DES MOINES, Iowa– The No. 4 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team collected a pair of USTFCCCA regional honors Monday as Tina Sutej and associate head coach Rolando Greene were recognized for their efforts this outdoor season. Sutej was named the South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year and Greene was selected as the South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Sutej, the SEC Field Athlete of the Year, set the NCAA record with a clearance of 15-1.5 on the way to winning her second consecutive SEC outdoor title in the pole vault. In addition to setting the collegiate outdoor mark, she also set the Arkansas school record, SEC meet record, Spec Towns Track facility record and Slovenian national record. Sutej sweeps the 2011 regional awards; she also earned indoor honors.
The Ljubljana, Slovenia, native enters this week’s NCAA Championships with the top mark in the country and the winner of 13 consecutive competitions this year, dating back to the indoor season. During her outdoor campaign, Sutej has set meet records at Texas Relays, Penn Relays and the SEC Championships. She has been a member of the Bowerman Watch List since February.
"You hate to take these for granted because it’s becoming a habit but obviously, this is a well-deserved honor for Tina," head coach Lance Harter said. "It’s nice that my peers have recognized her for everything she’s done this year. We cheer Tina on at all times for the season she is putting together."
Greene, in his 15th year with the Razorbacks, has led the team’s sprint crew to seven entries at the NCAA Championships. Arkansas will be represented by three student-athletes in the 400 meters, two in the hurdle events, one in the heptathlon and its 4×400-meter relay. Under Greene’s watch, the Razorbacks picked up SEC outdoor titles in the heptathlon with Makeba Alcide and in the mile relay.
During the season, Greene has guided the 4×400 team to new heights. The foursome of Regina George, Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams and Gwendolyn Flowers ran to victory at Drake Relays in a school and meet record time of 3:28.63, the No. 2 time in the NCAA this season. Arkansas’ three competitors in the 400 meters are the most of any school in the event.
"Lonnie has deserved this award and has won it before, too," Harter said. "Again, it’s nice to know that our peers recognize, through his hard work and the development of our athletes, that he is deserving of his award for all his hard work."
The Razorbacks close out their season this week at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The national meet will be held June 8-11 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. The entire event will be streamed live at both NCAA.com and GoDrakeBulldogs.com. Competition will be televised Friday by CBS Sports (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) and Saturday by CBS (noon-2:30 p.m.). Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information and meet-day coverage.