Beijing 2008 Long-jump Silver Medalist and 100m Champion, Blessing Okagbare, who recently shattered a 22-year old African record in Abilene, Texas has been awarded the rare honor of being named the University of Texas-El Paso’s (UTEP) best ever female athlete.
The Nigerian African Champion was given the honor by The Prospector; the student voice of UTEP since 1915. For her several victories for the institution from 2008 to 2010, Okagbare was inducted into the UTEP Hall of Fame in October 2017.
“Unmatched and untouched, Blessing Okagbare will be known as the greatest female Miner athlete in UTEP history,” The Prospector describes Okagbare’s walk to fame and her efforts for the school. “After a long drought with the program struggling, Okagbare helped raise the track and field program and pave the way for its modern-day success that UTEP track and field has achieved.”
“Through three seasons, Okagbare secured 11 All-American honors, which set the path for her long-fought career. She won four NCAA championships in total, winning one in the 60-meter dash, 100-meter dash and the long jump. Okagbare also took home 15 conference championships during her time with the program.
During the 2008 and 2010 seasons, Okagbare set a combined nine school records and was undefeated in the 100-meter dash and long jump in 2008.” The Prospector added.
Other athletes who made the Top five all-time best list are Melinda Sergent—track and field (1991-96), Kayla Thornton—basketball (2010-14), Kim Turner—track and field (1981-84), and Camilla Carrera—softball (2008-12).
Another Nigerian athlete, Tobi Amusan was also given an honor award for her flawless performance for UTEP during her time there.
The Prospector had quite a few to say about the dextrous athlete.
“In back-to-back years, Tobi Amusan shined not only in Conference USA for track and field, but she made a global impact in the hurdle events. A native of Nigeria, she captured the 2017 NCAA championship in the 100-meter hurdles. She is also a two-time C-USA female track Athlete of the Year.” The Prospector said.
“In 2016, Amusan ran for Nigeria in the Olympics. She advanced to the semifinals in the 100-meter hurdles and was .2 seconds away from being in the finals. After her conference championship, Amusan decided to go pro for track and field and untimely left the school.” The Prospector added.
Feature image photo credit: www.athletics-africa.com