Gipson named Mountain West Athlete of the Year

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    TCU graduate Whitney Gipson’s hard work has paid off as she heads to the Olympic Trials with another Mountain West award under her belt.

    Gipson was honored on Thursday as the recipient of the 2011-2012 Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year Award.

    Gipson is the first female in the university’s history to receive the honor. In 2009-10, former Horned Frog football standout Jerry Hughes was honored as the male recipient.   

    Gipson swept both the NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump titles in 2012, becoming the third-straight student-athlete to accomplish the feat, joining Southern Miss’ Tori Bowie (2011) and UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare (2010). 

    During the indoor season, the Texas native tied the 2002 collegiate record set by Auburn’s Elva Goulbourne with a Mountain West record leap of 22 feet, 8 inches at the NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing the season ranked No. 4 on the world’s indoor performance list.

    She followed that effort with a first-place jump of 22 feet, 4 and a half inches at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a couple of weeks ago, registering the second-best outdoor mark in Mountain West history and the fifth-best all-conditions jump in NCAA history. She then became the first female in school history to capture an NCAA title and only the fourth NCAA Outdoor Champion all-time in TCU's history.

    Named both the 2012 Mountain West Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year, Gipson, who was also named the South Central Field Athlete of the Year recently, is the first individual in league history to be named a semifinalist for the prestigious Bowerman award, the top honor in collegiate track and field.

    A 2012 All-Conference and All-America honoree in both the long jump and 4×100 relay, she is currently scheduled to compete in the women’s long jump at the United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. The preliminary round is scheduled for June 29 with the finals set for July 1.