Kansas Track & Field's Dixon and Pate Collect National Awards

March 14, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomore sprinter Diamond Dixon along with assistant coach Wayne Pate took home national awards Wednesday, as was announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Dixon was named the nation’s female track athlete of the year, while Pate claimed the women’s assistant coach of the year honor. It is the first time a member of the women’s program has claimed either award.

“This is a great day for KU,” said head coach Stanley Redwine after hearing of the awards. “This is just a great sign that hard work pays off. I’m extremely excited for them.”

Dixon, a sophomore from Houston, led Kansas to a runner-up team finish – the best in team history – at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a national crown in the 400 meters and anchor-leg run of the Jayhawks’ third-place finish in the 4×400 relay (3:33.13). Dixon clocked a collegiate-leading 51.78 for victory in the 400 national final. The school-record time ranks seventh in the world in 2012.

“Diamond has worked really hard,” explained Redwine. “I’m very excited for her and I know she is very honored. This is no accident though. She has put in the hard work and she has earned every great performance this season. She is very deserving.”

All told, it was an undefeated season for Dixon in races at the 400-meter distance as she also claimed a Big 12 crown in the event. She led the Jayhawks to a school record and all-time collegiate top-ten standing in the 4×400 in anchoring the squad to a collegiate-leading 3:31.36 for the Big 12 title. Dixon was named the Midwest Region female track athlete of the year on March 5 by the USTFCCCA.

Coach Pate, who is in his fifth season instructing the horizontal jumpers at KU, saw his athletes score 14 of 30 team points, helping Kansas to the runner-up team finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior Andrea Geubelle won the national crown in the triple jump with a collegiate-leading leap of 44-10¼ (13.67m). Geubelle also took eighth in the long jump and teammate Francine Simpson claimed sixth in the event. Pate’s athletes also scored 36 points, including a 1-2 finish in the long jump, at the Big 12 Championships helping KU place third.

“I am elated for coach Pate,” said Redwine. “This is a result of a lot of hard work and great recruiting. He’s done a phenomenal job and we’re blessed to have such a great coach on our staff.”

Pate has now claimed the national assistant of the year award an amazing three-times in the last nine years, also winning in 2003 and 2005 while at Indiana. He has also garnered several regional awards, being named the 2012 Midwest Region women’s assistant of the year, as well as the Great Lakes Region men’s jumps coach of the year in 2005.

The women’s team, along with the men, now switch gears for the outdoor portion of the season. The Jayhawks will make the journey to Austin, Texas for the Texas Relays March 28-31. Stay updated on everything KU track and field until then through kuathletics.com and on twitter at KU_Track