KU's Michael Stigler Named Big 12 Freshman of the Year

May 16, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas hurdler Michael Stigler was named the 2012 Big 12 Outstanding Male Freshman of the Year when the conference announced its outdoor postseason honors Wednesday. The awards were voted on by the league head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own athletes.

“This is definitely well deserved for Michael,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “It was a great performance for him at the Big 12 Championships and he has really worked hard to put himself in a great position to do outstanding things this year. A lot of credit also needs to go to his coach, (Elisha) Brewer. She did an excellent job training and preparing Michael for last week and this entire season.”

Stigler dazzled at the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships as he captured the first 400-meter hurdle Big 12 title in Kansas history by edging Texas Tech senior Jamele Mason. Mason led with 50 meters remaining in the race, but Stigler came on strong down the stretch to post the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season at 49.45 and collect the win.

Stigler, a Canyon, Texas native, set a new KU school record with his win and earned an automatic trip to the Olympic Trials later this summer. The time also makes him the ninth-ranked American – collegiate or professional – this year. In addition to his 400-meter hurdle title, he scored points for KU at the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships as a member of the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams.

Stigler is the third-consecutive KU athlete to earn the honor as Mason Finley was named the 2010 Big 12 Male Outstanding Freshman of the Year after claiming conference titles in both the shot put and discus and Diamond Dixon, who was named 2011 Outstanding Female Freshman of the Year last season after her thrilling 400-meter win at the league meet.

Kansas’ 2012 outdoor season continues with NCAA regional competition, May 24-26, in Austin, Texas. The 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships are scheduled for June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.