Texas Tech claimed four Mountain Region Awards from The U.S. Track & Field and Cross County Coaches Association on Monday.
Jumpers Ruth Usoro and Justin Hall were awarded the Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year, while coaches James Thomas and Calvin Robinson were awarded Assistant Coach of the year for their third year straight, according to a Tech Athletics news release.
The two-time Big 12 champion Usoro was the first jumper to be named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. The marked the third time a Lady Raider has claimed the award, according to the release.
South Plains transfer Usoro earned Big 12 titles in both horizontal jumps this season, ranking top-four in the NCAA for each event, according to the release. In addition, the Nigerian athlete owns three of the program’s top 10 marks in the long and triple jump.
“Ruth has been extremely solid and consistent for our program all season long,” Thomas said, according to the release. “It is awesome to see her awarded by our sport, especially since she is the type that never seeks recognition.”
Hall was awarded the Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. This will be the sixth time a Red Raider has been awarded this honor, according to the release.
Hall completed his indoor season ranking fourth in the NCAA in the men’s long jump. He also won his first Big 12 silver medal two weeks ago during the Big 12 indoor championship. During Hall’s career, he marked the third-longest jump in school history with 8.05-meters.
“This is Justin’s first honor, and I couldn’t be more excited for him,” Thomas said, according to the release. “He’s been a major contributor in our program for four years, and I’m hopeful this is his year to take things to a whole new level.”
Thomas was named the Women’s Assistant coach of the year for his third straight season. Thomas’ season has been highlighted by the Division I level jumper Usoro, who earned the recognition of a High Point Scorer in the Big 12 indoor Championship.
Usoro also topped two school records this past season in the women’s triple and long jump. In the women’s multis, Thomas coached All-American Kaylee Hinton, who earned a silver medal at the Big 12 championship, according to the release. During the Big 12 meet, Hinton scored a total number of 4,105 points in the Pentatholon, which is the most a Tech athlete has ever scored. In total, Thomas’ student-athletes tallied 37 points for Tech’s program record of 131 points at the Big 12 Championship.
“Coaching awards will always be about the student-athletes to me," Thomas said. "Not just the ones highlighted in the championships, but the ones pushing and challenging them daily."
As for the men’s team, coach Robinson was named Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Robinson’s sprinters qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships this season, including three sprinters in the 200-meter.
Robinson’s group contributed a total of 48 points to Tech’s 131 points in the Big 12 Indoor Championship. In addition, multiple scorers in the 60-meter hurdles, 60-meters, 200-meters and Robinson’s 4x4 team earned a bronze medal while the DMR took second.
“I am extremely grateful,” Robinson said, according to the release. “It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers. We have a great group of student-athletes, and I also have a lot of help around me. Coach Zach Glavash has helped our program tremendously in continuing to move in the right direction. I am proud to be a part of this Texas Tech University and this program.”
As the track and field team was recognized, the season is not over just yet for Tech. Several members of the team will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14.