Burrell & Thomas Earn USTFCCCA West Region Honors

March 4, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - San Diego State track and field head coach Shelia Burrell and junior Shanieka Thomas were each honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) today. Burrell was named the Women's West Region Coach of the Year, while Thomas was picked as the Women's West Region Field Athlete of the Year.

Burrell, in her fourth season with the Aztecs, led SDSU to its first-ever Mountain West indoor title and second overall (also 2003 outdoor) en route to being named the league's indoor coach of the year. San Diego State won the meet with 123 points, 20 more than runner-up New Mexico, despite not having a student-athlete compete in an event farther than the 400 meters.

Under Burrell's direction, four athletes won five events at the championship meet, including Kristen Brown in the pole vault and 60-meter hurdles, Jasmine Burrell in the shot put, Allison Reaser in the pentathlon and Thomas in the triple jump. The 4x400-meter relay team also won in 3:42.11, which was No. 2 all-time with the Aztecs.

Thomas, a St. Andrew, Jamaica, native, was named the Women's Outstanding Performer at the MW Championships after winning the triple jump in 43 feet, 9 inches (13.33m), taking second in the 400 meters (55.67 seconds) and anchoring the winning 4x400-meter relay.

Her efforts helped SDSU claim its first MW indoor title in school history. Heading into the NCAA Championships this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., Thomas is the collegiate leader in the triple jump with a mark of 46-02.50 (14.08m).

The entire field for the NCAA Championships will be released around 5 p.m. PT tonight.