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Okagbare And Kitchens Honored


POSTED: Friday, June 4, 2010 - 3:50pm

UPDATED: Friday, June 4, 2010 - 5:28pm

UTEP head coach Bob Kitchens and track and field standout Blessing Okagbare have been honored as the Mountain Region Outdoor Women’s Head Coach and Female Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Country Association.

“This is a pretty nice way to go out,” Kitchens said about the award. “It feels great to be recognized by your peers. I’m also very happy for Blessing and her award. It’s no surprise since everybody knows she’s an exceptional athlete.”

The UTEP women spent the entire 2010 outdoor season in the top 15 of the USTFCCCA national rankings climbing as high as No.10 during weeks two and three of the weekly listing. Kitchens, who will retire after 22 years at the helm of the UTEP track and field program, will take his 12th ranked women to next week’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

The legendary coach closes out an illustrious career having won the 2010 indoor and outdoor coach of the year accolades voted by the nation’s coaches.

Okagbare, UTEP’s most decorated female student-athlete in program history, earns her sixth USTFCCCA regional athlete of the year recognition of her career. The nine-time All-American swept the Mountain Region honors during the 2010 indoor season picking up the track and field honors prior to claiming the 60m and long jump titles at the indoor national meet.

The Sapele, Nigeria, native will compete in three events (100m, long jump, 4x100m relay) at next week’s NCAA Championships. Okagbare is the top-ranked athlete in both individual events posting a personal best time of 11.10 in the 100m and a mark of 6.88m (22-07) in the long jump.

As a fitting conclusion to his storied career, Kitchens will coach one of his finest student-athletes in her final meet. Okagbare will close out her collegiate career at the NCAA Championships.

The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships concludes June 9-12, in Eugene, Ore. Live television coverage of action can be found on CBS College Sports, Friday, June 11, starting at 8 p.m., eastern. The final day of competition will be aired live on CBS, Saturday, June 12, beginning at 1 p.m., eastern. Non-televised coverage will be streamed at no cost on, beginning Wednesday, June 9.

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