Christy Udoh

Junior Christy Udoh brings Olympic experience and heart to a solid women’s track and field program after competing for Nigeria in the 2012 games. Udoh has been named to the Big 12 First-Team 10 times in her career and looks to add more accolades this season.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

It was just last August that junior Christy Udoh found herself racing alongside the world’s premier sprinters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Udoh was one of 21 current and former Longhorns to compete in the Games, on a list that includes Texas legends like Kevin Durant and Sanya Richards-Ross. Unlike the majority of her fellow Longhorns however, Udoh did not sport the red, white and blue of the U.S. Instead, she donned the green and white colors of Nigeria, the country where both her parents were born and where she shares dual citizenship.

“It dawned on me that if I wanted to be on an Olympic team, I would have to beat out a lot of Americans to do so,” Udoh said. “I was glad to have another nationality to run for, so I contacted someone from Nigeria and they wanted me to run for them.”

In fact, the African country had been pursuing Udoh since she was in middle school, wanting the talented sprinter to run for the nation that holds her roots. Udoh would go on to qualify for Nigeria’s 4X100-meter relay team as well as a spot in the 200-meter dash.

What Udoh achieved by getting to the London games has changed her career and life forever. And despite not medaling at the Olympics, the young sprinter has never taken the experience for granted.

“That was the biggest thing in life that I ever accomplished,” Udoh said. “Now when I train for my next Olympics I know what to do and what not to do.”

Since returning to the 40 Acres, Udoh has not lost a step. The 10-time All-Big 12 First Team runner (six times outdoor, four times indoor) has had two top-three finishes in the 60-meter dash and five top-three finishes in the 200-meter dash this indoor season, two of those coming as victories. 

Udoh also holds the school’s eighth fastest mark ever (22.72) in the outdoor 200-meter dash, a time she clocked last summer at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

And while NCAA competition is no laughing matter, it does not compare to the level of athleticism present at an Olympic event. Through Udoh, the Longhorns have found experience that is hard to come by. What the Olympian has been able to provide is track and field wisdom at its highest level. 

For the Texas squad and its interim head coach Rose Brimmer, it is that type of intangible that makes her special to the team.

“She’s gained some wisdom and some knowledge about the level of what it takes to be a scorer not just on the Big 12 level or the national level but the Olympic level,” Brimmer said. “[She] went against the best, so [she] doesn’t have to be afraid of anybody.”

Udoh and the No. 7 Longhorns will compete this Friday and Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., at the NCAA Indoor Championships. It will be the fourth time the team has visited the Randal Tyson Track Center in 2013. The venue has treated Texas well this year, with 10 Longhorns combining for 13 career-best marks there.

Udoh will compete in the 200-meter dash Friday beginning with semifinals at 7:35 p.m.

“I feel like everyone is going to bring their ‘A’ game because everyone wants to be a winner,” Udoh said. “As for me, I’m going to push myself this weekend with a goal of doing something great.”

Published on March 8, 2013 as "Udoh earning her stripes". 

Women's Track and Field

Interim head coach Rose Brimmer and her team of Longhorns welcomed 87 points to finish third at Arkansas’ Razorback Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Reaching new heights, Shanay Briscoe’s second-place high jump finish (6-2) preceded Natasha Masterson and Kaitlin Petrillose’s top pole vault finishes at second (13-2.25) and fourth (12-8.25) respectively. Two held its place as the magic number when A’Lexus Brannon took second in long jump (20-0.5) while the 200-meter race saw Christy Udoh (23.87) and Courtney Okolo (23.89) represent the Longhorns in third and fourth.

Saturday brought Udoh and Okolo further 3rd-place victories; Udoh in the 60-meter finals (7.48) and Okolo the 400 (53.10). In the longer distance events, Mia Behm, Kendra Chambers, Katie Hoaldridge, Marielle Hall and Brittany Marches all finished top-seven in their respective races. The team rounded up with a second place (3:31.69) finish in the 4x400-meter relay from Udoh, Chambers, Okolo and Briana Nelson.

“We knew that this meet would be a meet where we would have great competition,” Brimmer said. “I am so impressed with how our kids responded to the level of this meet. They weren’t intimidated by anyone and they stepped up like warriors.”

Women's Track & Field Review

Briana Nelson runs the 400-meter dash at the Texas Relays last weekend. Nelson set a career-best time in the 400 at the Florida Relays on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Ryan Edwards | Daily Texan Staff

A slew of top-6 finishes (and the absence of a win) at the 68th Annual Pepsi Florida Relays illustrated the Longhorns’ room for growth in the outdoor season.

Claiming sixth out of 68 runners in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Briana Nelson made the first strong showing at the two-day meet for Texas. Nelson ran for a career-best 52.49 seconds. Kendra Chambers, Stacey-Ann Smith and Alicia Peterson competed alongside Nelson, all except Peterson finishing in the top half.

Friday afternoon’s field events were also opportunities for Texas athletes to gain confidence in outdoor competition.

Despite placing two spots higher at the Texas Relays, Okwukwe Okolie finished 5th in the discus throw invite with an improved 51.14-meter mark.

In the high jump, Victoria Lucas and Shanay Briscoe — two historically close competitors — came in second and third, respectively. Beverly Owoyele and Peterson also competed in the event.

Coming off a second-place performance two Saturdays ago at the Texas Relays, sophomore Danielle Dowie clenched fourth in the 400-meter hurdles.

Sophomore Christy Udoh, competing in the 200-meter dash for the first time outdoors this year, and junior Chalonda Goodman found success in the final individual running event of the meet for UT.

Coming in fifth, Udoh was less than one-tenth of a second off the time that had earned her the title of fastest Longhorn in the race last outdoor season. With a personal record of 22.85, Goodman claimed second and ended Udoh’s reign of team-dominance in the event.

While only participating in three events, Longhorns closed out the Florida Relays on Saturday with two fourth-place performances.

In the last field event of the meet, Amanda Van Dyke took fourth in the shot put invite with a throw for 15.84 meters. Wrapping up the weekend with the final women’s event, a Texas team — composed of Dowie, Chambers, Udoh and Nelson — held its own with the fourth best time in the 4x400-meter relay.

Printed on Monday, April 9, 2012 as: Nelson runs career-best 400-meters in Florida