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Friday, March 19, 2010 - 4:43pm
UTEP's Blessing Okagbare added more hardware to her collection on Friday morning when Conference USA named the All-American the 2010 Female Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Okagbare returned to indoor competition after sitting out the 2009 indoor season closing out her senior campaign with two NCAA championships last weekend. She made history becoming the first female in school history to win two titles, 60m and long jump, in a single national championship. Additionally, Okagbare was ranked nationally in the 200m and triple jump taking gold medal in all four events at the C-USA Championships last month. Her four championship titles are the second-most in league history by a female and first since the league's opening year, which helped her capture the High Point Scorer of the Meet honor in addition to claiming the Female Performance of the Meet title as voted on by the league's head coaches.
The seven-time All-American also earned regional honors as the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named her the Mountain Regional Track and Field Athlete of the Year. She was the only athlete, male or female, to win both honors in a respective region. At nationals, Okagbare became the second female in C-USA history to win a pair of championships in a single national meet after placing first in the long jump with a leap of 6.87m (22-6.50) and clocking a 7.172 to finish .003 ahead of the second-place finisher in the 60m. Her performance at nationals earned her a spot on The Bowerman Watch List, which recognizes the top collegiate athlete in track and field, and also helped her garner the USTFCCCA Female Field Athlete of the Year honor.