Nigeria's 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare of University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) is one of four track and field women athletes nominated for the Collegiate Women Sports Award presented by Honda to the top NCAA Division I female athletes in their sport.
Okagbare becomes the first UTEP athlete to be nominated for the distinguished award.
The winner of the track and field award, as voted by Division I Senior Woman Administrators, will automatically become a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup honor given to the Honda College Sports Woman of the Year.
The UTEP junior is in elite company as she joins Colorado's Jennifer Barringer, Michigan's Tiffany Ofili and Tennessee's Sarah Bowman in the group of nominees.
A five-time All-American during her first season in a Miner (UTEP Athletics team) uniform, Okagbare will represent UTEP at this year's NCAA Outdoor Championships in three events, long and triple jumps and the 100-metres dash.
Okagbare was a silver medalist in the triple jump and finished third in the long jump at last year's national meet and was the anchor for the sixth-place 4x400 metres relay team.
With nine Conference USA crowns under her belt in just two years, Okagbare has made a name for herself owning the league's all-time bests in the outdoor 100 metres, and the outdoor and indoor long and triple jumps.
She is also the UTEP record holder in both indoor and outdoor jumping events while writing her name into a handful of stadium records throughout the country.
Okagbare became the first female athlete to be a three-time C-USA Champion in the triple and long jump after taking the titles at the 2009 C-USA Championships earning the High Point Scorer and Performance of the Meet awards.
It was the third Performance of the Year award for Okagbare. A five-time C-USA Athlete of the Week honoree, Okagbare was the 2008 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and the 2007-08 UTEP Female Athlete of the Year.
She was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's NCAA Indoor Mountain Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year and the Outdoor Midwest Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year in 2008.
She is the current MCAA Midwest Regional record holder in the outdoor long and triple jumps.
Beyond the national spotlight, Okagbare soared to this year's all-conditions world-best mark in the long jump at the April 11 UTEP Invitational with a mark of 6.86 metres.
Okagbare will head into the NCAA Championships next week with the nation's best marks in the long and triple jumps and a seventh-place ranking in the 100 metres dash.
She has won a total of 20 events while competing at UTEP that include eight in the long jump, five in the triple, five in the 400m relay and two in the 100m.