Texas A&M's track & field dynamic duo Tyra Gittens and Athing Mu are two of four finalists for the 2021 Honda Sport Award for Track & Field, announced by The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The duo recently were named the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athletes of the Year, Gittens the Field Athlete of the Year and Mu the Track Athlete of the Year. Both are currently on The Bowerman Watch List.
Gittens, the nation's top multi-athlete, had a historic 2021 season finishing as a three-time NCAA Champion winning the indoor high jump and pentathlon titles, as well as the outdoor heptathlon championship. She earned six First Team All-America honours. Gittens scored a total of 50 points, 26 indoors and 24 outdoors, in NCAA Championships action. Her 26-point performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships was the third most points scored by an individual female at an NCAA indoor meet, while her 24-point performance last week was the most points scored by an individual female at an NCAA outdoor meet solely in field events.
In Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship action, Gittens won three titles, one second place finish, a fourth and sixth place finish. She completed the indoor and outdoor championships as the top point scorer, 23 indoors and 23 outdoors.
The junior set seven collegiate all-time top-12 list marks, while breaking six Texas A&M records and six Trinidad and Tobago records. She broke the all-time collegiate pentathlon record (4,746 points) and became the third best performer in the heptathlon (6,418 points). During her heptathlon performance at the SEC Championships, Gittens long jumped 22-10 (6.96m) and high jumped 6-4.75 (1.95m), becoming the first woman in world history to record such marks during the same heptathlon.
Mu, the nation's top middle-distance sprinter, rewrote the record books in 2021. The freshman set 11 collegiate all-time top-12 marks, including six all-time collegiate records. Individually she owns the indoor 600m (1:25.80), indoor 800m (1:58.40), outdoor 400m (49.57) and outdoor 800m (1:57.73) collegiate records. She anchored two collegiate record relays, the indoor 4x400m (3:26.27/50.27 split) and the outdoor 4x400m (3:22.34/48.85 split). Mu ended the season with eight Texas A&M records.
She finished the campaign a four-time First Team All-American, including a three-time NCAA Champion winning the outdoor 400m title, as well as a member of the 4x400m relay that claimed the indoor and outdoor titles. She combined to score 23 points in NCAA Championships action, 12.5 outdoors and 10.5 indoors.
The speedster claimed the SEC indoor 800m title (1:58.40), outdoor 400m (49.84) and 4x400m (3:26.17) titles.
Gittens and Mu are joined by fellow finalists Anna Cockrell of USC and Tara Davis of Texas.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 45 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics." The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2021 Honda Cup, which will be presented on a telecast on CBS Sports Network, on June 28, at 8 p.m. CT (Central Time). The nominees were chosen by a panel of experts representing the USTFCCCA.
The CWSA, celebrating its 45th anniversary year, has honoured the nation's top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its partnership in 1986, Honda has provided more than US$3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programmes.
Gittens has qualified for the July 23 to August 8 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. She will represent T&T in the long jump, and may also be among the participants in the heptathlon.