KU's Dixon, Pate Earn USTFCCCA Midwest Region Honors

March 5, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomore sprinter Diamond Dixon along with assistant coach Wayne Pate took home Midwest Region awards Monday, as was announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Monday afternoon. Dixon was named the region’s female track athlete of the year, while Pate claimed the Midwest’s women’s assistant coach of the year.

Dixon, who hails from Houston, Texas, capped an undefeated regular season in the 400 meters with a win in the event at the Big 12 Conference championships. Her season-best time of 52.55 ranks second in the NCAA this season. She also helped Kansas earn the conference title in the 4×400-meter relay with the fastest time in the NCAA this year (3:31.36). The award is her second All-Region honor, as she was named the Midwest Region female freshman track athlete of the year following the 2011 outdoor season.

“Diamond has had a superb start to this season and she deserves every bit of recognition for it,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “I know she is excited about this accomplishment and is looking forward to doing more as she moves forward.”

Pate, who is in his fifth season as Kansas’ horizontal jumps coach, mentored his athletes to scoring 36 points, including a 1-2 finish in the long jump, at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, helping the KU women’s squad to their highest-ever finish at the conference meet, of third-place. The coach has two athletes with qualifying marks in the long jump (juniors Francine Simpson and Andrea Geubelle) and one in the triple jump (Geubelle) as the team currently sits sixth in the country. Pate is no stranger to regional and national accolades as he is a two-time national assistant coach of the year (2003 and 2005) while at Indiana and was the Great Lakes Region men’s jumps coach of the year in 2005.

“Coach Pate has been one of the key pieces to the success of the women’s program this season,” said Redwine. “What his athletes are doing this year is outstanding and this award reaffirms that he is one of the best assistants in the region, if not in the country.”

Next up for the Jayhawks will be the NCAA Indoor Championships held in Boise, Idaho March 10-11. The No. 6-ranked women’s squad has eight female athletes that will compete in five events at nationals, highlighted by the No. 1-ranked women’s 4×400-meter relay team. Coverage from Boise will begin at 3 p.m. (CT) Friday as Alena Krechyk competes for a championship in the women’s weight throw and ends with the women’s 4×400-meter relay team competing at 9:40 p.m. (CT) Saturday night. Stay logged onto kuathletics.com and the meet central page throughout the weekend for live updates and results of the Jayhawks’ performances and don’t forget to follow on twitter at KU_Track.