Men's Track and Field's Vigilante and Manzano earn region and district honors
METAIRIE, La. -- Texas men's track and field associate head coach Jason Vigilante and three-time NCAA Midwest Region Champion Leo Manzano were honored by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association this week. Vigilante was selected as the NCAA Division I Midwest Region Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year for the distance events, and Manzano was tabbed as the NCAA Division I South Central District Outdoor Athlete of the Year.
Vigilante coached six middle and long distance runners to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. In his eighth season on the Forty Acres, he guided Manzano to his third NCAA Midwest Region 1,500-meter title, and three 1,500-meter runners to the NCAA outdoor championship meet.
Under his tutelage, the distance medley relay team had another successful season, breaking the UT school record in winning the Penn Relays. The quartet of juniors Erik Stanley, Joseph Davis, Jacob Hernandez and Manzano shattered the Longhorn school record set in 2006, by almost four seconds, rounding the track in 9 minutes, 29.60 seconds. The 2007 DMR win streak started with a second-consecutive Texas Relays Championship. That group fought sleet and icy conditions to win back-to-back championships (2006-07) for the first time in Texas school history.
Manzano was a key factor in the individual and distance relay success of Texas this year. He anchored both Texas and Penn Relays DMRs, and after helping the 4xMile relay to a Penn Relays crown, earned the 2007 Penn Relays Most Outstanding Athlete in the college men's relays division.
In the outdoor 1,500-meter run, Manzano won the conference and region championships in stellar fashion. The 2005 NCAA 1,500-meter National Champion became the first person to ever win three consecutive NCAA Midwest Region Championships (2005-07). He also set a new region record and posted the fastest time of the year (3:40.21) in earning the automatic berth to the NCAAs.
Vigilante and Manzano are in Sacramento, Calif., this week with the rest of the Texas men's track and field squad at the 2007 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The four-day meet begins on Wednesday, June 6 with the men's decathlon. The 2007 NCAA champion will be crowned on Saturday, June 9, at the conclusion of the day's races.