Shawn Winget enters his fifth season at TCU, where he serves as the Horned Frogs' distance athletes.
Winget helped junior Jack O'Brien become one of the top 800-meter runners in the country in 2011, ranking inside the top-25, according to TFRRS.org. The junior from Lantana, Texas, enjoyed a personal-best clocking of 1:48.56 at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational. O'Brien collected all-conference honors in 800 meters and as the anchor on the 1600-meter relay. The biology major enjoyed top-5 finishes in all of his 800-meter races in 2011, including four runner-up performances. O'Brien won his heat in the first round of the 800 meters at the NCAA Preliminaries, pacing the field with a time of 1:50.23 to move into quarterfinals. O'Brien also earned All-MWC considerations for his third-place finish at the MWC indoor meet.Seniors Sean Zurko (800 meters) and Festus Kigen (5,000) also qualified for the 2011 NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore.
During the 2010 cross country season, Winget watched senior Festus Kigen become the first male in TCU history to win a NCAA cross country regional title, as he crossed the line in 30:11.1. For his efforts, Kigen was named the South Central Region Men's Athlete of the Year. Winget also led sophomores Agnes Kemboi and Alex De La Garza to sweep the individual titles at the UTA Season Opener and the women's team claimed the team trophy.
Winget and Kigen teamed up during the 2010 track season to see the junior cruise to a sixth-place finish in the men's 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, crossing the finish line with a personal-best and new school record time of 13:50.21. By placing sixth overall, Kigen became the first Horned Frog in TCU history to earn All-American accolades in the men's 5,000 meters and posted the highest-finish in program history in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Kenya native also captured TCU's first Mountain West Conference title in the 5,000 meters.
Winget also led Kigen to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene in the men's 5,000 meters, clocking a time of 14:10.23 to finish 12th overall in a highly competitive field that featured six of the nation's top 20, including four of the NCAA's top-five at the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
On the women's side, Rose Tanui became the first athlete in TCU history to win a Mountain West Conference indoor title in the 5,000 meters. The Kenyan returned during the outdoor season to claim the 5,000 and 10,000 meter gold medals at the conference meet. Tanui closed out the year at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, just missing the final round of the NCAA meet, placing 13th overall in the 5,000 meters. She also won both the Texas Invitational and Horned Frog Invitational in the women's 3,000 meters.
During the 2009 outdoor track and field season, Winget helped Sean Zurko qualify for the 2009 Midwest Regional with a seasonal-best time of 1:49.87 seconds in the 800 meters. Zurko finished second overall in the 800 at the LSU Relays, while also winning the 800 meters at Texas Tech with a time of 1:49.95, which was an NCAA regional qualifying mark. He also won the Horned Frog Invitational in the 800 meters, while placing third overall at the MWC Outdoor Championships to earn all-conference honors. At LSU, under Winget's watch the 4x800 and Tanja Ivandic garnered first-place honors. He also helped the sprint medley, place third at the Texas Relays and sixth overall at the Penn Relays.
During the indoor season, Winget guided Zurko to a first-place finish in the men's 800-meter run at the Razorback Invitational. Freshman Jack O'Brien followed in fifth-place out of 36 competitors with a personal-best time of 1:54.34 in Fayetteville. Finally, Jeff Pels crossed the finish line in seventh-place in the men's mile, while Ivandic finished fourth in her heat and 14th overall to lead the TCU distance attack on the women's side. For the Razorback Invitational, the Purple and White distance runners posted seven personal-bests.
Winget also helped the women's distance medley earn all-conference honors at the 2009 MWC Indoor Championships by placing third overall in the event. At the Texas A&M Invitational, Winget coached Ivandic to runner-up honors in both the 1,000 meters and mile run.
Last fall, Winget helped Festus Kigen finish 4th overall at the South Central Regional to punch his ticket to nationals for the second-consecutive season. At the South Central Regional, Kigen, who was named to the all-region squad, finished the men's 10K race with a time of 30:35.0 to record his highest regional finish of his career and TCU's highest men's finish since 2005.
Kigen under Winget's watch opened the month of Nov., earning runner-up honors at the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships. The Eldoret, Kenya, native, crossed the finish line in 24:25 to earn the highest-finish for a Horned Frog on the men's side in MWC history.
On the women's side under Winget, TCU entered regional action ranked No. 11 in the South Central Region. Overall, the Purple and White were ranked in the region for four-consecutive weeks and finished the South Central Regional in eighth-place. During the season, the women captured the North Texas Invitational, while Tanja Ivandic, who led TCU in every regular-season meet this fall, won the North Texas Opener, while having the top-time in the Mountain West Conference in the 4K.
In 2008, Winget helped Festus Kigen earn all-conference honors during the outdoor season by placing second overall at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships. Kigen, who recorded a ninth-place showing in the 5,000 at the Midwest Regional, also placed second overall at the Mt. SAC Relays with a regional qualifying mark of 14:03.61 in the 5,000 meters. Winget also guided Sean Zurko to a personal-best time of 1:50.78 in the 800 meters, while also crossing the finish-line in third-place at the Texas Relays. On the women's side, TCU's distance medley relay earned all-conference honors during the indoor portion of 2008, while the Horned Frogs placed five different runners in the top-5 of the 3,000 meters seven times.
During the cross country season, Winget helped sophomore Festus Kigen qualify for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Overall, Winget had two runners represent TCU at the South Central Regional in senior Matt Manly and Kigen. Kigen was also named Mountain West Conference men's cross country athlete of the week after finishing second overall at the Texas A&M Invitational. On the women's side, Winget's young squad was led by freshman Tanja Ivandic. Ivandic's top finish was second-place at the UNT Invite.
Winget came to TCU from Ferris High School in Ferris, Texas. Under Winget's tutelage, Ferris set twelve school records and captured the district championship in both cross country and track and field for the first time in school history. Individually, Winget coached 53 all-district performers, one regional champion, eight regional finalists and a state qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles during his time at Ferris.
Prior to his three-year stint with Ferris, Winget served as the head men's and women's cross country and track and field coach at Northwood University in Cedar Hill from 1996 to 2004. While at Northwood, Winget, who was the regional coach of the year eight times, won 16 conference championships and six regional cross country championships. The Knights under Winget qualified for the NAIA national cross country meet eight consecutive years. During his time at the NAIA power, Winget coached 78 conference champions, 11 all-Americans, one national champion and one IAAF world cross country participant.
From 1995 to 1996, Winget served as an assistant coach at Baylor University, while obtaining his master's degree in human performance. During his stay at Baylor, the Bears won the final Southwest Conference Indoor Championship. Individually, eight athletes were named all-conference performers during the indoor season, while four captured conference championships. In cross country, Winget helped produce five all-conference athletes, three all-regional selections and one national qualifier.
Winget began his coaching career at Abilene Christian University as an assistant coach in 1993. There he helped guide ACU to back-to-back track and cross country conference championships, while also aiding the Wildcats to three consecutive Division II National Championships. Under Winget, athletes excelled at the highest level with 13 receiving all-America status and five being crowned national champions.
Winget, who graduated from Abilene Christian with a bachelor of science degree in physical education, was captain for the Wildcat cross country team that won the NCAA Division II National Championship. There he was a two-time all-conference performer in the 1,500 meters and cross country. Winget was also an all-regional performer in cross country.
Winget and his wife Ricci, who was a three-time all-conference volleyball player at Abilene Christian, reside in Midlothian. They have one daughter, Riann.
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