middle-distance sprinter has set four Aggie school records and three collegiate records.
Most recently, she claimed the SEC 800m title breaking a World U20 record with a time of 1:58.40. It broke the previous collegiate record of 2:00.69, held by former Texas A&M national champion Jazmine Fray, by two seconds. She became the second-fastest American all-time in the indoor 800m. On Feb. 13, Mu split 50.27 to anchor the Aggies to a collegiate record 4x400m relay time of 3:26.27. The 4x400m relay team of Jania Martin, Syaira Richardson, Charokee Young and Mu became the fourth-fastest relay team in the world all-time.
She has won eight weekly honors, including four USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week accolades, three times individually and once as a member of the relay. Mu has been listed on The Bowerman Watch List twice.
USTFCCCA South Central Regional Award Winners
Women’s Track Athlete of the Year – Athing Mu (Texas A&M)
Women’s Field Athlete of the Year – Tyra Gittens (Texas A&M)
Women’s Coach of the Year – Lance Harter (Arkansas)
Women’s Asst. Coach of the Year – Chris Johnson (Arkansas)
Men’s Track Athlete of the Year – Terrance Laird (LSU)
Men’s Field Athlete of the Year – KC Lightfoot (Baylor) and JuVaughn Harrison (LSU)
Men’s Coach of the Year – Chris Bucknam (Arkansas)
Men’s Asst. Coach of the Year – Bennie Brazell (LSU)