Mountain West Announces 2011-12 Athletes of the Year

June 28, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Track and field student-athletes Kurt Felix (Boise State) and Whitney Gipson (TCU) were announced today as the recipients of the 2011-12 Mountain West Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards, respectively.

Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in May 2010, the MW Athlete of the Year Awards are bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved athletic excellence during the past academic year. In addition to superior athletic achievement, criterion for the MW Athlete of the Year Award requires that nominees be in good academic standing throughout their season of competition, and demonstrate good character and conduct on and off the playing field.

Felix was named the 2012 MW Men's Outdoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year after being crowned national champion in the men's decathlon at this year's NCAA Outdoor Championships. The first Bronco to claim a NCAA title, he scored a Boise State and Mountain West-record 8,062 points over two days of action, winning the 10-event competition by a 106-point margin. Felix received the men's Outstanding Performance and High Point Performer awards at the 2012 MW Indoor Championships after winning a Conference title in the heptathlon and finishing in the top three in the long jump (second), triple jump (third) and high jump (tied for third), earning all-Conference honors in all four events. The senior duplicated both awards at the MW Outdoor Championships two months later, claiming crowns and all-MW accolades in the decathlon and javelin. Felix, who earned All-American status in both the long jump and decathlon this season, will be competing in the latter event for his home country of Grenada at the 2012 Olympics in London. The decathlon competition is scheduled for Wednesday-Thursday, August 8-9.

Gipson swept the national 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). The senior from Newark, Texas, tied the 2002 collegiate record set by Auburn's Elva Goulbourne with a MW-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. Gipson followed that effort with a first-place jump of 22 feet, 4 ½ inches at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, registering the second-best outdoor mark in Mountain West history. She is the first TCU track and field student-athlete to earn a NCAA championship. Named both the 2012 MW Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year, Gipson 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-American performer in both the long jump and 4x100 relay, she is currently scheduled to compete in the women's long jump at the United States Olympic Trials. The preliminary round is scheduled for Friday, June 29, with the finals set for Sunday, July 1.