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Track and Field News on Sunday named Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens Collegiate Athlete of the Year.

She is also on the Bowerman Watch List. The Bowerman is an annual track and field award that is the highest accolade given to the year’s best student-athlete in American collegiate track and field by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

She believes the accolades are the fruits of hard work.

“Winning Athlete of the Year and staying on the Bowerman Watch List has been rewarding. It’s been a product of hard work and it’s exciting, it’s motivating. It makes me want to continue to work hard. I am very honoured, I’m very grateful and I can’t wait to see what I can produce for the rest of the season,” she said.

The Trinidadian multi-event athlete recorded one of the best performances in collegiate history two weeks ago when she won the NCAA championship in the pentathlon and high jump and was third in the long jump to score 26 points.

The 26-point performance is the third-most all-time at an NCAA Championship meet where she also became the first woman to win national championships in the pentathlon and high jump in the same meet.

Gittens also set a collegiate record in the pentathlon with a winning score of 4,746 setting school records in the pentathlon, high jump (1.93m/6-4) and long jump (6.68m/21-11).

She also scored 23 points at the SEC Championships winning the high jump and long jump titles, while finishing sixth in the pentathlon.

She received the Cliff Harper Award for being the top point scorer.

She said self-belief enabled her turnaround from finishing sixth at the SEC Championships to breaking the collegiate pentathlon record two weeks later.

“I was very proud of myself! I trusted myself, I took a chance, and I had confidence in myself,” she said.

“I was not surprised though. Knowing how my training and my season has been going I knew I was going to have a good meet. I’m happy with how I executed everything I wanted to.

“I’m happy I was in control of my emotions and I’m happy I trusted myself enough to take a chance. It’s a great way to end the indoor season.”

The USTFCCCA also named Gittens National Field Athlete of the Year.

Source: Leighton Levy

www.sports24ghana.com

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